How To Wear Fall’s Chunky Knits Without Looking Chunky

by CB Blog Team on October 11, 2012

To me, there are few things more comfy than wearing an oversized, large knit sweater. There is just something about being wrapped up in that soft knit – almost like being enveloped in a large down comforter. I have an oversized button-down sweater shawl, that much to my husband’s chagrin, has been in my closet for at least 6 years. I will admit it is starting to get a bit shabby, but when I am at home working – you can bet I have it on. In fact, I am sporting that said sweater right now – oh my, can I tell you how comfortable I am.

This season is all about the chunky knits – which has got me as giddy as a school girl. You can find them in any color, knit blend and length. The only problem with chunky knit sweaters is that they tend to do a great job of hiding your body under their soft layers – often times making us look bigger than we really are, or emphasizing some problem areas that we would prefer stay out of the limelight. So how do you wear it without having it add extra pounds? Read on my friends.

First – I recommend choosing a chunky or ‘cozy’ knit in a neutral color. I have two reasons for doing this: 1- By selecting a neutral color you automatically create a wide variety of outfits that you can wear the sweater with. You can easily throw it on to any outfit because it is a neutral. 2- Neutrals (think black, gray, cream) help you keep slim lines and can help mask potential problem areas. Let me show you an example. Below is a Gap Cable Knit Sweater in three different colors, on the same model. Look at what a difference the color makes.


Do you notice how the red sweater immediately draws attention to her hips and bust. Her hips aren’t even big, but the bright color emphasizes that area, tricking your eyes to make them look bigger. The cream and navy do a better job of working together with the outfit, creating a sleek look. Your eye takes the outfit in all at once, rather than focusing on one aspect. You can spice the neutral color up by wearing a pop of color underneath like the model in the navy color. Just don’t put too thick of a layer underneath because this will add bulk. So my first recommendation when choosing a cozy knit – choose a neutral color. This will create more versatility and a more flattering look.

A popular style of chunky knits is to wear them oversized – like a shawl, which is how I wear my beloved sweater. To ensure that this style does not drown your body and eliminate your shape you need to figure out how to create shape with the shawl. The easiest way to do this is with the accessory that has magical powers – the belt. You can put a belt over the long sweater – positioning the belt one to two inches under your bust which is the slimmest part of all of all women’s bodies. Alternatively, if you don’t want to close the sweater, you can wear the belt with the top underneath the sweater so that you can still see a definable waist. This will help emphasize your waist and show off your shape under the somewhat shapeless sweater.

My final piece of advice when putting together an outfit with a chunky sweater is the remember the principles of balance and proportion. If you are wearing a larger, fuller top – you need to choose something with less volume on the bottom to help balance out your body. Pencil skirts, skinny jeans and my all time favorite – leggings are the perfect options when wearing chunky sweaters. They help put your body back into proportion and help show your shape. Pairing a large sweater with fitted bottoms also allows your body to create a better line – in contrast to lose pants, or wide cut trousers which will create your body to be lost underneath all your clothes – disrupting the lines, ultimately adding weight.

Fall truly is the best time of year (obviously I am bias) because of all the cozy sweaters available. Don’t be afraid to wear a chunky sweater. To help you look your best and feel confident choose a chunky knit in a neutral color to help down play the bulkiness of the knit. Pair your sweater with a great pair of skinny jeans, or leggings to balance out your body. Don’t be afraid to pair the sweater with a belt to prevent your waistline from being hidden.


1. ModCloth Mount Hood Lodge Sweater
2. Anthropologie Skitis Patchwork Coat
3. Asos Wrangler Flecked Cardigan 

CB Blog Team

CB Blog Team

CB Blog Team

Latest posts by CB Blog Team (see all)

Shares 0

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: