6 Ways to Wear a Cardigan Over a Dress and Look Stylish
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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

6 Ways to Wear a Cardigan Over a Dress and Look Stylish

Updated: Feb 13

Sweater weather is in full swing on this part of the globe. Seeing as we still have at least another 5 months of colder temperatures, let’s get comfortable with it. Most of us currently have our full winter capsule wardrobe at the forefront of our closets and I’m wondering, how many dresses do you have out? If your answer to that question is none, then you definitely want to keep reading, this post is for you.

With the cold weather upon us, it may be hard to picture yourself wearing a dress when all you can think about are chunky knits and thermal leggings. However, who says you have to give up one for the other?

In today’s blog post, I would be showing you different ways to style dresses with cardigans to create stylishly warm and comfortable looks. This is a combination you would be able to wear to create a more casual look or dressier one.


Layering a dress with a cardigan is such a simple yet chic way to transition your dresses into the fall and winter months. It is similar to wearing a sweater over a dress, which I elaborate more on in this blog post.

It’s easy to create seemingly different looks just by playing around with cardigan sweaters in different colors and lengths. You could mix and match them with items you already have in your closet such as a pair of jeans, a pencil skirt or a maxi dress.

I would love to start off by sharing with you some of my favorite spots to shop for cute cardigans in case you’re looking to add some to your wardrobe. You may want to invest in a couple of different styles if you intend to be pulling off cardigan outfits for the rest of the Fall and winter months.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.

Where can I find cardigans to pair with dresses?

i) Shein is a great place to shop for affordable and trendy cardigans. With over 500 different options to choose from, you’re bound to find a few to your liking.

I love how they show you so many ways you could potentially style yours and most of them come in at least a few different colors. My favorite is probably this sort of cream-colored button-down cardigan with a lace trim.

The neutral color would allow it to be easily paired with other colors. You could create a casual outfit by styling it with a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top or you could pair it with a midi dress for a dressier look.

ii) Banana Republic has a great range of higher end cardigans if you have a bigger budget or just want to invest in cardigans of great quality. If you’re a fan of cashmere, then this open mid-length cashmere cardigan would be a great option for you.

It comes in a classic style and in 2 neutral colors that could work with anything in your closet. Pair it with some high-waist pants or a shift dress for a chic business casual look. I also see it going nicely with a floral maxi dress on a chilly Fall evening.

iii) Nordstrom is another great place to shop for cardigans you could easily style with a dress. Lightweight cardigans like this one are a great way to cover up your shoulders or arms if you are in a more professional environment but don’t want to get too hot.

You could wear it on top of a strapless dress if you’re headed to church or to the office. You could also tie it at the waist to make your outfit that much more interesting.

iv) At the time I’m posting this, GAP is offering 60% off most of their cardigans and so this v-neck cardigan is on sale for $27. V-neck cardigans are the best option to pair with low-cut dresses and tops to add a little sexiness to your look. You could create a chic yet warm date night look by pairing one with a slip dress and a pair of ankle boots.

You could also pair them with a v-neck graphic tee and a pair of jeans for a casual look. If you don’t shy away from showing some skin, you could leave the last few buttons unbuttoned to show off your belly with a pair of jeans or a skirt.

v) Amazon already has most of us in a chokehold. While you’re shopping for a new household item, you might as well take a look at their selection highly reviewed cardigans. This batwing long sleeved open front chunky knit cardigan is the perfect way to style your pants and jeans during the colder days.

The red one has got to be my favorite because it adds a nice pop of color. There also lots of neutral colors available.

Now that I’ve shown you where you can shop some of the best cardigans, let’s talk about styling them with your favorite dresses. The outfits mentioned below should work regardless of your body shape and you could always adjust them to your own personal style. You would get to see why cardigans are such a closet staple thanks to their versatility and ease of wear.

1) Long cardigan with a knee-length dress

The perfect way to style a shorter dress for a more professional setting is by pairing it with a long cardigan. This black cardigan by Halogen is perfect to achieve a business casual look. It is lightweight and conveniently comes with pockets. Your choice of footwear could be a pair of flats, loafers or high heels, depending on your personal preference.

