Outfit Finishing: Short Cardigans (And The 5 Styling Tweaks Needed To Make Them Edgy)


So…after our last Fix This Outfit Post (short cardigans, skinny jeans and tiny ankle boots)…many of you wanted to know how I would style those ubiquitous short cardigans.

That question is a doozy.

Short, ladylike cardigans have a conservative, precious vibe that frankly, just isn’t my style.  And, as discussed before, wearing them open (as a cardigan) isn’t always the most flattering option.  So.  I wanted to make the short cardigan both easier to wear…and little more edgy.

The Finishing

I used the same five steps to come up with two very different outfits, both totally my style. Here’s what I did…

1.  Wear It Like A Shirt (Buttoned)

Buttoning up the cardigan and wearing it like a shirt totally changes the vibe from precious…to sexy.




2.  Add A Statement Belt

I offset the cardigan with a badass, studded belt.  This trick helped to balance the outfit, regardless of what else I wore.  However, any sort of noticeable belt would work:  a woven leather belt would exude a sort of 70’s casual-chic, a rope belt like this would be more boho.  Try something jeweled or beaded for a vintage, romantic vibe.





3. Wear Unconventional Pants (or a skirt)

To keep the look from being too precious (regardless of personal style – everything needs some balance, even a ladylike look), try something…opposite.  I like boyish denim:  distressed skinnies, or a straight-leg pair with a big, tomboyish cuff.  Perfectly faded flares or beat-up boyfriend jeans would also be cute.  If skirts are your thing, I’d go with a sleek-and-sexy pencil skirt, or a tiny little mini, skipping anything a-line or overly demure.  Shorts would also be spot-on.




4.  Add a Cool Coat

Seriously, never underestimate the power of a good coat.  Choices are virtually unlimited – find one that makes your heart beat fast.  In my case, the flowy sweat-shirt coat adds a dose of casual nonchalance, and the faux-fur?  All-out glam for $60 (super warm, too).  Why the heck not?






5.  Choose Accessories That Really Define Your Style

For day, I live in tough-girl boots, sunglasses, and winter beanies.  A cool, edgy necklace is just icing on the cake.




coat: Free People Slouchy Moto – I can’t say enough about this coat.  It’s huge and soft and is more like a sweatshirt – so comfy, I wear it all the time (layers over denim jackets beautifully).  I’m wearing an XS for reference.  Or try the newer version – this Free People slouchy peacoat has a similar vibe.

cardigan: J.Crew Cashmere Cardigan (size S for reference)

jeans: old Rag and Bone (size 26 for reference)….but am loving these slashed-knee Rag and Bones or these Paige denim destroyed skinnies.

belt: old Bebe belt that I stole from my friend Amber (cringe)….but I like the look of this Levi’s studded belt (boy’s) or this Beck Sondergaard studded belt at Bluefly.  I’ll probably wait until Emerson Fry restocks this one (or similar)

boots: Ugg Australia Elisabeta in black weave

bag:  Kate Spade Fancy Footwork Record Bag (beware – it doesn’t fit the iphone6, sob!)

hat: Sole Society c/o

sunnies: Ray Ban (half off – Amazon)

necklace: Chan Luu – I can’t find this darn necklace!  This one is close, or maybe even this Chan Luu men’s necklace.



At night, I love heels, but they MUST be comfortable – we do too much walking for me to be teetering around on some nonsense pair of shoes.  So easy heels in a fun print keeps things interesting.  Add a quirky bag and I’m a happy girl.





cardigan: J.Crew Cashmere Cardigan

coat: Forever 21 Boxy Faux Fur Jacket (taupe, size S for reference)

jeans: AG Stevie Slim Straight Jeans (size 26 for reference)

shoes: Aerosoles Leopard Tapestry Pump (IKNOW IKNOW but so comfortable you guys)

sunglasses: Ray Ban (half off – Amazon)

underpinnings:  True&Co We Are Voodoo Bustier c/o


How are you guys styling the short cardigan? I’d love your ideas (and send pics – always love those!!)