How to Style a Shawl Collar Cardigan in a Professional Environment?

In the ever-changing world of fashion, there’s one classic piece that has never lost its allure. The shawl collar cardigan is a timeless garment that adds a touch of warmth and sophistication to any ensemble. It is crafted from a variety of materials, including cashmere and lambswool, and can be worn in a multitude of ways to elevate your outfit. Whether you’re sporting a casual style or dressing for a professional setting, a shawl collar cardigan lends a touch of elegance to your look. This article will guide you on how to style a shawl collar cardigan in a professional environment, ensuring you look both stylish and business-ready at all times.

Choosing the Right Cardigan

The first step to styling your cardigan is choosing the right one. There’s a vast range of cardigans out there, but not all of them will work in a professional setting. When it comes to picking the perfect cardigan, pay attention to the fabric, color, and fit.

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Cashmere is a luxurious choice that is both soft and durable. It adds a touch of class to your outfit and keeps you warm on chilly office days. Lambswool, on the other hand, is a more affordable option but still offers a plush and warm feel.

In terms of color, black or navy are excellent choices for the office. They are versatile and can be easily paired with a variety of shirts or blouses. The fit should be snug but not too tight – you should be able to comfortably layer it over a shirt without it looking bulky.

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Pairing with the Right Shirt

Pairing your cardigan with the right shirt can make or break your outfit. A crisp white shirt is a classic choice that will never go out of style. It contrasts beautifully with a dark-colored cardigan, creating a clean and polished look.

Collared shirts work well with shawl collar cardigans as they balance out the relaxed shape of the cardigan. If you want to inject a bit of personality into your outfit, try a shirt with a subtle print or pattern. Just remember to keep it professional – avoid overly bright colors or bold prints.

Dressing It Up or Down

The beauty of the shawl collar cardigan is its versatility. Depending on how you style it, it can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. For a more formal look, pair your cardigan with a blouse and a smart pair of trousers. A silk blouse adds a luxurious touch, while tailored trousers keep the outfit sharp and business-like.

For a more casual, yet still professional look, try pairing your cardigan with a simple shirt and a pair of dark denim jeans. The shirt keeps the outfit smart, while the jeans add a touch of laid-back style. Just remember to keep your jeans dark – light washes tend to look too casual for a professional environment.

Accessorizing Your Cardigan

Accessorizing your shawl collar cardigan can add an extra touch of style to your outfit. If you’re wearing a plain shirt, try adding a statement necklace or a scarf to brighten up your look. Alternatively, a belt can be used to cinch in the waist of your cardigan, creating a more tailored look.

Another option is to add a brooch or a pin to the collar of your cardigan. This adds a touch of interest to your outfit and can be a great conversation starter in the office. Just be sure to choose an accessory that complements the rest of your outfit, rather than clashing with it.

Layering Your Cardigan

Layering is a fantastic way to add depth and interest to your outfit, and the shawl collar cardigan is the perfect piece for this. Layer it over a shirt, and add a blazer or jacket for extra warmth and style.

Another popular option is to wear your cardigan under a coat. This ensures you stay warm on cold days, but also allows the beautiful shawl collar to be on display. When choosing a coat, opt for one that is slightly oversized – this will prevent your outfit from looking too bulky.

Styling a shawl collar cardigan in a professional environment can be easy and fun. By choosing the right cardigan, pairing it with the perfect shirt, and adding the right accessories, you can create a polished and stylish look that is sure to impress in the office. Whether you’re going for a formal or casual look, the shawl collar cardigan is a versatile piece that can adapt to your style needs.

The Right Bottoms and Shoes

Understanding the best bottoms and shoes to pair with your shawl collar cardigan is equally crucial for achieving an ideal professional look. The type of bottoms you choose should harmonize with the overall style and formality level of your cardigan and shirt.

For a sophisticated professional look, tailored trousers or pencil skirts are excellent options. They add a touch of formality, making your outfit office-appropriate. Opt for neutral colors like black, grey, or navy, which can easily match with any color of cardigan or shirt.

In terms of footwear, heels or loafers are excellent options. Heels can add an elegant touch and work well with both trousers and skirts. Loafers, on the other hand, offer a more relaxed, yet still professional appeal. They can work well with trousers and add a sense of balance to your overall outfit. Just make sure that your footwear complements the color scheme of your outfit and doesn’t steal attention from your shawl collar cardigan.

Cardigan Care and Maintenance

Learning how to properly care for your cardigan can ensure it keeps its shape, texture, and color, allowing it to continue enhancing your professional look for years to come. Depending on the material of your cardigan, whether it’s cashmere or superfine lambswool, it’s essential to follow specific care instructions.

For a cashmere cardigan, it’s usually recommended to hand wash it in cold water using a gentle, cashmere-friendly detergent. Gently squeeze out excess water, reshape it, and allow it to air dry flat. For lambswool shawl cardigans, it’s advisable to use a wool-safe detergent and follow the same handwashing steps. A professional dry cleaning once or twice a year can also help maintain its shape and quality.

Always store your cardigan safely. Fold it neatly instead of hanging it to prevent stretching. Keep it stored away from direct sunlight and moths to maintain its color and quality.


Styling a shawl collar cardigan for a professional environment doesn’t have to be challenging. The key is to choose the right cardigan, pair it with the appropriate shirt, pick the right bottoms and footwear, and follow the correct care and maintenance routine. This timeless piece is not only versatile but also exudes a sense of elegance and sophistication. Whether it’s March, February, or any other month of the year; whether you’re pairing it with a crew neck sweater or a polo shirt; a shawl collar cardigan can enhance your professional look. Just remember to keep your ensemble coordinated, comfortable, and most importantly, true to your personal style.