Fashion

These 8 Delicate Cardigans Make Any Outfit Feel Infinitely More Polished

Cardigans are pieces you pull out when you want to look polished without feeling overly formal. They can take you from brunch to a business meeting and beyond. And the best dressy cardigans combine the ease of a sweater with the flair of a truly special piece.

The difference between an everyday cardigan and something that feels a touch more elevated usually boils down to embellishment — it could be a subtle yet eye-catching texture, a statement-making cut, or some notice-me sequins or lace. You can snag a cardigan with blazer-like tailoring (think: peplums or lapels) for a sharp look that still offers a cozy feel. If you already have plenty of basic comfy sweaters and want a dressy cardigan for weddings and events, the options below will see you through many special occasions.

If you need something that can pair with both your leggings and your little black dress, look for toppers that combine a casual vibe with a sophisticated twist. For example, a lace kimono will look right at home lounging around but cleans up nicely for dinner. On the other hand, a plain cardigan in flowing jersey might feature clean, minimalist lines (without pockets) that pair just as well with jeans as they do belted over a sheath — and that versatility makes it a great pick for traveling light.

From show-stopping sequin dusters to wear-with-anything sweater jackets, these eight dressy cardigans have you covered from black tie to business casual.

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01
A Classic Cardigan With A Pretty Peplum

This cropped cardigan has clean lines with a playful peplum hem that creates a refined silhouette without feeling stuffy. It's made from a 95 percent cotton blend that is comfortable to wear all day, and holds its shape after repeated wears thanks to the little bit of stretch fabric. The high curved neckline draws attention to your face. (You can even fold it back for blazer-style lapels, as a few shoppers did in their photos.) "Love it, fit and feel is very nice," one review commented, calling it "Stylish and perfect for multiple occasions."

  • Available colors: 18
  • Available sizes: Small - XX-Large
02
This Long Lace Cardigan You Can Dress Up Or Down

A lace cardigan in a loose kimono-style cut will take you from brunch to a beach wedding without skipping a beat. The duster length and finishing touches, like scalloped lace and matching trim, create a romantic boho look. The cotton-polyester lace feels soft — not scratchy, which budget lace is sometimes guilty of. Reviewers were seriously impressed with the piece's high-quality looks right out of the bag. "Gorgeous, vintage but modern and so feminine!! I'll wear thousands of times," one fan raved.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: One size fits most
03
A Cropped Lace Cardigan If You Want Something More Fitted

This dramatic lace bolero finishes off outfits with a simple yet eye-catching feminine design that lets the rest of your outfit shine. It’s perfect for transforming a basic dress into formal attire, especially if chosen in a matching color that will blend in seamlessly, although several reviewers also noted how perfect it was for wearing to weddings. "I wore this as a cover-up to my sister's wedding and received so many compliments," noted one satisfied reviewer, adding, "It's well made and beautiful." There's a sheer nylon lining to prevent whatever you layer underneath from snagging the delicate lace, but you'll want to hand-wash to preserve the diaphanous fabric.

  • Available colors: 8
  • Available sizes: Small - 3X-Large
04
The Vintage-Style Cardigan With Grace Kelly Vibes

This dainty cardigan, with an eye-catching pearl button, sweetly adapts to just about any occasion. The subtle matching trim on the edges dresses up the plain cropped style, while three-quarter sleeves blend proportionally and leave wrists elegantly bare or allow the spotlight to be on jewelry. The cotton-acrylic blend is soft and breathable and will hold its color well after repeated washings. "I can't even tell you how many times I've worn this sweater since purchasing it," one shopper enthused. "The fabric feels great, it fits like a dream, and also has a sassy retro vibe that makes any outfit instantly cuter." If you want to have a couple of colors to rotate in and out, spring for a two-pack sweater set, which is available in easy-wear neutrals.

  • Available colors: 17
  • Available sizes: Small - 3X-Large
05
A Fitted Cotton Cardigan With Texture

A slightly cropped, fitted cardigan with textural details adds subtle visual interest. Available in a ton of different hues, you can opt for a neutral basic or a jewel-toned statement piece. Its not-too-short cut hits right at the waist for definition, and the three-quarter-length sleeves have a tiny gathered puff at the shoulder for structure. The 100 percent natural cotton is soft and comfortable for all-day wear, just note that it might stretch out over time if not properly cared for.

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: Small - 3X
06
This Super Versatile Lightweight Camel Cardigan

This lightweight camel cardigan is a buttery-soft and chic topper you can literally wear anywhere — and with anything. A long, dramatic hemline and unadorned open front can be dressed up or down, lending a refined edge to casual looks or adding smooth and comfortable polish to dressy occasions. The full-length sleeves are all-seasons appropriate thanks to the fluttery rayon jersey fabric, which drapes beautifully and belts like a dream for a fitted silhouette without any bulk. "It can definitely be dressed up, but would look nice with jeans, too," one review noted. "Love that it doesn't have pockets or anything – just very simple and clean looking, so it doesn't detract from the dress." In addition to the imminently wearable camel color, you can also choose from dark solids or even some colorful tie-dyed options.

  • Available colors: 30
  • Available sizes: Small - 3X-Large
07
A Statement-Making Sequin Duster Available In A Ton Of Sizes

Go all out with a sparkly sequin cardigan in a glamorous sequin design that dresses up the simplest outfit in an instant. "The pictures do this item no justice," one thrilled review declared. The intricate pattern looks custom-made and adds plenty of shine without weighing you down. Fans raved about the head-turning style that netted compliments, although a few noted that one or two sequins went missing from the delicate net. (That didn't stop most of them from ordered another color, however.) "If you’re looking to make a statement, this is it...Definitely a stunning piece," a shopper summarized. The brand notes that this item runs small so don't be afraid to go up a size or two.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: Small - 5X-Large
08
A Soft Blazer-Style Cardigan For A Tailored Look

A shawl collar and sharply angled cutaway front contrast nicely with the laidback ruched sleeves and soft unlined body of this blazer-style cardigan, making it a versatile power-player you can dress up or down. The thin and stretchy polyester knit has subtle texture and layers well, with a subtle drape that’s neither too stiff nor too flowy. "I like that it doesn’t have buttons on the front and remains open, it’s lightweight & yet doesn’t look like a cheap cardigan and has more of a blazer look," one reviewer pointed out, and several others echoed that it was the best of both worlds: business and casual.

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: 4 -22