The Cardigan Shirt – How To Wear A Cardigan As A Shirt

cardigan shirt

J.O.A. $66

The cardigan shirt is fantastic. Is this a new thing? No, of course not. It is simply the act of wearing a button front cardigan as a shirt — but it takes a specific kind of button front cardigan. For instance, wearing the standard J.Crew Jackie cardigan as a shirt is a little retro and not that interesting.

The Best Cardigan Shirt

Instead, I recommend v-neck button front cardigans, as you can see from the options I have provided below. The v-neck is more flattering than the standard crew neck cardigan and sits against your body better when all the buttons are buttoned up. But before you buy one, remember to order one size up. Your usual size cardigan will generally be too snug to be worn as a shirt. Anyone who has tried this at home with their existing cardigans, probably already knows this. If you try to wear a cardigan as a shirt in your correct size, the buttons will pull and you will see your bra and belly through the gaps between the buttons. A simple size up will usually fix this. But if it doesn’t…

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How To Wear A Cardigan As A Shirt

Once you have a button front cardigan in a size up, you may still see a little bit between the buttons as you move. This can be solved by five methods.

  1. Wear a tank top or leotard under the buttoned-up cardigan.
  2. Wear a bralette underneath (sometimes the space between the buttons only offers a peek at the bust, making it the only area in need of extra coverage.)
  3. Place Topstick between the buttons to tape the fabric together.
  4. Have your tailor (or yourself) add little snaps between the buttons.
  5. If you only plan to wear the cardigan as a shirt from now on, have your tailor sew down the button placket. This turns the sweater into a pullover, but it shouldn’t be an issue since most cardigans are stretchy.

1.State Shaker Stitch Crop Cotton Blend Cardigan

The 1.State Shaker Stitch Crop Cotton Blend Cardigan is a relaxed version of the look for those who don’t want such a tight cardigan shirt. Pair it with any type of casual pant, or tighter skirt.

Sizing Tip: You can order your regular size with this one.

Missoni Pointelle Panel Stripe Cardigan

cardigan shirt

Missoni $1,555

I adore this Missoni Pointelle Panel Stripe Cardigan. Pair this gorgeous look with leggings or side-zip slim pants. This cardigan is available at Nordstrom and Farfetch.

Sizing Tip: Order one size up.

Something Navy V-Neck Cardigan

Pair this Something Navy V-Neck Cardigan with lower rise jeans, or side-zip slim pants.

Sizing Tip: Order one size up.

Theory Ribbed Cardigan

cardigan shirt

Theory $295 $117.98

This Theory Ribbed Cardigan is a bit see-through, so I recommend wearing it over a white tank or white bralette. This cardigan is available at Nordstrom and Theory.

Sizing Tip: Order one size up.

Cotton Emporium Eyelash Crop Cardigan

This 50s-esque Cotton Emporium Eyelash Crop Cardigan has a fabulous wide neckline that is far more flattering than the usual crew neck cardigan. Pair with jeans for a fresh look.

Sizing Tip: Your regular size should work, but order a size up to compare just in case.

Chelsea28 Shrunken Cardigan

This Chelsea28 Shrunken Cardigan looks great, but its closures are bulky snaps that don’t sit right and are annoying. I recommend switching out the buttons or simply sewing down the button placket.

Sizing Tip: Your regular size should be good, but order a size up to compare just in case.

Simon Miller Chiz Check Jacquard Crop Cardigan

This Simon Miller Chiz Check Jacquard Crop Cardigan is my favorite cardigan shirt of the bunch. The cut and coloring are so sexy and chic. This cardigan is available at Nordstrom and Shopbop.

Sizing Tip: Order one size up.

Madewell Shelley Cardigan

This Madewell Shelley Cardigan is perfection with jeans. It should work with both skinny and wide jeans. The vee is a bit low though, so you may want a tank or bralette underneath. This sweater is available at Nordstrom and Madewell.

Sizing Tip: Your regular size will be good.

Reformation Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan

This Reformation Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan is a great cardigan shirt option that is not too loose or too tight. It will pair well with both skinny and wide-leg jeans. This cardigan is available at Reformation and Nordstrom.

Sizing Tip: Order your regular size and a size up to compare fits.

Whistles Chunky Yak Mix Cardigan

This Whistles Chunky Yak Mix Cardigan is another relaxed version for those not wanting such a tight cardigan shirt. Pair it with any type of casual pant, or tighter skirt.

Sizing Tip: Order your regular size as well as a size down.

J.O.A. Ribbed Crop Cardigan

cardigan shirt

J.O.A. $66

This sexy J.O.A. Ribbed Crop Cardigan looks fantastic with skirts and wide-leg pants.

Sizing Tip: Order one size up.

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