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Black cardigan outfits: 30 easy styling tips + Quince review

Black cardigan outfit + styling tips, plus, my Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan review

Happy Tuesday!

Did you start this week feeling frazzled and behind like I did!? 😆 Whew these short weeks, man. They’re great but they’re always stressful, right!?

We had the best weekend in Michigan celebrating Neal’s birthday. (Recap of that trip coming soon!) Was on a mad dash to get as much done today as possible because my mom comes to visit tomorrow! So excited for her to get here–we don’t really have anything special planned, just spending lots of quality time together, hopefully cooking some good meals and going for lots of long walks!

Switching gears to today’s post–I think it’s one many of you will be excited about!

First up, my review of the Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan. Then, keep reading for my tips on what to wear with a black cardigan, and some the best black cardigan outfits I could come up with to give you lots of style inspo!

Short on time? Here’s a table of contents!

Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan review:

Every so often a brand comes along and starts blowing up on my Instagram feed and subsequently (because I’m assuming you all are seeing the same ads I am! 😂) in my dm’s! That latest brand is Quince–and many readers have been asking if I’ve tried any of their items, whether I’d heard anything about the brand, and if their items are worth all the buzz! There was only one way to find out, so I purchased a few things to test drive myself! In the name of “investigative journalism,” you know. 😉 (You can see my whole Quince try on right here on Instagram stories!)

What I learned: From my google stalking, I learned that Quince is basically old-school Everlane. Obviously, I was intrigued! The brand is built on cutting out the middlemen and making high-quality items direct to consumers, for less.

In some instances, a lot less! Their items are sustainably made as much as possible, by partnering with ethical factories which meet or exceed global guidelines for workplace safety and equitable wages. Loving all of this–but do the clothes live up to the hype?

I am excited to report–I really think they do! Overall I was very pleased with everything I tried out in my order. (Again, you can see my whole Quince try on right here on Instagram stories!) The biggest standout though: the oversized cashmere boyfriend cardigan!

I can confidently say this is the sweater I’ve reached for 80% of the time I’ve gotten dressed in the past several weeks since purchasing it.

I’ve heard it touted as a budget-friendly Jenni Kayne dupe, but I’ve never bought anything from Jenni Kayne (so beautiful but SO EXPENSIVE) so I can’t compare the two directly!

So IS the Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan worth it?!

(I mean…you’re reading a whole post dedicated to it, so I think you already know where I stand on the issue. 😜)

Of course, the term “worth it” is all subjective. I can only define “worth it” as it pertains to MY terms and I can confidently say yes, I do think the $139 price point is worth it. In fact, I love it so much that I purchased two colors–the black and the brown and if I had less willpower I probably would’ve purchased a third and maybe a fourth. 😂 I REALLY love this sweater. I love it both buttoned, front tucked, unbuttoned, untucked–however you wear it, I think it’s incredibly versatile and a really beautiful sweater.


It’s very generous in sizing but it’s supposed to be. Therefore, order your regular size for an oversized fit. I’m wearing a small.

Is the Quince cashmere itchy?

VERY popular question here. I think this too is a very subjective question. I am not typically bothered by cashmere, mohair, or other natural fiber sweaters. In fact, I think this sweater is very soft!

However, a LOT of people are sensitive to cashmere in general–so if you are one of those people who typically thinks cashmere is scratchy, I don’t really think this sweater is magically not going to feel scratchy to you!

The good news is that Quince makes two alternatives that are 100% organic cotton–I’ll like those below!

Cashmere alternatives: Quince 100% cotton oversized cardigan OR the 100% organic cotton oversized cable cardigan

Either of the cotton sweaters can also be styled just like you see me styling the cashmere version here!

All in all, I’m really impressed with Quince and the quality of their sweaters. I will definitely be repurchasing in the future.

How to wash your cardigan:

The best way to wash a cardigan is to hand wash in the sink with a very gentle detergent. (I use Puracy for everything, but with cashmere, you want to ensure you’re being especially gentle. Even baby shampoo will work!) Lay flat to dry. Never dry your cardigan in the dryer!

Remember: When washing any cardigan, or any garment in general, always check the tag first and follow washing instructions. (Ensure it’s not dry-clean only.)

Now, let’s get on with some black cardigan outfit styling ideas, yes?

Shop the Quince cashmere boyfriend sweater:

Shop cotton alternatives:

Styling FAQ’s:

What shoes to wear with your black cardigan?

As you’ll see in my outfits here, wearing your cardigan with lug sole boots is an easy no-brainer for fall and winter. (I particularly adore these Blondo lug sole boots I’m wearing here.) They’ve been so great for winter in Chicago and the fact that they’re high cut and hug your ankle make them easier to style than some other pairs. I also love styling them with trainers, classic white sneakers, ballet flats, loafers, and low cap-toe heels. (Examples below!)

