What to Wear on Top of a Sweater

If you’re like me, you’ve probably worn a sweater more than once. And then again a few more times after that. That’s why I’m here to help you find the perfect tops to wear on top of your sweaters—and make sure you’re always ready for a new outfit. It’s cold outside, and your sweater is the only thing keeping your body from freezing. But the weather won’t be this way forever! Soon enough (hopefully) it will be warm again and you can take off your sweaters and jackets. But until then, here are some tips on what to wear on top of your sweater in order to stay warm and comfortable!

What to Wear on Top of a Sweater

If you’re like most people, you probably have a drawer full of sweaters. You wear them when it’s cold outside, but then you have no idea what to do with them once the weather warms up.

It’s not that hard—just pick out some tops that go with your sweater and you’re good to go. But what if those tops aren’t right? What if they don’t match the color of your sweater, or they clash with it?

Well, we’re here to help. We’ve put together this list of 5 tips for wearing a sweater over a shirt:

Sweaters are a wardrobe staple. They’re comfy, fashionable, and can be used in a variety of ways throughout the cold season. But what if you’re wearing a sweater and want to add another layer? This is where blazers come in.

Blazers are jackets that are tailored and have sleeves. They come in many different styles, including tailored blazers, sports jackets, and double-breasted blazers. Whether you’re going on a business trip or just looking for something comfortable to wear while running errands, blazers provide style and warmth in one convenient package.

Layering With Cardigans: One of the simplest, easiest, and most classic ways to layer with a sweater is by throwing on an open cardigan over virtually any top, whether it’s a cami, T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, or blouse. An open, button-up cardigan is like a jacket for the indoors.

Sweaters are more than something to throw on to stay warm in the cold. A well-tailored, form-fitting sweater can be as eye-catching as a charming smile. Looking good in a sweater is all about coordinating it with the rest of your outfit. Choose the sweater’s fabric, pattern, and style depending on what you need. Pair your sweater with a simple pair of jeans, a plain shirt, or even a tie and jacket for a stylish outfit you can wear with pride.

Styling a Sweater
Wear a T-shirt to add a casual flair to most sweaters. Generally, wearing a T-shirt with a sweater is expected and even necessary. T-shirts work best with sweaters that have higher or more open collars, such as crew necks and turtlenecks. This is a great way to add layers to your outfit without hiding your sweater. However, T-shirts are also useful for preventing a rough sweater from irritating your skin.
Even if your shirt collar isn’t visible, the hem might be. Leave a little of the hem visible below your sweater to make it look thicker and brighter.
Try wearing a lightweight merino wool sweater over a T-shirt for a look that’s comfortable without being too hot.[1]
Choose a dark or neutral shirt color, such as white or gray, to complement your sweater. Alternatively, use a brighter color like blue to emphasize contrast for more visual appeal.
Put on a collared shirt and tie underneath a sweater to look professional. A collared shirt may seem unexpected, but it is often a valuable article of clothing to make a sweater look dressy. Choose a shirt with a buttoned collar, then tuck it neatly behind your sweater so only the top is visible. If you wish to add a tie, attach it to the buttoned collar and tuck it underneath your sweater as well. Try wearing your classy new look to a professional function.
The collared shirt and tie combo works best with sweaters that have low collars, such as v-necks. Since you’re generally trying to look classy when wearing a shirt like this, avoid using it with patterned sweaters.
Stick with a light-colored shirt, such as white, so it stands out underneath your sweater. With ties, you could opt for more vibrant colors like red to stand out.
You could also layer a sweater cardigan over a button-down shirt for a look that’s cozy but professional.[2]

