The Simple Cardigan T-shirt Combo

The easiest way to up your style…

is wearing a cardigan. Hands down my friend! I love cardigans because they are light weight, versitile, and it makes you look “classy” without looking like you are trying too hard (although be careful how you wear it if you don’t like looking a preppy…). When done right, its the perfect thing to wear if you want to reflect your more “mature” personality or life stage.

Here is a simple example of a regular t-shirt and jeans combo with a cardigan. a casual even boring look can turn classy just by adding a cardigan

Just adding a cardigan to your simple t-shirt outfit can make all the difference

Simple, right? Just by adding a cardigan to your layer just gives that extra push towards style. Again nothing crazy here, just a simple cardigan making things looks casual and classy all at the same time. Now this style might seem like a no-brainer to some of you but for those of you just wanting some tips on how to change up your style, I felt like this was a good intro thing to start with.  Its also a great outfit to talk about some basics of style that I’ve come to observe. Alright now that you got it, lets look at what you’ll need for this kind of look.

“So What Do I Have to Buy For This?”

All you need is a regular t-shirt (something with a light color), a simple fit blue jean, and of course a favorite Cardigan that you might have.  Again this is not anything of a crazy outfit. Just adding a cardigan to the mix.

Shirt= H&M, Cardigan= Beams Japan, Jeans = VOLCOM 2×4 Jeans

The cardigan that I’m wearing happens to be something I got when I visited Japan, but really you can buy whatever cardigan that you like at any store. Just choose one you like, just get one that fits (more details below)

How It All Looks





I love this kind of outfit because its laid back and peaceful. I can wear this in the house to just relax and go out for some casual drinks with some friends. So what about this outfit works? Lets go and break it all down!

Why this works:

There are a couple of reasons why I think this outfit works and it mainly revolves around my three principles of style that I’ve observed: Color Pattern, Positioning, and Fit. I feel like in anything that you wear if you get these three basic concepts down, you’ll be able to create your own style and look good. Below are some of my observations about this outfit:

#1 Choosing one color that sticks out:

The first thing I think about when I’m thinking of what to wear is “What colors work well together?”. The combo that we have here is blue, gray, light blue and a touch of black



If you want to keep it simple to look stylish just choose one color that sticks out. I guess some people call it “highlight color” or “accent color” or something like that. Either way it means to just choose one darker or lighter color in contrast with your other outfits that are the opposite color spectrum.  Thats why I think this outfit “works” because I have one simple dark color with my cardigan that sticks out amongst the light colors of my t-shirt and jeans. If I just wore just my t-shirt and jeans its just one straight light color outfit (which is not necessarily bad!), but when I add that this one dark color in the mix, things get a little more interesting.

#2 Playing with the “direction” of your colors: (Dark on top and gradually lighter towards the bottom):

Once I chose an accent color, the next thing I think about is the “direction” of my colors. Notice how from the top I have dark colors which is my cardigan, my glasses, and my hair (thats right! use what God gave you!). Then as you travel down to my chest and to my feet my colors gets relatively lighter. If you were to draw a simple arrow to show how my colors go from dark to light it’ll be an arrow going down. By having a gradual shift in color it makes you look put together and it balances your look. If you want to just keep it simple just know that having something dark on top half of your body and then having lighter colors towards your feet works 😉


#3 Position your colors to follow this formula (Right = Left, Top=Bottom)

Not only do I have to think about the direction of my color scheme but also the physical location of where my colors go on my body.  I think it helps to divide up your body in 4 areas (top right, top left, bottom right, and bottom left) Then I try to think about where my colors will go. In this grid I try to think of it as trying to balance a weight scale, putting as much equal amounts of the same colors on each right and left side and top and bottom side.

I tried to represent this concept of positioning in the picture on top. (Not sure if it comes off right), but I hope it shows you where relatively all the colors are coming from and where they are placed on my body. I’ve got different colors but they are all evenly spread out and balanced within this ‘body grid” of mine. Thinking about your clothes and how you place things is really a key I’ve learned to show your sense of style.

#4 Baggy Me No Likey 

Have clothes that fit you close to your body. I’m not talking about getting skinny jeans that guarantees that you won’t have children or having a shirt thats like Underarmor. When people say “fit” I think it means that it relatively fits your body line and curve. The Volcom jeans I have on for example is not buldging out like big parachutes, its relatively close to my leg line. I love these jeans because its has elastic material in it so it stretches. That means when I wear huggin my leg for dear life, but more so nicely snugged.  My cardigan on the other hand is definitely more lose. I like that because it gives off this more casual laid back feel. But it still relatively follows my body line so that the cardigan doesn’t look too big and baggy on me.

#5 Its All About the Small Details: Now you might think at first glance that the colors you see are just blue and gray. The bike graphic on my t-shirt and my glasses might seem like small details, but its the small details in what you wear that makes all the difference. The small black colors that I have even though small balances out my color across my body. Thats why having these colors and being mindful of things like wearing my glasses with my outfit or not works. The smaller the detail you have in your clothes the more colors you can work with in those smaller details.

My thinking is this: I think all people in general have a sense of balance when they first look at something. People can tell whether a poster looks good or bad or if a building looks good or not. Usually what I’ve found is that its small details that makes good art, buildings, and fashion be attractive to people. Its that little added color or extra line that you see that makes you think “That looks good”. I think fashion works the same way. People might not be able to articulate or recognize that its a small detail that my glasses and the black lines on my t-shirt makes my overall style more balanced, but for most people they will agree that might outfit here fits.

Anyways thats my reflection on this outfit and some thoughts on style. What are your thoughts?


3 thoughts on “The Simple Cardigan T-shirt Combo

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