Can Petites Wear Oversized Cardigans? Yup! Here’s How!

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like the word “no”. So when I read that petite girls should only wear long cardigans that “fit properly” and are “tailored”, I got a little chip on my shoulder.

Yeah, I do believe that fit matters more for petite women than those over 5’4. Obviously, we don’t want our clothing to consume us! But we don’t have to skip out on fun styles just because we’re vertically challenged.

So if you’ve ever wondered: Can petites wear oversized cardigans? The answer is YES, and they don’t have to come from the petite section, either (we all know options there are limited).

Here are 5 tips to help you pull off an oversized cardigan if you’re a short girl like me.


Here are some of the best cardigans for petites on the market right now! All of these would make great capsule wardrobe additions and are from retailers I shop and trust.

PLEASE NOTE: This post includes affiliate links for a variety of retailers. If you click on one and make a purchase, we could earn commission. This comes at no expense to you as the buyer, but it keeps this blog alive. Thank you in advance for your support!

Meach wearing and oversized cardigan sweater, showing how to pull off oversized sweaters on petites.
A close up of Meach wearing an off the shoulder oversized cardigan sweater.

Q: Can Petites Wear Oversized Cardigans?

A: Yes, and here’s how…

1. Create Balance:

As a rule of thumb, petite girls should only wear one oversized piece at a time. In this case, the cardi checks that box, so to balance out the outfit all other pieces should fall close to your body. The more fitted the better! Like in the pictures above, a bodysuit (or tucked in tee/tank) and jean leggings will do the trick. Together they show off your natural silhouette and keep the look light, despite the chunky knit.

2. Tuck In Your Top:

Tucking in your top creates more space on the body and will make you look taller. So no matter what top you choose to wear underneath your oversized cardigan, you’ll want to tuck it in. Even if you just do a front tuck! The elongated illusion will counteract the “shrinkage” that can be created by the larger layer.

Meach showing how short girls can wear an oversized cardigan sweater.

3. Wear a Belt:

Belts help to show off your natural waistline, once again giving you the opportunity to pull your base layer of clothing towards the body and show off your natural curves. They’re especially helpful when you want to throw an oversized cardigan over a more flowy piece like a shirt dress (which looks awesome, BTW)! Be sure to reach for one if your look feels a little too frumpy.

4. Cuff the Sleeves:

My biggest issue in buying an oversized cardigan outside of the petite section is that the sleeves are typically too long. If you have short arms, too, don’t be afraid to cuff your sleeves! Just a single roll will do. If you go too far, you’ll end up adding unnecessary weight to the overall look.

NOTE: In my opinion, cuffing looks more natural (and less obviously) on textured cardigans like the one I’m wearing above. So keep that in mind while shopping for the perfect piece!

5. Keep it Above the Knee:

Just like skirts, petite women should opt for oversized cardigans that hit above the knee. If the piece is super baggy and super long, creating balance will be difficult. The overall goal here is to wear the oversized cardigan, you don’t want it wearing you!

A picture of petite blogger, Meach Zavodny, wearing an oversized cardigan sweater outfit.

Obviously, these are all just guidelines! They work well for me, so I figured I’d share them all with you. But as long as long as you feel confident in what you’re wearing, that’s truly all that matters!

Oh, and if you’re new here, note that the wardrobe essentials page here on MORE by Meach always has an updated list of recommended capsule wardrobe basics (like oversized cardigans) for you to view and shop.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. I hope to see you again soon!