On choosing the right cut of jeans + boots with a boxy sweater:

I often feel like it’s a bit of a guessing game when trying to find the right cut of pants to wear with ankle boots and a boxy cardigan sweater. (Or any boxy sweater, for that matter!)

First, you don’t want your ankles to be cold–so you need the right combo of pant length and ankle boot height. I also think the straight leg trend can tend to just feel very boxy in general–and when you pair a boxy sweater with boxy pants, sometimes you just feel like a big ole box!

The easiest tip I can give is to choose a pant that has a slim straight leg. I think this is the nicest cut that makes you feel proportional and on-trend, but not too baggy 90’s-girl.

More reasons why this pant/boot combo works: The boot fits snuggly through the ankle, and the pants are cropped. Not TOO cropped, but enough to give you some ankle definition. (This is the same concept of waist definition–just for your ankles!) If these pants were full length, that would make me feel frumpy. Yes, I know that’s “the look” these days. But it just feels too 90’s for me when paired with a flat chunky boot. (Note I am 5’6 and I’m wearing a 26.5″ inseam here!)

How to front-tuck a boxy sweater:

So, I originally wanted this to be a whole separate post, but it turns out this tutorial is really awkward to shoot still photos of 😂 I laughed so hard when I looked at them and decided to turn it into a reel instead. See that below!

Casual black cardigan outfits:

To create a casual black cardigan outfit, try throwing it over a tee along with jeans, sneakers, or even a dress with sneakers, like the examples you see below!

Black cardigan outfit with jeans and lug sole boots. Plus, my Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan review

Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan (TTS but oversized, wearing small), Cuts Tomboy tee (TTS, wearing small), A.Golde Riley cropped jeans (TTS if you want them tight, size up if you want them relaxed) I also recommend the Everlane Cheeky jeans for a similar slim-straight cut–they come in several washes and lengths, Blondo lug sole waterproof boots TTS (also available here), similar Sezane neck scarf

Black cardigan outfit #1: Button your cardigan over a tee

Another element of this outfit I like (that I’ve been playing around with) is the cardigan buttoned down over a crewneck t-shirt! This adds not just a more visually interesting element but also of course, added warmth, which is always a good thing here in Chicago. The t-shirt is totally optional and I also love wearing this cardigan buttoned-up all on its own (for more of a deep-v–which is especially cute for a date night!)

Speaking of t-shirts though, before we move on–I love this tee. It’s from Cuts–they gifted it to me when Neal did a sponsorship for their men’s items a couple months back. They originally wanted me to do a sponsored set of stories about the t-shirts. But I wasn’t interested because I said “a t-shirt is a t-shirt and I didn’t believe they could be that great” So you know when I say I’m ruthless with my paid partnerships…sometimes I’m TOO ruthless. 😆

….welllll I was wrong and I wish I hadn’t passed on that! 😂 Turns out the tees are actually really great. They’re very thick and substantial but stretchy. Definitely much nicer than your average t-shirt! Oh well–now you know, they’re the real deal!

Black cardigan outfit with a casual white tee and neck scarf. Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan review

Quince cashmere boyfriend black cardigan (TTS but oversized, wearing small), New Balance sneakers (TTS, also sold here!) Cuts Tomboy tee (TTS, wearing small), A.Golde Riley cropped jeans (TTS if you want them tight, size up if you want them relaxed), similar Sezane neck scarf

Black cardigan outfit #2: Styling with sneakers

Exact same elements you see above, I just unbuttoned the sweater and swapped the boots for sneakers! I recently purchased these New Balances (I feel like my wardrobe is gradually getting more casual/sporty just due to the phase of life I’m in. So these filled the “sporty but casual” hole in my wardrobe!)

I absolutely LOVE them and they feel like walking on clouds. I wanted something I could walk for miles that was a bit of a go-between–not a classic white sneaker but not a workout shoe. Can’t recommend enough! I think they’re perfect to wear with jeans, leggings, bike shorts, a workout dress when it gets nice out, etc!

This would be a perfect outfit for a travel day (you could always swap with leggings for more comfort! I swear by Aerie’s offline leggings–they’re SO comfortable and feel just like Lulu’s align leggings for so much less!)

I often wear this combo along with, of course, a neck scarf–because I think it jazzes up any outfit to look more polished and intentional!

black cardigan outfit for casual work environment, plus, the Quince cardigan your wardrobe needs!

Quince cashmere boyfriend cardigan (TTS but oversized, wearing small), Cuts Tomboy tee (TTS, wearing small), A.Golde Riley cropped jeans (TTS if you want them tight, size up if you want them relaxed), similar Sezane neck scarf, Flats: Rothy’s (I love LOVE these flats–see my Rothys review here!)