Use a jacket to cover and insulate thinner sweaters. Pair your favorite sweater with a nice sports jacket, blazer, or something entirely unexpected. Jackets don’t work well with thicker sweaters like cable knit, but they serve as an additional layer for many other types. Wear an open jacket to show off your sweater and any layers you have on underneath it.[3]
A jacket keeps you warm while you wear a sweater like a cardigan. It also enables you to style your sweater for specific occasions. Try a leather jacket, a bomber jacket, or even a denim jacket for a more casual look.
Match your sweater with a pair of jeans for a casual look. Coordinate your sweater with some stylish, form-fitting jeans. Plain blue or black jeans go well with most sweaters, but match the fit according to the type of sweater you have. Stick to slim jeans in most cases. If you’re wearing something bulkier like a cable knit sweater, you can get away with pants that are a little larger.[4]
Your pants need to fit you as well as your sweater does or else your outfit won’t look right.
Use dress pants for a more formal outfit with a sweater. Try a nice pair of chinos, dress pants, or even khakis to match with your sweater. These styles of pants go well with outfits that include a collared shirt and tie as well. You have plenty of color options to choose from, so you can mix and match colors to make your sweater pop.[5]
For example, rock a pair of cream-colored dress pants to highlight a dark-colored sweater. If you don’t wish to stand out quite as much, tone it down with light-colored chinos.
Finish your outfit with a comfortable but matching pair of shoes. You have plenty of options when choosing shoes. Regular white tennis shoes work well in most cases, but use boots and dress shoes as well when the situation calls for them. The shoes you choose aren’t nearly as important as shirts and jackets. As long as your shoes look clean and match the overall style you’re going for, you don’t need to worry about them.[6]
For instance, white tennis shoes contrast well with sweaters. You could switch to a darker, more formal pair of shoes to put less emphasis on your sweater.
Wear a sweater whenever you need to stay warm or dress up. Sweaters are far more versatile than people expect. Pretty much any time is a good time to include a sweater in your outfit. This depends on the type of sweater you’re choosing and what you pair it with. A simple sweater is great for use outdoors on casual trips, but sweaters also work very well in formal settings.[7]
If you’re planning on slipping on a basic sweater with whatever you have in your wardrobe, take a more casual approach. Wear this kind of outfit when you’re hanging out with friends or walking around in public.
If you need to look your best, put on a nice sweater over a shirt and tie. Include a jacket if you wish. The look might be a little too formal for date night, but it’s a valid choice for office work environments.
Keep in mind the type of sweater you have. Some sweaters, like cable knits, are meant to be casual. Others, like sweater vests, are more adaptable and designed to be used as a layer with other clothing.

