cheap and cheerful

24 Cheap Cardigans That Look More Expensive Than They Are

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Retailers

Cardigans are in a strange place right now. There’s the super-basic, useful, keep-your-arms-warm cardigan we all know and love, but there’s also a plethora of trendy options that are fun to wear but might require a little more styling — cropped cardigans, cardigans with pearl embellishments, cardigans that are basically just shirts. The Cut took a tour through the online-shopping options to find affordable (but nice-looking!) button-up sweaters in every category. Whether your aesthetic is trendy, colorful, preppy, minimalist, or somewhere in between, here are 23 cheap cardigans that look more expensive than they are.

Classic Cardigans

These are the ones you keep in your bag for sudden temperature drops (or, when offices re-open, for overly aggressive corporate AC.)

A simple navy crewneck cardigan can be worn alone or layered with whatever’s in your wardrobe.

$20

One word: pockets!

A cashmere cardigan is a staple that belongs in every closet.

A longer, breezy cardigan in a handsome shade of navy.

Try pairing this neutral, honey-colored sweater with shades of white and beige for an expensive-looking outfit that’s actually affordable.

Cropped Cardigans

A cropped cut is just right for springtime. Wear it with an equally cropped tee and high-waisted jeans or a slip skirt.

Keep some bright colors like cerulean in your rotation.

Speaking of colors: Millennial pink isn’t going anywhere. The fuzzy texture is appealing, too.

Layer this with a button-down and pair with jeans and sneakers for an easy weekend outfit.

On-Trend Cardigans

Self-expression is more popular than ever. Whether it’s a statement collar or an out-of-the-box print, these will make you stand out from the crowd.

Perfect for when you need to add visual interest above the chest on Zoom (and in selfies, of course).

Here’s a fresh take on a vintage style. Show how much you love sports by repping a team that doesn’t even exist: the “Iets.”

A TikTok-ready, abstract work of wearable art.

A cottagecore option perfect for a picnic in the park.

Jacket Cardigans

Whether they’re classy and ladylike or thick and chunky, these sweaters are a good alternative to a light spring coat.

If you regard Moira Rose as a role model, this is the one for you.

Here’s to the ladies who lunch – when lunch is outdoors and the weather keeps changing.

Not one, not two, but three pockets to fill with essentials.

There’s something a little Harry Styles–ish about this quirky, old-fashioned knit.

Cardigans That Double as Shirts

These aren’t about layering — they’re just fun to wear.

A wide scoop neck is the perfect blank canvas for layering up on accessories.

The early aughts are back in a big way. Lancome Juicy Tubes not included with this cardigan.

Can’t decide whether to wear a shirt or a cardigan? This collared button-down is the answer.

Show your joy that spring has sprung.

Balance a ruffly pastel cardigan with some leather pants.

All you need with this are some low-rise jeans and chunky platforms. Or style it as part of a matching set, like in the photo above.

Being cozy at the function is peak “hot vax summer.”

24 Cheap Cardigans That Look More Expensive Than They Are