The Best Cardigans to Match Your Dresses

Once you have your closet filled with cute women’s dresses, you’re left with another question—how to layer and style them. Fortunately, there are tons of options for creating great outfits with your dresses and customizing your look. One key way to do this is with stylish cardigans. Get tips on the best ones to choose and how to make them work with your favorite dresses for every season and event.

Short or Three-Quarter Sleeve Cardigans

Perfect for warmer months, cardigans with short sleeves or three-quarter length sleeves look polished and pretty on many dresses. They pair well with sheaths, shift dresses, fit-and-flare dresses, and some styles of wrapper or surplice dresses. These are often done in lightweight fabrics, which is another bonus for spring and summer looks.

Lightweight Knit Cardigans

Lightweight knit cardigans have a nice, draping flow that is less formal than a button-up design but still has plenty of polish. These work beautifully with flowy and slightly flowy dress styles from A-lines to wraps to fit-and-flares. They can also work well with certain types of structured dresses that are slightly more relaxed, such as shift styles.

Button-Up, Long-Sleeve Cardigans

A classic look for a good reason, button-up cardigans have been go-to women’s sweaters for everything from pants outfits to skirt combos to dresses for decades. This stylish sweater looks gorgeous with shifts, sheaths, A-lines, fit-and-flare dresses—and virtually all styles of midi dresses. Heavier fabric types like cable knits work well for fall and winter, while you can find lighter-weight versions such as jersey for spring and summer.

Casual Open-Front Cardigans

Casual open-front cardigans done with a little embellishment and in fabrics like fleece are ideal for wearing with casual dresses. These have a clean style while often featuring pockets. They pair well with T-shirt dresses, shirt-dresses, shifts, and other casual dresses from short flowy minis to full-length maxi dresses.

Dressy Open Cardigans

Alongside more casual versions of open-front sweaters are their dressy counterparts. Dressy cardigans are done in more polished fabrics and can be easily worn over dresses that are more structured in design. Because these are slightly loose rather than the tailored look of button-ups, they still have a more relaxed feel even in more sophisticated fabrics. This makes them cool and comfortable for wearing with a variety of dress types.

The Cashmere Cardigan

The ultimate in luxurious comfort and classy style, a cashmere cardigan looks elegant when paired with many dress designs, especially mid-lengths, fit-and-flare dresses, wraps, surplices, A-lines, and sheaths. They can also be worn over jumpers and cute skirt-and-blouse combos for added sophistication.

V-Neck Cardigans

V-neck cardigans have a cool, trendy look that is ideal for wearing with V-neck dresses. The look of a V-neck cardigan with a matching dress style makes it look very pulled-together and won’t detract from the flattering line created by the similar necklines of the outfit. However, V-neck sweaters can also create a nice contrast when worn with dresses that have a scoop neck or rounded collars.

Waterfall or Flowing Front Cardigans

This unique sweater style adds extra style and emphasis on the drape and design in the front of it. The trending look has a great feel that works with both tailored, dressy looks and looser, less-structured dresses. For example, when worn with a fitted sheath, it adds a nice level of softness and balance and provides a modern contrast to the sleek look of the dress. Worn with a ruffled maxi or flowy long A-line, it blends with the relaxed lines of the dress for an appealing feminine style.

Choosing Cardigan Colors and Patterns to Go With Your Dresses

Once you’ve looked at all the cardigan styles available, consider the different colors and patterns and how they’ll work with your favorite dresses.

  • Solid classic colors, like black and navy, work well with most colors and styles of dresses.
  • Lighter neutrals, like white, khaki, and cream are perfect for warm weather and will lighten up the look.
  • Solid colors work well with patterned or solid dresses, while print sweaters work best with solid-colored dresses.
  • Cardigans with larger prints can have a more casual feel, so they work best with more casual dress styles.
  • When wearing multicolored sweaters like prints with many colors, or an ombre cardigan, pair it with a dress in a complementary color or one done in a neutral so the colors won’t clash or compete.

Cool and Classy Cardigans for Every Dress Style

Whether you love the breezy look for a maxi dress or are right at home in a modern wrap dress, dozens of cardigan styles will complement your look. They make it easy to add style to a dress and personalize an outfit, as well as giving you an extra layer that’s easy to take on and off as you need to.