How To Wear A Duster Cardigan

When transitioning in between seasons, duster cardigans are so perfect! Going into winter from fall, I’m not ready for super heavy cardigans and sweaters but a lightweight duster is a great option. I didn’t even realize that I loved duster style cardigans so much until I went back through my outfits over the years to find a bunch of ways to style them. Clearly I’m a fan! LOL Since I’m on the shorter side (5’4″), I usually like them with heels but have found ways to wear them with flats or sneakers. If you are taller than me a long style like this could be perfect for heels or flats. As winter begins to end and spring comes, a duster cardigan is a great alternative to a heavy coat and can look so chic. I used to think they were only suitable for someone taller, but there are some great styling tips to make a long duster cardigan work for someone that is shorter.

How To Wear a Duster Cardigan

How To Wear A Duster Cardigan

Duster cardigans are a bit different from a traditional mid length or waist length cardigan mainly because of the length but also because it can be overwhelm a frame or look too much like a bathrobe. I do love my bathrobes but I definitely don’t want to look like I’m wearing one with my day to day outfit. Ha! Here are some of my suggestions on how to wear a duster cardigan:

Opt for Long Sleeves

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but there are short sleeve and sleeveless duster cardigans. I find that the exaggerated length of the cardigan looks best with long sleeves.

Choose a Slim Fit

Something that is too oversized or has too much fabric can be styled in a great way but tends to look more trendy. And can be hard to wear with a variety of things. With almost all of the duster cardigans I own, they are all super slim and slightly fitted to the body.

Size Down

If you do choose a duster that is more roomy in it’s cut, size down one size if possible. I absolutely LOVE this Mango coatigan and it’s one of my most worn fall/winter pieces in my closet. Because of it’s generous fit though, I sized down to eliminate that too oversized look that it can have.

Don’t Go Past the Ankle

When choosing a duster cardigan, it is best to find one that hits either a bit below or the knee or mid calf. Anything much longer than that can look like a true robe and could even be difficult to walk in. LOL I have one particular duster in my collection that almost hits the floor but I use it as a swimsuit coverup which seems to be one of the only times it looks better that long.

Duster Cardigan Outfit Ideas

Duster Cardigan Outfit IdeasCardigan | Turtleneck | Jeans | Flats | Bag

Duster Cardigan + Ballet Flats

This is the perfect running errands outfit when you still want to look put together but comfortable. Because this duster is slightly shorter than other styles I have, I like it worn with flats. If the duster was any longer I would probably not go with flats and choose heels instead. The heels would give me a bit of added height to balance out the added length of the duster.

Duster Cardigan with leggingsCardigan | Sweatshirt (similar) | Leggings | Sneakers | Bag | Sunglasses

Wearing a Duster Cardigan with Sneakers

This Mango duster coatigan is truly one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. The length is perfect for flats, sneakers or heels and I did size down to get a slightly slimmer fit. When I don’t want to wear a heavy coat, I love grabbing this to throw over a sweatshirt and leggings.

How To Wear A Duster Cardigan in fallCardigan | Turtleneck | Jeans | Shoes | Bag | Sunglasses

Duster Cardigan with a Monochromatic Outfit

If you stumped with how to style your first duster cardigan, one of the easiest outfits to wear it with is all black. The monochromatic base outfit gives a blank canvas for the cardigan to play off and will always look chic and put together.

Duster Cardigan with a Midi SkirtCardigan (similar) | Tank (similar) | Skirt (similar) | Boots | Bag | Sunglasses

Style a Duster Cardigan with a Midi Skirt

If you love a midi skirt, wearing it with a duster cardigan at almost the same length is gorgeous! I would opt for a slim fitting midi skirt rather than a pleated or a-line style so that it continues the long line of the cardigan and doesn’t compete against it.

Related: 10 Denim Skirt Outfit Ideas

Green Duster CardiganCardigan and tank (similar) | Jeans | Shoes

Style a Duster Cardigan with a Crop Top

At the opposite end of the length spectrum when styling a duster cardigan, you can wear it with a crop top and high waisted jeans for a playful night out look. The tank and cardigan are actually a set and I love how they both look together.

Midi Sweater Dress as a cardiganCardigan (similar) | Tee (similar) | Jeans | Boots | Headband | Bag

Wearing a Midi Sweater Dress as a Duster Cardigan

Graphic tees are a great alternative to a simple tank or solid tee and can add a bit of edge to an outfit. This particular duster cardigan is actually a midi sweater dress that I wore open over a tee and jeans. I love the versatility of a sweater dress with buttons all the way down because it gives you a variety of ways to wear it – either as a dress or open as a cardigan.

kimono style cardiganCardigan (similar) | Tank | Shorts | Sandals (similar) | Hat (similar) | Bag

Wearing a Printed Duster Cardigan

This duster is more of a kimono style wrap but it still has the exaggerated length of a duster cardigan. It’s perfect to wear during the summer with an all white outfit which allows the bold print to stand out.

lace Swimsuit CoverupDuster (similar) | Swimsuit (similar) | Hat (similar) | Sunglasses | Sandals

Wear a Duster Cardigan as a Swimsuit Coverup

To be honest, when I first got this duster it felt almost too long since it went right to my ankles but it was final sale and I needed to make it work. So I decided to make it a swimsuit coverup and frankly it was absolutely perfect! The super long length looks so fabulous with a swimsuit and I love how it billows behind me in the breeze when I walk.

How To Wear A Duster CardiganDuster Cardigan outfit inspowinter to spring transitional outfitCardigan (similar) | Tank | Jeans (similar) | Shoes | Bag | Sunglasses (similar)


Style a Duster Cardigan with a Camisole

Besides a monochromatic look, a simple strappy camisole and sandals is one of my favorite ways to style a duster cardigan. The delicate and simplistic details of the camisole and sandals pair well with the dramatic length of the duster. A timeless look that will always work.