Here's how to wear spring's most unexpected trend.

By Samantha Sutton
Apr 09, 2019 @ 5:30 pm

Typically, when I think about cardigans, the image that comes to mind isn’t exactly risquè. I picture twin sets from the 1950s, or embellished options that fancy grandmas might wear. But in 2019, models and actresses have managed to make everything — including dad sneakers and Hawaiian shirts — slightly sexier. So as strange as it may seem, it's not too surprising that they've done the same to sweaters.

It was last September when I first spotted Bella Hadid buttoning a single button on her own cardigan while wearing nothing underneath. Pretty soon, "sexy cardigans” seemed to be everywhere. It girls were styling them with matching crop tops or lacy layers. More recently, fellow model Kendall Jenner stepped out in a shrunken gray option, making it official that this is a must-try look during the not-too-hot, not-too-cold spring season (if you dare).

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Ahead, photo proof that cardigans aren’t only for ladies who love demure, feminine style. They can be sexy, too, and with a few smart styling choices, anyone can turn a simple button-up sweater into something that'll stand out in a crowd.

Bella Hadid

Pierre Suu/Getty Images

Bella was an early adopter of this trend, wearing her cardigan in a classic way, but skipping a shirt underneath, making it seem a whole lot sexier.

Laura Harrier

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

This trend doesn't just work with jeans: The Spider-Man star paired her tiny twin-set with a pencil skirt to give an otherwise simple look a little something extra.

Kendall Jenner


We'll take Kendall hopping on board as a sign that sexy cardigans are model-approved. In April, she styled her own with a matching bandeau top. 


Kendall also showed us the casual way to wear this trend when she stepped out in a cropped option, which worked well with her ripped jeans, sneakers, and baseball cap.

Kristen Stewart

Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images

Kristen pulled a similar move on the red carpet, showing us that as long as a cardigan is shrunken, you can still button it up without it looking stuffy.

Olivia Palermo

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Sure, Olivia piled on those sweaters, but the way she let a lacy layer peek out from underneath made her outfit eye-catching and fun.