Getting the Right Fit
Find a sweater that fits you comfortably without hanging off your body. If a $300 sweater has sleeves that hang past your hands, you’re not going to look great in it. The best way to look great in any sweater is to find the brands that fit you best, then stick with them. Make sure the fabric fits close to your body without feeling restrictive. Aim on having the sleeves end at your wrists and the hem end at your waist.[8]
Unfortunately, all manufacturers have different fits. It depends on the model they use when making the clothing. You might find that a sweater from a high-end designer fits you much more poorly than one from the general store around the corner.
Larger manufacturers tend to make sweaters that fit as many people as possible. That means you often don’t get a great fit. To get a better fit, consider going to higher-end department stores and trying on different brands.
Sometimes you can purchase a sweater and get it altered to fit better. The work is difficult, so most tailors don’t bother with it. If you really like a sweater, though, you might be able to find an expert tailor that can help.
Select a bulky sweater for warmth and outdoor use. Bulky sweaters generally aren’t a good choice when you’re trying to look stylish. A big, puffy sweater doesn’t pair well with most clothing. You end up needing bulkier pants in order to match it, which makes you look even bigger. For that reason, save your big sweaters for the most casual occasions, including times when you’re out in the cold.[9]
For example, a thick cable knit sweater is a fine choice when you’re at home or when you’re sitting around a campfire. It’s not recommended for date night or office work.
You can’t really put a jacket over a bulky sweater since it makes you look like a ball of fabric. Thick sweaters are meant to be worn as is with little adornment. Put on a thick pair of jeans and some boots, then brave the cold.
Pick a fitted sweater when you need to look stylish. Fitted sweaters are far more versatile than bulkier sweaters and are a fashionable choice in most situations. Since these sweaters are thinner, they are a better choice for spring and autumn weather than harsh winters. However, there are a wide variety of fitted sweaters available, so you can always find something to customize into an outfit you’re proud to wear in public.
For instance, you might get a nice turtleneck to wear at semi-formal events. You could also put on a nice cardigan for a casual night out and then build upon it for a formal appointment.
Choosing a Sweater to Wear
Wear colors that match the outfit and occasion. Consider colors like dark blue, brown, and black to be formal. Colors like gray and white can pass as formal but are easy to wear in most situations. More vibrant shades like light blues and reds are trickier to find but work best in casual settings. For the most part, the color doesn’t matter as much as the other clothing you choose to pair the sweater with.
Dark colors often work well when you don’t wish to stand out very much. Try using a dark-colored sweater as part of an outfit when you’re going for a more subtle or professional style.
Lighter colors work very well for fun, less serious events. Still, avoid wearing extremely bright sweaters unless you’re planning on making a statement.
Wear patterns if you plan on making them the focal point of your outfit. Patterns on sweaters are a lot like colors in that the more you have, the less formal your sweater seems. Everyone notices patterns, so match the rest of your outfit to compliment the one on your sweater. Go for an understated look with the rest of your clothing. Pair your sweater with clean jeans and simple, no-frills shoes.
Argyle, which consists of colored, interlocking diamonds, is one of the most popular patterns available. Keep the rest of your outfit plain to avoid color conflicts. You could wear a plain sports jacket over it to keep it stylish.
Houndstooth, checkered, and black and white patterns also tend to be popular and stylish.
Select a warm fabric that feels comfortable against your skin. The most expensive sweaters are made from animal fur like wool and cashmere, so you can expect they will keep you warm. Cotton is a more affordable option that gives you plenty of style options during cool weather. There are also synthetic sweaters made from material like polyester that are lower-quality but often more durable and comfortable against bare skin.[10]
You get what you pay for most of the time. Wool and cashmere tend to be expensive but of a high quality. Many synthetic sweaters attempt to mimic these qualities but are poorly-made, so always give your clothing a test wear before buying.
The more expensive the sweater, the more delicate it is likely to be. Wool and cashmere, for instance, degrade with exposure to heat, water, stretching. Synthetic sweaters can often be thrown into the wash without a problem.
Wool and cashmere sweaters are somewhat delicate. Heat, stretching, and soaking damages them over time.
Image titled Wear Sweaters (for Men) Step 14
Choose a crew neck for versatility with any type of clothing. Start your wardrobe off with a crew neck that pairs well with even the most basic T-shirt. A crew neck is a short collar that doesn’t reveal much of what you are wearing underneath the sweater. This is the type of sweater you could wear both at an office and when you go out with friends in the evening.[11]
Crew necks are often great for a casual look. Try pairing one with some plain jeans and a basic shirt for a modest look. You could switch to a formal pair of jeans or even a blazer for a more sophisticated look.
Crew necks pair well with both button-down collared shirts and simple T-shirts. Keep the collar inside the sweater so your outfit looks neat.
A similar but less common option is the scoop neck sweater. A scoop neck is a circular collar similar to a crew neck that exposes more of your skin. It’s great for a casual, low-effort look with jeans and a T-shirt.
Use a v-neck sweater to create a more formal appearance. V-necks are a bit fancier than crew necks, mainly because you are meant to wear them with button-down collared shirts. A v-neck sweater exposes more of your neck and the top of your chest. These sweaters often have a slimming effect since the v-shape draws attention downward.[12]
You could wear a crew neck T-shirt underneath the sweater to make it more casual, but avoid wearing a v-neck T-shirt. Exposed skin doesn’t mesh well with the more formal aesthetic of the sweater.
Put on a collared shirt and a tie to make your sweater look more formal. Use different tie and sweater colors for style. For example, you could use red or blue to give your outfit some brightness.
As an alternative, look for sweater vests. Think of them as v-neck sweaters without the sleeves. Sweater vests are meant to be a compliment to anything else you’re wearing instead of a cover-up like a full v-neck sweater.
Pick a cardigan for a thin but balanced sweater. Cardigans generally have zippers or buttons on the front. Most people leave their cardigans open, exposing the shirt underneath it. Pair a cardigan with jeans and a T-shirt during warmer months, or switch to something more formal for professional settings. You could wear a buttoned shirt and a tie underneath your cardigan to show off your respectability.[13]
Cardigans are generally thin apart from the collar, so you have to compliment it with a shirt. The thin hem goes well with a white T-shirt over a pair of skinny black jeans, for instance.
Many people think of a cardigan as something only a grandpa wears, but it is a stylish and versatile choice. Cardigans have buttons that make them easy to remove. Some even have pockets.
Shawl collared sweaters are similar to cardigans, except with a bigger collar. A shawl collar is a rounded, turned down collar that goes down your front like a v-neck. It’s great for adding even more sophistication and style to a basic cardigan.
Pull on a turtleneck to make yourself look slimmer and taller. Wear a well-fitted turtleneck over a simple T-shirt and jeans. Your sweater will keep you warm while also showing off your figure. You could wear the turtleneck as is or add a sports jacket over it for more class. It works best in the fall and winter months when you’re normally forced to wear bulkier clothing to stay warm.[14]
Turtlenecks are versatile, but they aren’t for everyone. Some people don’t like the elevated collar. Make sure you get the correct fit and coordinate your sweater carefully with the rest of your outfit to ensure it looks great on you.
Pick a cable knit sweater if you’re cold and like designs. Cable knit sweaters are thick and great for withstanding the harshest winter weather. They have elaborate designs knitted on them. Show off your sweater by leaving your sports jacket at home. Most cable knit sweaters consist of a light-colored wool, but you can find colors like blue and green as well.[15]
Casual knit sweaters look best in outdoor settings. Wear one when you’re sitting around a campfire, for instance. Avoid it for dates or nights on the town.
Aran sweaters are a type of casual knit from the coast of Ireland, so you can expect a good one to shield you from the dreariest weather.