Black cardigan outfit #3: Styling for work (casual office environment)

I love how this outfit looks with just one button on the cardigan, and the shoes swapped out for my favorite cap-toe Rothy’s flats. This would be a great casual outfit for work (you could easily elevate it with some work pants or some nicer non-ripped jeans!) Of course you could always keep the neck scarf too, but I love tying it in my hair as well! (Especially when I’m traveling or anytime I don’t want to waste time washing my hair!)

Speaking of work pants, I purchased these straight leg ponte pants from Quince to try out too (not that I have a need for these, but I wanted to scope them out for my gals who are back in the office and looking for some nice/versatile/comfortable work pants!) they are only $39 and they are GREAT! Again, see the try-on video here!

Casual black cardigan outfit, perfect for travel or weekend!

Black cardigan outfit #4: A great cardigan to wear with a dress & sneakers:

I love this Quince shirt dress (reviewed over in this blog post!) and it’s the perfect pair with my black cardigan. It’s easy to dress up (more on that below) but here, I’ve dressed it down with a pair of classic white sneakers. (By the way, see my best white sneakers roundup + 23 white sneaker outfits if you’re in the market for a new pair to go with your black cardigan!)

These two pieces are especially great if you’re traveling and need outfits for both business casual wear (say, for a conference) and casual-wear (say, after hours, or you’re extending your business trip through the weekend!)

Tip: if your cardigan is feeling too boxy (sometimes it can give “human garbage bag” 😂) you can either add a belt (like I show you below) or you can actually button it behind your back. That way it will fall differently and the bulk will be re-distributed. Give it a try!

Black cardigan outfits: How to dress up a black cardigan

Black cardigan outfits: try a maxi dress with a belt to define the waist

Black cardigan outfit #5: Black cardigan outfit idea for work: (Business casual)

Remember how I mentioned this was a great cardigan to wear with a dress? A foolproof way to create a dressy black cardigan outfit is to pair it with a maxi dress and add a belt to define the waist!

Also, see my above tip in action here–I’ve buttoned one button on my sweater behind my back, see how that lays differently!?

This is an easy way to play with proportions, since styling a long sweater with a long maxi dress can sometimes be a bit tricky.

How to wear a black cardigan for work – Jess Keys on black cardigan outfits

Black cardigan outfit #6: A dressy black cardigan outfit–shirt dress and heels:

I feel like a broken record here, but ANOTHER example of why this is an easy cardigan to wear with a dress! Here’s the same dress you saw above styled casually (my review of this washable silk t-shirt dress and more ways to style a shirt dress right here) but I’ve added a belt and cap-toe heels. Voila! Totally differnet look! Now it’s a polished outfit for the office, a coffee meeting, or a work dinner.

21 more black cardigan outfit styling ideas:

  1. Style your cardigan buttoned up the front, not just as a second layer!
  2. For a casual look, layer over a white t-shirt or graphic tee
  3. When wearing it loose, style with more formfitting pants, like a slim straight leg jean or leggings
  4. Pair it with comfy leggings and cute, neutral trainers for casual days (errands, pickup, etc!)
  5. Pair with leather leggings instead of athletic leggings for a dressy-casual look
  6. Add a neck scarf to add more personality to any black cardigan outfit
  7. Black on black cardigan outfit: Style a black cardigan with black pants and black boots
  8. Layer it over a dress: adding a belt to the dress to define the waist
  9. Layer it over a slinky silk and lace camisole and some heels for an understated but sexy date look
  10. Throw your cardigan over your yoga outfit and add a hat to take it from the studio to street
  11. Front-tuck your cardigan into pants to further define the waist and change the silhouette
  12. Class-up your maxi dress by layering your cardigan over it. (Optional: dress it up further with a belt!)
  13. Tuck your cardigan into some trousers and add heels for an office-appropriate business casual outfit
  14. Pair it with suede leggings and over the knee (or tall) boots for a transitional fall look
  15. Layer it over a button-down for a more preppy twist to your outfit. (Also good for work!)
  16. Wear it with a mini-skirt or mini dress for a fun proportion play.
  17. Throw it on with a pencil skirt for the office
  18. Stripes! I love a black cardigan paired with a black striped top for a chic, timeless combination
  19. Make it athleisure: layer over a spandex romper or bike shorts for those 60-degree transitional weather days
  20. Layers, layers, layers–use it as a second layer with a trench or oversized jean jacket over the top!
  21. Make it feminine: try pairing with a black turtleneck, some sleek jeans and Mary-Janes

I hope this was helpful and that this you love this sweater as much as I do!

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