While I loathe the necessity of wearing winter clothing (read this post for a very relevant rant), by far the best part about cold weather attire is the oversized sweater. Cozy. Adorable. And, dare I say, comfy? Fun fact: If you want to make me immediately roll my eyes, just use the argument, “But it’s comfortable!” when we’re having a discussion about why an article of clothing might not be the best choice for you. If my eminent shade doesn’t change you, nothing will.
A few tricks to wear an oversized sweater (without looking oversized)
If you Google “how to wear an oversized sweater” it will literally autofill “…without looking fat.” So clearly a lot of women have thought about this. And they’ve thought about it enough to pull out their iPhone in the middle of Urban Outfitters and search “how to wear an oversized sweater without looking fat” while pretending they’re just texting. Whatever. I see you, Karen.
But, to that point, oversized sweaters can be tricky. The last thing you want to do is throw on a cozy sweater thinking you’re going to be all “I woke up like this” and instead end up looking like the Michelin Man.
Before we get into styling, a word to the wise: Always thrift sweaters. Sweaters are tragically expensive, and I always find the best ones at thrift stores, anyway. The one pictured above I actually got at an enormous flea market here in Ohio and was able to haggle it down to two (yes, TWO enormous vintage sweaters) for $50. Try doing that at Gap.
Pair it with a slimming bottom
It’s all about balance, people. If you’re going big on top, slim down the bottom. This could mean skinny jeans like I did above, leather leggings like I did here, tights (if it’s long enough to be worn as a dress) or shorts with knee-high socks and boots.
Elongate your legs with heels
Because big sweaters tend to be on the long side, they can truncate you a bit. As a rule, the most flattering point for your top to hit is at your widest part, thus visually cutting it in half. So if you’re a bit hippy, a blouse that hits right in the middle of your hips will help bisect you and visually create a more slimming effect and even make you look taller. Maaaaaagic.
But if your sweater is long (longer than the one I’m wearing above), the opposite happens…you’re actually making your legs look shorter than they are. The best solution? Grab a pair of angle boots with heels like I did, or try something like this or this. I also pinned a bunch of sweater looks to this Pinterest board for more inspiration.
(Or say heck with it and just wear Chucks!)
Break it up by adding visual interest to your outfit or creating a new waistline
To distract from the hemline, you could layer with a button down like this or this. Or, to draw more attention to your waist (always a slimming effect) tuck the front of the sweater a little haphazardly into the front of your skinnies, or even pair it with a skirt like so.
There it is! Have you been brave enough to break out your oversized knits this winter? What other questions do you have on how to wear big sweaters? Leave me a comment and let me know!