Fashion Lesson: #23 Fall Cardigans For Your Shape

One of the most versatile trends this fall is the cardigan.  No matter your shape or size, there’s something out there for you.

For today’s Fashion Lesson, we will explore examples for the Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Straight figures, and several other variations.

These sweaters are so versatile, they will flatter a wide variety shapes.  It’s all in the details.

The first sweater would look nice on an Hourglass figure.  As I have discussed in prior Fashion Lessons, a belted waist helps to accentuate the lovely curves of an Hourglass shape. I recommend you lose the monochromatic belt, and pair it with a skinny animal print one instead. 

Bows are really hot this season and if you have a small bust, the bow on this blouse would add a little volume to that area to enhance your figure.

Apples and Straight Figures, you could pull of this look as well.  All that you need to do is ditch the belt. 

If you have a large bust, I encourage you to find a different blouse.  The bow will only make you look more ample.  You want to keep the V neck line of this sweater to draw the eye down and break up the area.

You could wear a the same sort of shirt that is illustrated below with a long necklace.

(Click on images for shopping information.)

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I love the shock of color with this cardigan.  This is really the sort of sweater that would look good on any shape.  Due to its hip length, it will not draw too much attention to a Pear’s thighs as if she were to wear the gray example above.  I also think the shirt and tie is a really cute combination.


This sweater would compliment a busty Apple shape woman.  The deep V will draw the eye down, and the band around the hips will add proportion to a full bust.


Here is another example of a universally flattering casual sweater.  The dolman sleeve on this cardigan would also suit a woman with full arms.  You could even layer this combination one more time with a pop of color from the long sleeve tee that would enhance your complexion.


Honestly, I could have written this whole post based on the cardigan page on  This lovely example would become an Hourglass, Straight or Pear figure. 

Especially important to a Straight figure, this sweater creates an hourglass shape with the peplum at the hips.

One other interesting point to note.  Do you see how the wide set buttons draw the eye outward, broadening the the shoulders?  Now look at the close set buttons on the lower body of the cardigan.  They help create the focal point for a smaller waist.

This is very important if you are a Pear with narrow shoulders.  You want embellishments that create a broad shoulder to put your upper body in proportion to you lower body.

Remember that when you are out shopping.  Wider set buttons, make certain areas look larger and closer set buttons make the area look smaller.


I really fancy this swing sweater for an Apple shape paired with the the blouse below.  The ruffle on the blouse helps to lengthen a Short Waist and add proportion at the same time.

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A cardigan post would not be complete without a cashmere argyle sweater.  Universally flattering, you can wear it with a pair of jeans or dress it up with an equally universally flattering A-Line skirt.  Don’t you just love that cute little belt?



This is my Wild Card pick.  I like the very unusual, almost Medusa looking design around the neck.  When I first saw it, I thought it would be a good choice for a small bust because all that detailing adds volume and draws the eye in that direction rather than focus on your cup size. 

Reader Heba asked for some advice earlier about examples for a small bust, hence the extra examples this week.

I felt the bell sleeves on the blouse would be a good choice for this sweater and would look great together with a pair of pants like the ones pictured for a business casual outfit at the office.    

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Finally, I am a big fan of polka dots and I thought this sweater vest would be really fun under this bright red cardigan. 

You can tone it down if you are not interested in a “LOOK AT ME!” sort of image.  It could also be worn under a blazer or over a white blouse similar to the one above for a less conspicuous appearance.

If you are a Pear or Hourglass shape, consider buttoning up the sweater and wearing a skinny black belt with it to accentuate your little waist.

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I hope these tips help.  If you have a suggestion for a future Fashion Lesson topic, be sure to leave me a comment!

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Don’t forget to check out the Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.


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Filed under Apple Shape, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, fit, High Waist, Hourglass Shape, Large Bust, Metro Detroit, narrow shoulders, Pear Shape, personal shopper, Short Waist, Small Bust, straight shape

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