How to Wear a Cardigan Without Looking Old: 5 Unique Ways

We all know how to wear this type of sweater the traditional way. Especially the short cardigans that we grew up wearing. Yet, sometimes when we wear the things we have always worn, we can tend to look dated. So I came up with 5 different ways to show how to wear a cardigan without looking old. See if you agree.

One of my friends once joked that I could style a parka jacket 20 different ways as my talent. And she’s probably right, LOL! I have no idea why I love the idea of making our items work in more than one way. Yet, it’s fun for me and hopefully gives you ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise. It’s also part of my “fix it” mentality, to make our clothing work for many occasions.

So I'm sharing 5 unique ways to wear your cardigans that might be outdated.

Four of those ways are below, and the 5th option is on my site.

Related post 10 useful cardigan tricks

Short cardigan outfit

Wearing a Cardigan the Traditional Way

Wearing a short cardigan over another top or dress is the norm. And there is nothing wrong with wearing it this way. What I will suggest is that since these sweaters could be considered out of date, then the thought of how to wear a cardigan without looking old would incorporate adding modern elements to the look.

For this look above, I tried to showcase a contemporary vibe by print mixing with my pants and top, along with wearing my peep toe booties.

Insider tip: Another great way to make an outfit fresher is to throw in a different color purse instead of trying to match it to the outfit.

Wear your sweater backwards

Wear Your Cardigan Backwards

This trick is something my mom practices regularly when she feels that a top is too low in the front. It’s one of the hacks I used to make my wrap top more modest.

If you are going to wear a top this way, make sure to see if the label is obvious. You can take out the label (and if you want it in the sweater for the future, resew it in a side seam). Or you can try to hide it with a scarf (like I did above) or use a brooch and/or necklace (like Nancy and Charlotte did in this post) to camouflage it.

Insider tip: Button up your cardigan first and then pull it over your head to wear it this way.

How to Wear a Cardigan Without Looking Old By Layering It

The opposite of how we usually wear a cardigan is wearing it under other items instead of over them. Even though it is considered a topper, that doesn’t mean it can’t be versatile. Let me give you three examples of how that can work (the last one is found on my site).

Wearing a cardigan under a vest

Wearing your Cardigan under a Vest

As a self-proclaimed vest lover, I feel they are underappreciated. It’s understandable if I think back to how I used to wear them. In the past I only thought to wear them over a blouse or top. And since I tend to be cold most of the time, they didn’t seem to add enough warmth.

However, after realizing that a vest could be worn over a sweater (like above) or even a jacket ( like we’ve shown before), vests took on a whole different meaning.

How to wear a cardigan sweater under a dress

How to Wear a Cardigan Sweater under a Dress

Wearing your cardigan under a sleeveless dress can add the warmth you need without taking away the focal point off the dress. The drawback, of course, is if you get too warm, it’s not as easy to take it off, LOL!

However, many women comment that it’s hard to find dresses with sleeves. So if you have many sleeveless dresses, this is an option.

Insider tip: I added the scarf to cover up the discrepancy between the collars.

5 ways of how to wear a cardigan sweater

Remember the two words that make your closet much bigger are OVER and UNDER. Layering both ways makes your clothing much more versatile.

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Jodie Filogomo
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Join the conversation
  • Janice Janice on Nov 12, 2022

    Clever ideas! I will def try wearing one backwards! Thanx for sharing!

  • Becky Giles Becky Giles on Nov 22, 2022

    OMG I love your booties! WHERE did you find them?

    • Jodie Filogomo Jodie Filogomo on Nov 22, 2022

      Hi Becky, Thank you. Do you mean the grey ones? They are from years ago, but I could send you some links for similar ones if you want? Just email me at with your size range, price range, and what details you really like.

      Have a great day,