Best duster cardigan


When creating an outfit with a duster cardigan, most recommend pairing it with skinny jeans or leggings, a knit top and ankle boots.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which duster cardigans are best?

Whether it’s to keep you warm and cozy on those cooler days or to wear as a simple cover up for a night out, a duster cardigan is known for its comfort and versatility. Duster cardigans, or long cardigans, are just that — a long, open-front cardigan usually made out of a light knit fabric like cotton or rayon. The Nine West Marled Rib Knit Duster Cardigan is the top choice for its versatility and multiple color options.

What to know before you buy a duster cardigan

Type of fabric and length you want

While most duster cardigans are made from a light, soft fabric, you may see thicker fabrics being used. Understanding what type of fabric and length you want is a great start in narrowing down your selection. Keep in mind that thicker fabrics like wool or twill may be more difficult to layer but will provide more durability and warmth. Some duster cardigans are floor length while others stop at the upper thigh or knee. Knowing your height will help you with your decision making. 

What style you prefer 

The basic style is long of course, but some dusters have slits on the sides near the thigh, while others may have a curved hem or lace trim. Even though a duster cardigan is considered casual wear, these added details can dress up an outfit and make it more formal or professional. 

How to wear

Duster cardigans have gained popularity for how easily they can be worn with just about any outfit. Regardless of what style you choose, most people wear them with jeans, boots or a dress. For example, fall coats are worn in a similar way. 

What to look for in a quality duster cardigan

Fabric quality

The quality of the fabric in these garments can make or break a purchase for duster cardigans. Those that are lighter may not last as long in terms of durability and care. If the material is too thin for your liking, look into cardigans made with rayon and polyester blends as those fabrics tend to stretch more.

On the other hand, duster cardigans can be made with thicker fabrics like cotton or wool, giving a cable knit look and texture. These bulkier cardigans are ideal for colder weather days and do not require a lot of additional coverings.

Additional features

Some duster cardigans include a belt or buttons and if you are looking to have the option to keep it open or closed, these features are a few to consider. Aside from buttons and belts, these cardigans can have pockets and hoods as well. 


Are you looking for a duster cardigan to layer over a short sleeve top or something that fits over other long sleeves or with a jacket? These are usually more lightweight with form fitting sleeves. Some duster cardigans are worn more like a coat due to the thicker fabric but this may be something you prefer. 

How much you can expect to spend on a duster cardigan

Cheaper duster cardigans can cost as low as $18-$20, but be wary of the quality. A higher value duster cardigan can range from $40-$70 based on brand, fabric type and retailer. These costs are similar to a regular cardigan if you decide to compare.

Duster cardigan FAQ

Is a duster cardigan just like a jacket?

A. Not exactly. The major differences between the two is that jackets usually have a zipper closure and the length stops at or near the hips. A duster cardigan’s length goes past the thigh, sometimes nearly floor length, and zippers are typically not used. 

How do you care for a duster cardigan?

A. Duster cardigans should be treated based on the fabric type and may not need to be cleaned as often as other garments since they are typically worn over other clothing. The thinner fabrics may require washing on a delicate cycle and hanging to dry whereas others can be washed and dried in a regular cycle. 

How do you layer with a duster cardigan?

A. In terms of layering, a duster cardigan is already a layer over a top or dress, so it’s important to think about how many layers you are adding underneath and go from there. In addition, pairing a scarf or even a belt with a duster cardigan can create a unique look without it being too bulky.

What’s the best duster cardigan to buy?

Top duster cardigan

Nine West Marled Rib Knit Duster Cardigan

Nine West Marled Rib Knit Duster Cardigan

What you need to know: A versatile lightweight cardigan that can be easily layered and worn day or night.

What you’ll love: The soft ribbed knit fabric comes in an array of colors and the side slits near the thigh help with movement. 

What you should consider: Fabric may be too thin to wear alone in colder climates making it more preferred to wear indoors.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Top duster cardigan for the money

Naggoo Long Button Down Cardigan with Pockets

Naggoo Long Button Down Cardigan with Pockets

What you need to know: This long duster cardigan mixes design and affordability together thanks to the added features.

What you’ll love: Aside from the pockets, it includes button accents on the front, and a fashionable high-low hem on this casually designed cardigan.

What you should consider: Customer reviews mention the color in the photos not being the exact color of the cardigan they purchased.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

INC International Concepts Ribbed Duster Cardigan

INC International Concepts Ribbed Duster Cardigan

What you need to know: A comfortable duster cardigan sweater that is perfect for layering over a shirt or blouse and dressing up a fall outfit. 

What you’ll love: The textured fabric is ribbed throughout, adding a simple sophisticated look that is soft to the touch. 

What you should consider: There are not many color options to choose from and some customers mentioned issues with the seams and the length being too short. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Shelby Sears  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.