This post is part of a series documenting my 2018 resolution to add more secondhand items to my closet. Read more here.
You don’t always find exactly what you’re looking for at the thrift store, but with some creativity you can make it work anyway!
I have been scouring the racks at Goodwill for a cardigan to use as a staple piece for layering during the cooler months. So far, I haven’t been able to find one that I like, but I unexpectedly found a gem during my last thrift store trip.
I spent a good chunk of time flipping through the women’s sweater section to no avail. I was about to give up and head home, but I decided to swing by the men’s section to see if I could find anything for my husband.
While I was browsing, a super soft beige sweater with a subtle diamond pattern caught my attention. It’s definitely not my husband’s style, but it’s very close to an item on my capsule to-buy list – a neutral sweater. The fabric felt so soft and cozy, I didn’t want to pass it up. But when I checked the size – men’s XL!
Historically, I gravitate towards a more tailored fit for most of my clothing, especially for sweaters. Bulkier fabrics in relaxed cuts tend to make me feel frumpy. But in the spirit of trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone, I decided to take home the sweater and see what I could do with it.
Here’s how I’ve been styling it:
1. Loose Over Denim
The most obvious way to wear an oversized sweater. I can be very lazy when it comes to dressing in the morning. Come on, I have two young children so I’m happy when I get dressed in the morning. The loose sweater looks good with the tailored fit of my Everlane boyfriend denim – they’re sized down one size to give more of a straight leg fit. Easy peasy for mornings when I just need to throw something on and get out the door.
I should mention that these boots are probably the oldest thing I own – don’t mind the scuffed toes!
2. Over a Dress
I like the look of this sweater over a dress or skirt to create a more feminine look. The short tunic length of this dress works well with just a pop of the pattern sticking out underneath the bottom hem of the sweater. Anything longer would look unbalanced in my opinion. This is a super comfortable outfit with the cozy sweater and leggings – good for running errands with the kids.
3. Knotted at the Waist
If you’re a regular reader, you know that I love a good knot at the waist. It can make any shirt look more interesting and tie together an outfit. So of course I tried a knot with this huge sweater. It was a little difficult to actually tie the knot because the sweater material is thick, but once I got it, I was very happy with the look. The knot gives the sweater a more fitted feel and creates an asymmetrical hem that shows off the high rise waist on my jeans.
4. As a Tunic Under a Button Down Shirt
Depending on the length of your oversized sweater, it can be worn as a dress or tunic. This outfit needed something to break up the line of the sweater and accentuate my waist to avoid that frumpy look. I don’t own a belt, so I chose to tie my linen button down over top. Overall, I don’t love the way this outfit turned out, but at least it got me out of my comfort zone which is one of the reasons I started a capsule wardrobe to begin with. I do, however, like the look of the double cuffed sleeve and will be trying to incorporate that in future outfits.
5. Layered Under a Flannel
| Vintage Flannel (thrifted, similar, similar ethical, similar <$80) | Oversized Sweater (thrifted, similar ethical) | Black Leggings (old, similar ethical) | Huarache Sandals (Thrifted from Poshmark, Nisolo) |
This flannel is one of my favorite things in my closet, so I had to try it out with this sweater. It turned out to be a pretty basic look, nothing special, but I’d wear it again. Unfortunately, this outfit is not really appropriate for the southern California climate – it’s never really cold enough to require a sweater and a flannel – but I’ll keep it in the archives for future visits to Pittsburgh.
In the end, that quick stop at the men’s section of Goodwill was a great idea. I found a versatile piece that can work with a lot of items in my closet – a bonus for trying to keep a minimal wardrobe.
So don’t forget to check out the men’s section during your next thrift store visit!
For more thrifting tips, check out this post.
Let’s chat! Have you ever worn an oversized sweater? Or have you ever found a gem in the men’s section of the thrift store?