Get the look HERE

If it’s cold outside, add a pair of black tights or leggings to your look for another layer of warmth. You could pair it with a dress in a similar color for a monochromatic effect or go all out with a dress in a bold print.

2) A cardigan set

When you don’t feel like putting much thought into your cardigan style, try going with a dress and cardigan set. This takes out the guessing part in your outfit and leaves you concerned with just your choice of footwear. My favorite type of cardigan to pull this look together is a longline one. This is a chic outfit that you could wear for date night and stay cute yet warm in.

Get the look HERE

Add a pair of white ankle booties or heeled sandals, depending on the whether. What’s also great about this option is you now have two additional pieces in your wardrobe which you could pair with other cardigans and dresses. Don’t we love ourselves some versatile pieces?

3) A cardigan dress

I know this isn’t exactly what you came here for but it’s worth adding to tis list. Why not combine the cardigan with a dress to create a cardigan dress? You could create a more laid-back look with a cardigan dress by pairing it with combat boots and a leather jacket. For a more formal outfit, opt for a pair of sleek high ankle boots or heels and choose a long coat over a black leather jacket.

Get the look HERE

If your cardigan dress is above your knees, you could take it to the next level with a pair of heeled knee-high boots. For more tall boots outfit inspiration, check out my post on how to wear tall boots. You can also add an extra layer of warmth by throwing on a shawl or – a long cardigan on top of your cardigan dress. The irony.

4) A chunky cardigan with an LBD

Your little black dress doesn’t have to be stuck in the back of your closet during the colder months. You could create a chic cozy look with it by pairing it with oversized sweaters and cardigans. My favorite way to complete this look is with a long gold necklace, a pair of black tights, black ankle boots and a shoulder bag.

Get the look HERE

This look also works with a maxi dress instead of a little black one and you could wear it to a coffee shop or to a gallery. Switch your flat ankle boots for heeled ones if you’re headed to a fancy occasion. The best way to make this look more feminine is by adding a belt. More about adding belts to outfits in this POST HERE.

5) Waterfall cardigan with a maxi dress

An easy way to recycle your strapless dresses and wear them all year-long is by pairing them with a cardigan. Waterfall cardigans are perfect for this because they add for a more romantic look, meaning this is a great option for date night. You could also add a skinny belt in a different color or in an animal print to complete your overall look.

Get the look HERE

A sweater dress with a shawl collar would also look great paired with a waterfall cardigan and would add more dimension to your outfit. The choice of option for flats, sandals or heels is up to you.

6) Cropped cardigan with a slip dress

Slip dresses have been very popular over the last several years and I love when they’re styled for the cold weather. I like to wear a think turtleneck sweater in a solid color under my slip dresses. Another way to create a new look for different occasions is by pairing your slip dress with a cropped cardigan.

If you’re not comfortable with color blocking, stick to a slip dress and cardigan in neutral colors. Complete your look with a pair of hoop earrings and either a pair of boots or heels.

Get the look HERE

A cardigan with a relaxed fit is also a good choice to go with a slip dress if you’re going for a more casual vibe. I love the idea of pairing this with flat ankle boots such as Chelsea boots. You could also go style a black long cardigan and a black slip dress for outer layer to create a different kind of all-black look.

Get the look HERE

If you are looking for a sexy cardigan to cover just your arms, then a bolero such as this one is your best bet. This is great for women who want to show some cleavage but have no interest in bearing their arms in a sleeveless dress.

I hope you have gotten lots of outfit ideas you can use when it comes to wearing a cardigan over a dress. Cardigans are wardrobe essentials that can be paired with dress pants, a denim skirt, sweater dresses, maxi skirts and more.

A good cardigan can be worn across seasons (because some of those summer nights can get pretty cold). I would recommend you invest in different types of cardigans because you would be able to create so many looks with them while staying warm.

I invite you to check out my post: how to wear a strapless dress to find out more ways to take your strapless dresses from Summer to Winter.

Until the next post,



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