What to Wear Under a Cardigan: 8 Stylish Ideas

Last Updated on July 6, 2024 by Candi Randolph

Have you ever stood in front of your closet, cardigan in hand, and thought, “What on earth do I wear under this?” If so, you’re in excellent company. The best thing about fashion, especially for us women over 50, is that it’s an expression of our personal style. And let’s be honest, we’ve had plenty of years to perfect that style!

Cardigans, those wonderfully versatile pieces, are a great option for adding some flair or warmth to an outfit. But what to wear under a cardigan can often leave us scratching our heads. Don’t fret, because we’re about to dive headfirst into cardigan outfit ideas that will have you looking like a classic style maven in no time.

what to wear under a cardigan after 50

There are different styles and types of cardigans out there – from the cozy oversized ones that feel like a warm hug, to the sleek, buttoned-up versions that scream sophistication. Pairing the right top with your cardigan style can elevate your outfit from nice to ‘wow, she looks amazing!’

So, whether you’re a cardigan connoisseur or a novice dipping your toes in the cardigan pool, exploring these outfit ideas is a great way to refresh your look and maybe even venture outside your comfort zone. Ready to add some pizzazz to your cardigan game?

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Why Cardigans are so Versatile for Women Over 50

cardigans are versatile for women over 50

Why are they such a closet superstar, especially for us women over 50? Well, the answer is as simple as slipping into your favorite oversized cardigan on a chilly morning – it’s all about versatility.

Cardigans are more than just an outer layer to keep you warm; they’re a fashion statement, a mood, and sometimes, a lifesaver when you’ve spilled coffee on your blouse (we’ve all been there!). Whether you’re going for a casual look or dressing up for a night out, there’s a type of cardigan that’s got you covered – quite literally!

Let’s start with the basics: the beloved oversized cardigans. These beauties are the epitome of comfort, but did you know they’re also incredibly flattering for any body shape? The loose fit can create a balanced silhouette, and longer cardigans can elongate your figure – it’s like magic! But remember, balance is key. Pair these with a fitted top underneath to avoid looking swamped.

Now, we all know that dressing for real life means dressing for your body type. Thankfully, cardigans come in different shapes and sizes, just like us! They’re an easy way to accentuate what you love about your body and feel confident. Short cardigans can highlight your waist, while waterfall cardigans can add some flowy drama to your outfit.

One of the best things about cardigans? You can wear them in different ways. Buttoned, unbuttoned, draped over your shoulders – each style creates a new look. Consider them the chameleons of your wardrobe. Need an extra layer? Cardigan. Want to make your outfit pop? Cardigan. Spilled something on your shirt? Definitely, cardigan.

So, next time you’re staring at your wardrobe wondering how to create a stylish outfit without spending hours trying on every piece of clothing you own, reach for that trusty cardigan. It’s an easy way to look effortlessly chic – because who has time for complicated?

Check out the styles of these cardigans for inspiration:

What to Wear Under a Cardigan? Check Out These 8 Options

options in tops to consider wearing under a cardigan

From button-down shirts to graphic tees, I’ve got eight fabulous options that are not only comfortable but also incredibly chic. So grab a cup of coffee (or wine, no judgment here), sit back, and let’s explore some of the best tips for creating a killer cardigan ensemble.

By the way, if you’re curious, I’m wearing a short sleeved scoop neck tee, a tank top, and a 3/4 sleeve tunic top in the featured image at the top of this post.

