How To Wear Oversized Sweaters/Jumpers

2013-02-21_10-11-32When I said “Ask Al and you shall receive” I meant it! I’m a woman of my word, so here’s an article written for  Zoe (see her Facebook request left).

Hopefully it will answer all of your questions too on how to wear oversized sweaters and give you some inspiration too.

Zoe : “How can I avoid them looking frumpy?” 

Al : The secret is in the knit. An oversized (in length mainly) chunky cable knit can droop and even though loose, still tends to cling around the hip region (see pic #2 below – girl in red sweater). Solution? Oversized sweaters look better when they simply fall loosely. In general keep chunkier knits on the shorter side (see pics below) and look for slightly finer knits.

Zoe : ” Are there people who should just avoid oversize jumpers altogether?”

Al : Pretty much anyone can pull off this look as it really can look super comfy/cozy and casual and covers up tummies/butts when you don’t want to show them off. BUT, there are always a few handy styling tips to keep in mind (see Extra Styling Tips below).  Solution? If you’re conscious of excess weight, be sure to keep things proportional. A too-chunky knit will generally make you look chunky. If you’re short, a too-long sweater can overpower your silhouette and make you look lost/shorter – the best length for you would be ending just at the base of the bum, not mid-thigh.


Zoe : “How do you get them to sit right?”

Al : Again the secret is in the knit. I like to see a little flesh to feminise an otherwise slightly masculine look. Solution? Rolling up sleeves is a great way to do this, but if the knit is too chunky, it can look weird. A fine knit with a large neckline that will droop over one shoulder is another great way to inject some femininity. A “messy tuck” at the front of your jeans (showing off a hint of belt peeking out underneath – see pic below; girl in black sweater) is another cool touch, but again, if the jumper is too chunky it’s not possible.

Zoe : “Do I need to wear certain shirts underneath them?”

Al : No. You don’t need to, but you can of course wear a shirt when you want to give the look a little more structure and play up the boyfriend look. Solution? Make sure your jumper is slightly shorter than the shirt to allow a peek of hem underneath to “frame” the jumper. Flick up your collar (yep, kinda 90’s, but it works) and even show off the cuffs under the sleeves.

Zoe : “Should I be buying my regular size or a size smaller – because they look so big?”

Al : There is no rule here other than simply trying it on and getting a feel for how you want it to sit. Solution? If you want it  to drape and show some shoulder, then perhaps you will need to go even two sizes too big (to become almost a tunic!) while others may look better on the smaller side.


Extra Styling Tips: 

1. If wearing a longer sweater, make sure it doesn’t cling around the bum

2. Make sure you can see “something” underneath or it can look like you forgot to put on your pants, and beware bare legs (see Jessica Simpson below). Also beware wearing with tights only – skinny jeans, jeggings or ponte pants are a safer, classier bet. Think volume on top, slim below.

3. If doing the bohemian look with a maxi skirt, be careful that there’s not too much volume and your body gets lost under all the fabric.


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