What to Wear on Top of a Turtleneck

Turtlenecks are a common part of winter wardrobes and can be worn in a variety of ways. Whether you’re wearing one with a dress, skirt, or pants, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear on top of a turtleneck.

If you’re looking for a way to dress up your turtleneck and make it look more flattering, consider adding a jacket. Turtlenecks are best suited for cold weather, but if you live in a place where it gets chilly, you may want to wear your turtleneck all year round. Turtlenecks can be very comfortable when paired with jeans or leggings, but they tend to flatten out your chest and hips. A jacket will eliminate this effect by providing volume around the waist and hips.

Wear Your Turtleneck With…Give your basic jeans and tee combination a seasonal update with a tight, tucked-in turtleneck shirt, a plaid blazer, some classic denim pants, and some booties. If you want to look more polished, try adding a leather belt and top-handle bag.

If you don’t have a turtleneck in your wardobe, here’s why you need one this season
By: AuthorGabrielle Arruda

I used to cringe when I was little and my mom put me in a turtleneck for a school picture. It was this soul-crushing fashion choice, that made me shriek dramatically that it was suffocating me.

But now!? I mean, I can’t go a fall/winter season without a good turtleneck. Turtlenecks, when you aren’t 7, are a fashion staple you need. They are the perfect layering piece and if Audrey Hepburn gave them a thumbs up, I can’t argue with that. So let’s dig into how to style a turtleneck with sophistication and confidence.

Do you struggle with fashion and your closet is an overwhelming mess? Check out my Craft the Closet of Your Dreams Playbook to curate a closet you love and find the style you were always meant to have.

If turtlenecks are still in fashion, how do you make them modern?

Well, as much as we all love an iconic Audrey moment wearing a black turtleneck with black chinos, we can look outside that classic fashion box into more unique ways to wear the turtleneck.

Spoiler alert: Turtlenecks can really span into any fashion category. They can be worn in atheliesure outfit, under a dress, with a blazer, or a trendy high fashion look. This flexibility makes them so covetable.

Turtlenecks are also the perfect item for transitional weather. They can transition that summer dress into fall, or add an extra layer when winter starts to hit. Layering your outfits is one of the easiest ways to turn a boring outfit into an outfit that has depth and looks sophisticated.

how to style turtlenecks
Fashion influencers and style icons look so put together because they pay attention to the details of their outfit and they use proportions to their favor. A turtleneck is an easy way to add more depth to your outfit and you shouldn’t be afraid to layer pieces together.

3 tips on how to style a turtleneck easily
Watch your proportions. I know I say this a lot…But, proportions are key to making any outfit work, but more so when we are talking about a simple, classic piece like the turtleneck.
Decide your style. Turtlenecks can have a vintage vibe, a 90’s supermodel vibe, or even a chic modern style. Don’t try to do everything in one outfit. Decide the vibe and style you are going for and keep it generally in that family. For example, if you are opting for a turtleneck under a shirt and blazer (think 90’s supermodel style), don’t pair it with super futuristic style shoes. Mixing categories can work if you are an experimental dresser or very well versed in fashion, but it should be avoided until you’ve really mastered your personal style.
Don’t be afraid to mix oversized pieces with fitted pieces and vice versa. An oversized turtleneck looks great with a mini skirt, and a fitted turtleneck looks great with a wide-leg pair of jeans or trousers. Currently, in 2020, I would avoid doing two fitted pieces together, like a skin-tight turtleneck with skin tight jeans, unless you have an oversized layering piece like an oversized blazer or coat.
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How to wear a turtleneck: 10 outfit ideas

  1. Turtleneck under your shirt
    Turtleneck under a button shirt

turtleneck under shirt and blazer , how to style a turtleneck idea
turtleneck under shirt, how to style a turtleneck outfit ideas with jeans and shirt
how to style a turtleneck under a shirt, 90’s style outfit idea
I love this layering style. As you can see if you button your shirt (top photo) it becomes more business casual and if you leave your shirt unbuttoned or knotted in front it skews more daytime. This style can have 90’s undertones depending on the accessories, so pay attention to what details are being added. For instance the flip clips, loose jeans, and white sneakers give my turtleneck look a casual 90’s vibe, which was intentional.

