Oversized is the name of the fashion game right now, and everything from jeans to t-shirts to sweatshirts to blazers is being sized up twice or more to achieve a comfy, baggy look. As the cozy season approaches, you are likely to see more oversized sweaters hitting the streets — but how do you achieve a chic style when you are drowning in cashmere and wool?
This guide should help you find ways to style your favorite oversized women’s sweaters in exciting and interesting ways all season long. Whether you are sizing up a cardigan or trying to achieve balance with a bulky turtleneck, read on for a few tips that should see you fashionably through this fall and winter.
Popularized by Tan France of “Queer Eye” fame — but employed by the effortlessly chic French population for who knows how long — the French tuck is a simple fashion maneuver that involves tucking in the front of a shirt while the rest of the shirt hangs loose. The French tuck serves many purposes, from creating balance in proportions by elongating legs to establishing an individual’s natural waist. The French tuck is of particular value with oversized sweater outfits because it prevents your body from drowning in the fabric by helping to create a silhouette.
French tucking isn’t as easy as stuffing the front half of your top into your bottoms. With a bulkier piece like a sweater, shoving too much into your pants will create an unsightly bulge that is equally uncomfortable. Instead, to French tuck your oversized sweater, you will want to slip the bottom left or bottom right corner of your sweater behind the waistband of your pants on the same side. There should be a waterfall of fabric across your front, and the back of your sweater should hang loose.
The secret to high-fashion looks is not designer labels or thousand-dollar price tags; rather, the secret is simple: layers. Layers of clothing allow you to play with color texture and fit in ways that appeal to the eye; a basic outfit consisting of a sweater and pants is boring, but with a few extra layers, you can give viewers something interesting to look at.
Certainly, you should layer underneath your sweater, especially during colder months when you need to keep warmth close to your body. Base layers also matter if you are wearing an oversized cardigan, which will reveal the shirt you have on underneath. You might consider layering a turtleneck or mock-neck shirt underneath your sweater. Then, on top, you should give yourself a stack of long necklaces that will catch the light. A cross-body bag or some other purse that will break up the flow of the fabric around your torso is another important layer.
In the past, fashion wisdom stated that to create balance in your silhouette, you need to pair one bulky item with one slim-fitting item. So, if you are going to wear an oversized sweater, you should consider wearing leggings or tight jeans on the bottom.
This rule of thumb still holds true, but you should know that you can break it on occasion. In fact, loose-fitting jeans and other baggy trousers are as in style as oversized sweaters, so you may want to experiment with creating balance with oversized tops and bottoms this fall and winter.
Color is back in a big way. After what feels like a full decade of boring minimalist neutrals, bright and cheerful tones are once again dominating fashion runways. Even in the fall and winter seasons, which tend to be a bit more staid in their palettes, you should expect to see plenty of yellow, orange, magenta, emerald, and purple — and you should incorporate these colors into your oversized sweater game, as well.
However, it might not be advisable to purchase a solid-colored sweater in such a vibrant hue. Instead, you might add pops of color by investing in a few alpine-style sweaters, which feature horizontal stripes of patterns like chevrons and snowflakes. By integrating color in this way, you appear less like an intimidating wall of bright color, and you will likely find it easier to build more diverse outfits from your sweaters.
Even with oversized everything being on trend, wearing an oversized sweater fashionably is not as easy as it seems. By taking the above lessons to heart, you should be able to put together some cozy, comfy, and chic looks for the coming seasons.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.