  1. Button-Down Shirt: Classic and timeless, just like us! A crisp button-down shirt is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. Long sleeves add a touch of sophistication, while the collar peeking out from under your cardigan adds an extra layer of interest.
  2. Dress Shirt: A dress shirt offers a more formal option. Perfect for those days when you need to impress but still want to be cozy. A dress shirt under a cardigan is like a secret weapon – style and comfort in one!
  3. Long Sleeve or 3/4 Sleeve Tops: When the weather gets chilly, or the air conditioning is on full blast, long sleeve tops are our best friends. They provide a smooth, warm base layer and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. You’ll find some great options, particularly with 3/4 sleeves, from Covered Perfectly, one of my go-to sources for flattering tops.
  4. Graphic Tee: Who says midlife means saying goodbye to fun? A graphic tee under a cardigan is a fantastic way to express your personality and keep your look youthful and fresh.
  5. Short Sleeves: For those warmer days, a short-sleeved top is a perfect companion to a lightweight cardigan. It’s all about balance, ladies!
  6. Simple T-Shirt: Sometimes, simplicity is key. A simple t-shirt with a minimal design can be incredibly chic under a cardigan, especially when paired with statement jewelry or a bold lip color.
  7. Crewneck Top: The crewneck top is another versatile piece that works well with any type of cardigan. Its simple design and comfortable fit make it a go-to for any occasion.
  8. Tank Tops: Last but not least, tank tops! Ideal for those warm summer days when you still want the option of an extra layer. Just remember to opt for a more fitted style to maintain a sleek silhouette under your cardigan.

I’ve curated some suggestions for you to use as inspiration or choose the piece for your own wardrobe:

How to Complete Your Cardigan-Layered Outfit

how to complete your cardigan layered outfit

We’ve covered the basics of what to wear under your cardigan, but let’s take it a step further. How do we create a complete, styled look that screams “I’ve got great style and I’m not afraid to use it?” 

Skinny Jeans: This closet staple is a good choice for creating a balanced outfit. Pair your cardigan, whether it’s a chunky knit or a more streamlined style, with skinny jeans for a look that says “I’m effortlessly chic.” Add some ankle boots, and voila! You’re ready to strut your stuff.

Chunky Cardigan & Pencil Skirt: Who says cardigans are only for casual days? A chunky cardigan paired with a pencil skirt (or a knee-length dress) can create a more polished look, perfect for those days when you mean business. Opt for a solid color cardigan to keep things sleek and sophisticated.

Boyfriend Jeans: For those days when comfort is key (which let’s be honest, is most days), boyfriend jeans are your best friend. Pair them with a fitted cardigan for a look that’s relaxed yet still put together.

Ankle Boots: Ankle boots are like the cherry on top of a great outfit. They can add just the right amount of edge to your cardigan ensemble, especially when paired with skinny jeans or dress pants.

Dress Pants: Speaking of dress pants, they’re a good option for a more formal look. Pair them with a similar color cardigan for a monochromatic outfit that’s sure to turn heads.

Remember, friends, your fashion sense is unique to you. These suggestions are just that – suggestions. Feel free to mix and match these ideas in stylish ways that make you feel fabulous. After all, the best accessory a woman can wear is confidence. So, go ahead, rock that chunky cardigan with those boyfriend jeans. Add a pair of ankle boots for some extra oomph. And remember, you’re not just dressing up; you’re showing the world your unique, wonderful self – one stylish outfit at a time.

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Conclusion: What to Wear Under a Cardigan After 50

what to wear under a cardigan in midlife

And there you have it, the inside scoop on how to rock cardigans like a pro! Who knew there were so many ways to style this wardrobe staple? From button-down shirts and dress shirts to graphic tees and simple crewnecks, the options are as diverse as we are.

We’ve also explored how to take your look to the next level, whether it’s with skinny jeans and ankle boots or dress pants for a more polished appearance. Remember, fashion is all about self-expression. So don’t be afraid to mix things up, try new combinations, and most importantly, have fun with it!

After all, we’re not just women over 50. We’re women with experience, wisdom, and a killer sense of style. So go ahead, pull out that chunky cardigan or that sleek, solid color number. Pair it with your favorite top from our list of eight fabulous options, add your unique flair, and step out with confidence.

Because let’s face it – we’re not just surviving midlife, we’re thriving in it! And our fashion choices? Well, they’re just the cherry on top of this fabulous stage of life. So here’s to us – rocking cardigans, breaking stereotypes, and embracing our age with grace, style, and a dash of sass. Now, who’s ready to conquer their closet?

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what to wear under a cardigan after 50

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