What’s the Best Way to Wear a Chunky Cardigan in a Professional Setting?

April 16, 2024

The chunky cardigan: it’s a wardrobe staple that offers comfort and versatility. But while we often think of it as a casual piece for the weekends or chilly nights at home, it can also be a key player in your professional wardrobe. So then, the question is: what’s the best way to wear a chunky cardigan in a professional setting?

Don’t fret, ladies. We’re here to guide you through the art of professional dressing with cardigans. This article will delve into the best techniques to make your cozy sweaters work-appropriate, focusing on how to pair your cardigan with the right outfit, what styles work best for the office, and how to pull off this look in a business setting.

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Dressing Up Your Cardigan for Work

The first obstacle to overcome when incorporating a chunky cardigan into your business attire is the perception that it is too casual for work. But with the right tricks up your sleeve, you can make this cozy sweater look sophisticated and office-appropriate.

Wearing your cardigan over a button-down shirt or blouse is a tried-and-true method. This combination creates a balanced look that’s both polished and comfortable. Opt for a crisp white shirt or a subtle pattern and tuck it into your pants for a more defined silhouette.

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Jeans can work well with a cardigan, but only if your office dress code allows it. Dark, well-fitted jeans bring a professional touch to your outfit, especially when paired with a button-down shirt and a chunky cardigan.

A more formal approach would be to team your cardigan with a tailored dress. The formality of the dress balances the casual vibe of the cardigan, creating a harmonious outfit suitable for the office.

Choosing the Best Cardigan Styles for the Office

Not all cardigans are made equal, especially when it comes to dressing for the office. The key is choosing styles that lend themselves to a more professional aesthetic.

Shawl neck cardigans, for instance, are a great choice for the workplace. Their structured collar adds a touch of elegance to your outfit, making it office-appropriate.

Button-down cardigans also work well in a professional setting. Their classic style and button-up nature give them a more formal appearance, which is ideal for the office. Opt for a cardigan in a neutral color like black, navy or grey to ensure it pairs seamlessly with your work outfits.

Keep in mind, the length of your cardigan is also crucial. Long cardigans have a risk of looking too casual, so it’s best to stick to hip-length or waist-length cardigans.

Accessorizing Your Cardigan for a Professional Look

The right accessories can elevate your cardigan from a casual sweater to a chic office garment.

Pair your cardigan with a statement necklace. This creates a focal point and brings sophistication to your outfit, making it suitable for work. Alternatively, you could add a scarf. Scarves not only keep you warm but also add a layer of complexity to your outfit.

Belting your cardigan is another way to add style and shape to your outfit. This works especially well with chunky cardigans, as the belt will help define your waist and give structure to your look.

Tailoring Your Cardigan Look to Your Business Setting

Each office is different, and what might be acceptable in one business setting may not be in another. It’s important to tailor your cardigan look to your specific office environment.

If your office is more formal, consider wearing your cardigan as part of a suit. Pair it with matching trousers and a crisp button-down shirt. A cardigan can replace a traditional business jacket, giving a softer, yet still professional, look.

For a business-casual setting, your cardigan can be paired with a blouse and skirt or well-fitted jeans. This look maintains a level of professionalism, while also allowing for comfort and personal style.

In a creative workspace, feel free to experiment with bold colors and patterns. A chunky cardigan can be a statement piece in its own right, proving that professional doesn’t have to mean boring.

So, ladies, the next time you’re contemplating your work wardrobe, do not underestimate the power of the chunky cardigan. With the right outfit, style, accessories, and office understanding, your cozy sweater can be the perfect professional companion.

Incorporating the Cardigan in Various Professional Attires

Navigating through the diverse world of business casual can be tricky. One critical aspect is the perfect incorporation of the cardigan into various professional attires.

Consider a crew neck cardigan for a classic, timeless look. This style works well with a wide leg pant and a crisp white shirt. A crew neck cardigan can also be an ideal replacement for a sport coat, offering a more relaxed yet polished appearance.

A shawl collar cardigan is another excellent choice for office wear. The shawl collar adds a refined touch to your outfit, fitting comfortably within any business setting.

A cable knit cardigan is an option that is both chic and cozy. Paired with a polo shirt and some tailored trousers, the cable knit cardigan can lend a sophisticated edge to your ensemble.

For those chilly days at the office, a long cardigan is your best friend. While long cardigans can sometimes seem casual, pairing them with a button-down shirt and a pair of professional trousers can create a balanced, office-appropriate outfit. Don’t forget to steer clear of overly casual materials – opt for a wool or cashmere cardigan for an elevated look.

Another alternative is the cardigan shirt. This style combines the comfort of a cardigan with the structure of a shirt, making for a unique and stylish office wear. Pair it with a sleek skirt or well-tailored pants to achieve a polished look.

The Art of Layering: Cardigan and the Denim Jacket

Layering your cardigan with a denim jacket can seem daunting, but it’s a fashion decision that can pay off when done right.

A denim jacket can add a touch of casual chic to your work outfit. Keep in mind, however, that this look is better suited to more relaxed office environments. To maintain a professional demeanor, opt for a dark wash denim jacket.

Start your layered outfit with a simple base – a button-down shirt or polo. Then, add your chunky cardigan. Finally, layer your denim jacket on top. The denim brings a contrasting texture and color to the outfit, while the cardigan adds warmth and softness.

Wrap a wide belt around your waist to cinch your look together. This can define your waistline, adding structure to your layered look.


As we’ve seen, wearing a chunky cardigan in a professional setting doesn’t have to be a challenging task. With the right pieces, you can transform your cozy cardigan from a casual item to a chic, work-appropriate garment.

The key is to mix and match styles that suit your work environment and personal taste. Whether you opt for a chunky shawl collar cardigan for a classic office outfit or a long cardigan for a more relaxed business casual look, the options are endless.

So, when you’re standing in front of your wardrobe contemplating your next work outfit, don’t bypass your cardigan. Remember, with the right pairing and accessories, your chunky cardigan can be the star of your professional wardrobe. So go ahead and rock that cardigan sweater with confidence and style at your workplace.