A simple, casual sweater can change your whole look

A simple, casual sweater can change your whole look

It’s often the last addition to an outfit that brings it all together. But that final detail doesn’t have to be an expensive designer purse, a piece of fancy jewelry or a pair of shoes that cost as much as a used car. Sometimes, the simple things we already have in our closet work perfectly to transform a random top and skirt or jeans and t-shirt into a complete look. 

One of those “who knew it could look so good” pieces is a  sweater. Whether it’s a cardigan, a pull over or a longer sweater coat, this everyday fashion staple can work wonders. Don’t believe me? 

Just a few simple tips and you will understand how to put together an outfit with a casual sweater, and expand your wardrobe. 

Tip Number 1

It has to be made of quality material

No amount of trendy styling or fancy trim will hide the fact that a sweater is made of a cheap material. Sure, it might look okay the first time or two you wear it. But after that? Nope, nope. It will just look tired. 

When you want a casual sweater to complete your look, make sure it’s made of a quality material like alpaca, silk, cashmere or wool.  Even a finely woven cotton will work. 


Tip Number 2

It has to be well made

A poorly made sweater will look, well, like a poorly made sweater. These are fine for around the house, or maybe a quick trip to the supermarket (although if you’ve ever worn old clothes and no makeup for a quick errand, you know you WILL see everyone you know!) 

Tip Number 3

It has to fit well — and fit the rest of your outfit

Yes, I know some of us, myself included, like the comfort of an oversized, slouchy sweater. And that works sometimes, with some outfits. Pair that big comfy piece with a pair of skinny jeans, heels (or boots) and a soft drapey t-shirt and you have a winning look. But throw on that same sweater with a pair of loose yoga pants, a short skirt or a workplace dress, and it can look like you’re wrapped in a blanket with sleeves. 

On the other hand, a trim cardigan, in just the right size, can instantly elevate the look of a simple skirt and top, offer the finishing touch with jeans and a blouse, or bring a classic look to a dress. 

It fits, it’s made well, and it’s a nice material. Now what? 

Now for the fun part! Because trying on clothes, especially versatile things like sweaters, is always fun.

The time to add a sweater to your look is NOT when you’re running out the door in a frantic rush. The time is now. So get out all of your sweaters. Put on a plain white t-shirt and then try them on. One by one, every one. The white t-shirt is so there’s no clashing. 

Any sweater that doesn’t look good on you, even if it technically meets all three tips, won’t work as a way to complete an outfit. Get rid of those, or set them aside for “around the house” wear. Then take the nicer sweaters, and start pairing them with your other clothes. 

That cream silk top?  Pair it with a cinnamon toned fitted cardigan. Those skinny jeans? Try them on with a bright red top and a long silky belted black sweater. Mix and match and try each sweaters with different outfits, so when it comes time to get dressed for work, go out for the evening or just head out for a coffee date, you’ll know what works with what. 

Once you’ve worked through this, you’ll never look at a simple, casual sweater the same way.