OR: Turtleneck Under a t-shirt

how to style a turtleneck under a t-shirt
You can also throw a t-shirt over your turtleneck. This is a great hack for when you have a loud print or color that you want to tone down. For more ways to style a white t-shirt, check out this post.

  1. Turtleneck Under a Mini Dress
    how to style a turtleneck under a mini dress or jumper, black turtleneck under a tweed mini dress with white heeled boots
    I love how this can add so much sophistication to a mini dress and it can also help transition some of your favorite summery styles into fall and winter. For chillier days consider adding black tights, another go-to item for fall and winter. [what to wear with black tights? Everything you might not know]
  2. Turtleneck with a blazer
    how to style a turtleneck with a blazer
    My love of blazers knows no bounds. Check out this post on the oversized blazer for my complete obsession with oversized blazers and how many chic ways you can style them. We are definitely adding a blazer and turtleneck to that list.

For this look, I would make sure you have one form-fitting piece. So if you opt for an oversized blazer with a fitted turtleneck you could add straight leg jeans. But if you have a chunky knit turtleneck with an oversized or loose blazer, try a more fitted pant. You want to make sure part of your figure is visible or highlighted so your outfit doesn’t look like it’s consuming you. Another way to accomplish this is to tuck in the turtleneck and add a belt to highlight your waist.

  1. Monochromatic Turtleneck Outfit
    how to style a monochromatic look with a turtleneck, chunky knit turtleneck with silk skirt in all orange
    Monochrome is an underrated way to add instant style to an outfit. Whether you want to go with a classic all-black look or a unique amber color, or even a red monochromatic outfit, the turtleneck can help you elevate your look. For more style tips on monochromatic outfits, check out this post.
  1. Oversized Turtleneck with a Slinky Skirt
    chunky turtleneck with slip skirt and wrap heel sandals
    turtleneck, skirt, heels, bag, hoops

This combination is a great example of how using texture can really make an outfit. A soft knit turtleneck sweater with a slinky silk skirt is the perfect fall evening outfit. Swap out the heels for boots and tights when the weather gets colder.

  1. Turtleneck with a mini skirt
    how to style a turtleneck with a mini skirt, black tights and boots
    A turtleneck with a mini skirt is not for everyone, but I had to put it on the list because I think we will be seeing more of this silhouette this season. 90’s and 2000’s fashion trends are huge right now, so this look falls seamlessly into that vibe. Also, tennis skirts had a huge moment in summer and a cute plaid wool skirt is a perfect transition to fall for that popular skirt trend. Don’t take this look too seriously and it will be a cute casual turtleneck option.
  2. Turtleneck with Jeans (casual)
    how to style a turtleneck with jeans, easy casual turtleneck outfit
    baggy jeans with turtleneck outfit ideas
    turtleneck with blazer and jeans
    This list wouldn’t be complete without this casual outfit formula. And it’s kind of a no brainer, a turtleneck with jeans! Just keep the outfit balanced. Avoid pairing a tight turtleneck with skin-tight skinny jeans, or wearing a super oversized turtleneck with baggy pants. For an effortless look, try no-makeup makeup and a relaxed hairstyle.
  3. Business Casual Turtleneck outfit
    turtleneck with blazer outfit, business casual outfit including fitted black turtleneck, oversized blazer, and loose fitting leather pants
    business casual turtleneck outfit, leather pants, blazer, turtleneck and square toe heels, how to style a turtleneck for work
    With a business casual outfit, you want to avoid too many fitted items. So opt for a fitted turtleneck with wide-leg trousers, or under a relaxed suit. Don’t forget your details; adding a few select accessories can elevate a business casual outfit tenfold. [ related: 7 accessories to level up your business casual look]
  4. Under a shirtdress
    As mentioned previously, layering a turtleneck under a dress is a chic and fashion-forward way to transition your outfit for the colder months. Now because a fall shirtdress is long-sleeved, the turtlenecks function is more style based. But in terms of styling, this look is easy to pull off and provides a nice change in pace for your everyday look.
  5. Turtlenecks with athleisure
    how to style a turtleneck with leggings and a sweatshirt, split ankle leggings, gabrielle arruda sweatshirt and black turtleneck outfit idea
    Turtlenecks can also help add some sophistication to an athleisure look. We all want to look comfortable AND chic, and adding a turtleneck can make an outfit consisting of comfortable basics way more intentional. For more athleisure outfit ideas, check out this post.

For this look I chose a trendy legging style, the split ankle leggings, and paired it with a simple yet fashionable loose sweatshirt.

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