The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

How to Wear: Boyfriend Cardigans

I am obsessed with boyfriend cardigans, in part because I freeze during the winter, and these extra long sweaters cover my lower back and keep me warm. They're also fashion-y and a more grownup alternative to all the hoodies I wore during my college days. Beyond that, they are sold everywhere which means you can score them at very reasonable prices, and they are incredibly versatile so you'll get plenty of wear out of them. And that makes them a great value.

Whether you like boyfriend cardis for the warmth, or you just love the look, here's some inspiration for how to wear them. Are you a fan? How do you wear yours?

A. Unbuttoned, and belted (Twelve by Twelve)
B. Unbuttoned, over a belted tunic or dress (Mossimo for Target)
C. Buttoned and belted, over leggings, with ankle boots. One of my favorite silhouettes this season. (ASOS)

D. Layered over a dress, this is a great way to winterize summer frocks. (Urban Outfitters)
E. Partially buttoned, with jeans (Simply Vera Vera Wang)
F. Layered over a crisp white blouse, and cinched with a belt, boyfriend cardigans can look polished and perfect for the office. (Marciano)

OK, this is a great visual lesson for me. I tried a boyfriend cardi a few weeks back - with leggings - and felt like a sad 80s throwback. Clearly, I was DOING it wrong! Lesson learned. ;-)
#1 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-10-15 08:43 (Reply)
thank you for this post...all fabulous ideas and i've always struggled with how to wear this look!
#2 Cupcakes and Cashmere (Homepage) on 2008-10-15 09:03 (Reply)
i love boyfriend cardigans! ure right its amazing for the cold winter days

usually when I wear mine I wrap myself around in it haha

i havent yet tried it with the belt over it, but its a good idea and ill try it

thank you!

this is also another great example of a cardigan, its knit which makes it my absolute favorite!

#3 Neira on 2008-10-15 09:12 (Reply)
Omg, my favorite fall/winter item. I already have like 6 different cardigans in my closet right now, lol. I love wearing them over dresses + leggings, or buttoning them up and wearing tights. They're so versatile and come in so many colors. I'm ALWAYS looking for more!
#4 Celeste (Homepage) on 2008-10-15 10:59 (Reply)
I haven't had a chance to wear cardigan yet. it's so warm in so. cal. i would prob wear it with a belt this year.
#5 savvymode sg (Homepage) on 2008-10-15 11:01 (Reply)
The boyfriend cardigan is by far one of the most versatile looks for the fall and winter seasons, and while I only have one in my closet (so far), I love it! My favorite way to wear it is open and belted over a dress. I also can't wait to add tights and the booties I've invested in for the season, but it's still a bit too warm for that where I live! The boyfriend cardi looks great with jeans and a basic tank or tee underneath, as well - An easy, put together look for running errands when you don't have a lot of time to worry about what you're putting on. :-)
#6 Katie on 2008-10-15 11:30 (Reply)
I love them too! I pair them with so many things, wear them buttoned or unbuttoned, belted or not... In fact, now that I think about how much I love them, I'm realizing I need more.
#7 Jenny on 2008-10-15 13:59 (Reply)
i love the boyfriend cardigan as well!! i really like that patent purse in the vera wang cardigan picture too!
#8 Julie (Homepage) on 2008-10-15 18:17 (Reply)
I loved them since before they were popular. Though this year I am a bigger fan of knit wraps.

I don't get the belt thing though. Its cute sometimes, but on most people it looks too formulaic and maybe just a bit silly. It makes you wonder where one puts the belt when they take off their cardigan.
#9 Jessica on 2008-10-15 23:08 (Reply)
I like this look and I plan to buy a few cardigan next month. Mine will probably be shorter then some of the one pictured. I'll plan to pickup some skinny belts at Value Village on the cheap.
#10 budget chic (Homepage) on 2008-10-17 08:19 (Reply)
what about sleeveless boyfriend cardigans? i bought a black one today at forever 21 for a little less than $12!! it's a good deal but i'm not sure if i know how to incorporate it into my winter wardrobe. pls advise?
#11 Julia on 2009-01-21 00:39 (Reply)
you can wear them just like how you wear the ones with sleeves. like the ones at the pictures at the top part of this page :-)
#11.1 katt on 2010-02-03 03:26 (Reply)
Great post. I love boyfriend cardigans. I wear light weight ones with a summer dress that hit about the same length as the cardigans. Definitely a staple piece for everyone.
#12 Sadee on 2009-07-30 17:04 (Reply)
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