How to Wear Buttoned Cardigans with Jeans Without Looking Frumpy

Cardigans have always been a popular layering in any season. But I specifically love buttoned cardigans because they are versatile and look great on everyone. And when it comes to looking effortless in them, jeans are my go to option and I am sure you are on the same boat since you clicked this post.

If you are wondering how to update your buttoned cardigan style and avoid looking frumpy, I am sharing my style tips and formulas that will help you effortlessly style your cardigans with any style of jeans. 

What I am covering in this post:

Style Formulas To Consider

There are some style rules that I follow when I pair buttoned cardigans with jeans to ensure that I look put together and together they look good. As you practice these style formulas, they will become an habit and you would not feel like you need to remember anything. It will come naturally to you.

Proportion Contrast

This is a rule that you can use with any top and bottom combinations. And its not at all complicated. 

  • If you are wearing a fitted top, your bottom should be loose fit.
  • If you are wearing a loose fit top, you can wear a structured or fitted bottom.

This is the exact rule we can also use here as well. If you are wearing a fitted buttoned cardigan, you can wear straight leg jeans, wide leg jeans, slouchy jeans. These jeans will look flattering with a buttoned cardigan that is hugs your body.

If you are wearing a loose fit or oversized cardigan, wear a fitted jeans like skinny jeans, mom style skinny jeans, flared jeans, cropped flared jeans and narrow straight leg jeans. This way you don’t look wider than you are. The fitted jeans keep you looking structured even when you are loosing the shape with the top.

Cardigan as a Top

You don’t have to always wear a cardigan as a layering piece. That’s the beauty of a short buttoned cardigan. You can wear it as a top as well. And because of the button details, it looks chic and elevates the casual denim look. And the awesome part is you can wear both round neck and V neck buttoned cardigans as tops. 

While the round neck buttoned cardigan will give you a structured look which is great for work, a V neck cardigan can be a special occasion look as well. 

Layering Formula

Ofcourse we can wear cardigans as a layering piece specially in spring, summer and fall as a lighter third layer. This keeps your outfit appropriate for the weather and still gives you an option to layer when it gets cold. 

There are some layering principles or formulas that I have found after trial and error to be much more stylish than others. Again these principles are simple, but they help you to come up with combinations effortlessly.

  • Wear a V neck cardigan with crewneck or turtleneck top. This way the necklines are not clashing with each and won’t make you look top heavy. V necks naturally make your top area look slender and with this layering top you can still wear higher necklines without feeling conscious about your top area.
  • Wear a Round neck or Collared Cardigan with deeper neck tops. This the exact opposite of the one above. When you have a round neck buttoned cardigan or a collared cardigan, make sure to wear it with a deeper neck like square neck, V neck, U neck tops. This way the collar detail of the cardigan is enhanced and your top looks much more flattering.
Square neck top with Round neck cardigan
Crewneck Top with V neck Cardigan

Outfit Formulas

I also want to share some was outfit formulas that you can use to style your cardigans with jeans for various occasions. You can save all of these formulas to your Pinterest boards as well for convenience.

Work - Business Casual

For work outfits I prefer wearing structured looks that make you look smarter and sophisticated. You can totally achieve that with buttoned cardigans. The buttoned details elevated the look and make you look put together. 

Running Errands

Your daily outfits need to be effortless and should look that way as well. But how do you still look good in the jeans and cardigan? That’s easy, follow the same style principles but change the accessories and footwear to be laidback and relaxed.

Day Time Party

Day time party looks are actually harder to style compared to night time because you want to look dressed up but you don’t want to make it a club wear look. Cardigan and jeans can be a great way of doing that. The denim will tone down and dressed up styling you are doing and you can play with so many fun colors.

Date Night

Date night looks does not mean you just wear black or dresses. You can also create awesome night out looks with denim as well. And Cardigans can be a breath of fresh air compared to wearing the same old top all the time. Its all about adding a chicness to your denim look with the outfit

At Home

When you are at home, you want to feel relaxed and comfortable. But that does not mean you have to look frumpy or sloppy. Cardigans are excellent layering piece when you are at home as well. And paired with relaxed jeans, you never feel like you are wearing pajamas all day. 

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