Wrap Cardigan

"Versatile and Chic Cardigan Sweater Style"


Compared to button-down cardigan sweaters, a wrap cardigan is sleeker and elegant. It's also flattering as theren't any buttons that add bulk to your tummy area.

Black drape open wrap cardigan
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

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It's also known as an "open cardigan" that you wear unbuttoned. What I really like about it is the button-free front - adding a pretty drapey texture to your outfit. And if you wear it with a belt, you'll create a polished and chic look - perfect for women who appreciate classy but casual outfits.

On this page you'll find fashion advice and styling tips on how to wear wrap cardigans - from how to layer to ideas on how to combine it into a chic outfit!

How to Wear an Open Cardigan

Although I love this type of sweater, I do have some reservations about it, which are:

Watch out for the layers

Knit open cardigan worn with a denim shirt
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters
Too much draping can add a lot of bulk and make you look clunkier around the middle and hips. However, it might be a good thing for gals who want to create curves - just don't overdo it :-)

I'm not necessarily talking about the amount of layers - but the thickness and texture of the garments you want to wear with the cardigan. For example, avoid wearing more than one "fattening" clothing. So if you decide to wear a chunky knit open cardigan - make sure the top underneath is thinner and more light-weight. Looks sleeker this way.

Camouflage that flab the right way

Like I said too bulk can only highlight any upper body-problem areas such as a muffin top, full or wide tummy and a full bust. The best way to wear a wrap cardigan and disguise these areas is to avoid too many "fattening" garments and style it correctly.

So if you struggle with one or more of these problem areas then I recommend you to follow one (or more) of these styling strategies:

    How to look slim in a wrap cardigan
    Courtesy of Macy's
  • Wear it open and leave out wrapping it with a belt. This vertical and waterfall'ish draping make the eye go up and down - streamlining your upper body, and it'll also make people think that there is a lean figure hiding in there!
  • Wear a dark colored top underneath it
  • Draw the eye up to your face and shoulder line with makeup (make your eyes pop), long necklace or a pair of nice earrings. Or simply wear accessories that highlight your best assets!

Fashion advice for short gals

This pointer is the most relevant for Petites :-)

Like tops and dresses - if you're short (5'4 or under) - you need the right cardigan length that complements your height and small proportions. Taller women can handle drapey, long cardigans better than shorter gals - exactly because they have more canvas to work on.

So make sure to select a wrap cardigan that:

    Cropped sleeve cream open cardigan
    Courtesy of Lulu's
  • Ends at least 2-3 inches above your knees - shorter is even better. Yes - even the cropped cardigan in a light color helps your limbs and upper body look leaner and longer!
  • Has details and textures that harmonize with your body scale. For example, if you're thin-boned opt for delicate details, medium if you're Plus Size. Never go for the humongous ones.
  • Has a lean and waterfall draping

Another styling trick is to wrap the draping together to make it look smaller and put-together. If you still feel big in a wrap cardigan, simply wear a pair of heels to balance out your upper body.



More fashion advice on Sweaters:

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There are several ways to style an open cardigan - it depends on your personal style and what kind of "mood" you want to give your outfit. But here are two chic ideas on how to wear it:

Chic Wrap Cardigan Outfits

With a belt:

This can look trendy or classy - depending on the type of belt. A wide belt adds a whiff of edge as seen below. A skinny belt on the other hand makes the cardigan look sleeker and put together.

If you're worried about looking chunky in it then opt for a simple belt in a dark neutral - as light colors expand your waistline. If you want to tuck more of the fabric without looking too trendy - try a double-skinny belt!

How to wear an open wrap cardigan with a belt

Try:
  • Wear the wrap cardigan as a full sweater by wrapping the draping together with a belt or brooch. Add a fitted camisole in the color of the cardigan or in a neutral similar to your skin tone
  • OR

  • Let the draping hang loosely and wrap a belt around the waist - showing off a little bit of the top (don't close the front completely)

Frame your top or accessory:

This look is very flowy and laid-back, perfect for lazy Sundays. It gives you an opportunity to show off your necklace or cool/pretty/trendy top.

How to wear an open wrap cardigan
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters and New York & Co

If you want to showcase a statement necklace make sure to wear it on a neutral top that contrasts with the color of the piece.

A wrap cardigan can really frame a nice top or blouse - but only if the sweater is in a simple neutral. Think basic as a canvas.

If you want to camouflage your tummy, I suggest selecting a print with a dark base paired with a cardigan in a dark neutral - it'll take inches off in an instant!



More styling tips:

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Let's take a look at where you can buy affordable yet stylish open cardigans:

Shop Wrap Cardigans Online

Mini globe Shopping tip for international readers: Expensive worldwide shipping? US store doesn't ship to your country? Save up to 50% off retail price in your home country and gain access to the goodies. Try a mail forwarding service!



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