The best chunky cardigan


A cardigan is differentiated from other sweaters by its open-front design.

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Which chunky cardigan is best?

Chunky cardigans are a staple in every fall and winter wardrobe. Cardigans are a great layering item that can spice up any look, providing fashionable warmth to all who wear them. They can be buttoned up or down depending on the occasion and level of warmth desired. This item is versatile and can be worn around the house or to a fancy event. In pursuit of the best chunky cardigan, consider where you will be wearing the item, the color you want and the type of fabric.

If you are searching for a comfortable and versatile chunky cardigan, the BB Dakota By Steve Madden Quick Sturdy Cardigan is tough to beat.


The occasion for which you will wear your chunky cardigan should influence the length and the fabric it’s made of. If you plan to purchase a chunky cardigan specifically for an outdoor event in a colder season, consider purchasing a knitted cardigan. If you plan to attend a formal event held indoors, consider a chunky cardigan made with thinner fabric or that is a cropped length. Remember that a chunky cardigan always can be worn tucked in. 


There are no hard and fast fashion rules governing which color cardigan should be worn with a certain outfit, but some colors better fit specific seasons. Browns, tans, dark greens and oranges are most commonly worn in the fall and winter months, while lighter-colored chunky cardigans that might be blue or yellow naturally are more popular in the spring and summer months.

When layering, pair a dark cardigan with a light shirt, or vice versa, to make an clothing item stand out. If you’re aiming for a tonal look, start with a dark-colored chunky cardigan and layer a lighter-hued shirt of the same color underneath, along with lighter pants and ideally dark shoes that match the cardigan.


The fabric used in a chunky cardigan will go a long way in determining how warm and comfortable it will be. For example, chunky cardigans made of a heavy knit or wool will be rather warm, but may also be itchy. On the other hand, some sweaters will feature lighter materials but use gathered fabric for the chunky look. Such cardigans may be less warm, but can be extremely comfortable as well as fashionable, despite the gathered fabric. Eco-focused buyers will want to check the product label or description to make sure the fabric used was sustainably sourced and produced.

What to look for in a quality chunky cardigan

The desired number and size of pockets 

A quality chunky cardigan ideally will have multiple pockets for storage without making the sweater look bulkier than it already is. The more storage that a cardigan provides, the more versatile it becomes. For some buyers, this will be a very important consideration.

The cardigan’s method of closure

  • Buttons: Cardigans that button up often feature adjustable necklines and can be easily layered with other items. How many buttons are used determines the neckline of the sweater.
  • Tie: Chunky cardigans that close with this method allow users to wear their sweater as loose or tight as they please. While this item is versatile in how form-fitting it can be worn, the fact that there is only one closure means it is less adjustable in some respects.
  • Zipper: This method of closure is more common in men’s cardigan sweaters. Zippered sweaters are easily adjustable for almost all wearers.

How much you can expect to spend on a chunky cardigan

These sweaters typically will cost $30 to $100, depending on the brand and the material. A shorter cardigan will cost $30 to $50, while a heavy knit cardigan will be in the $60-$100 range.

Chunky cardigan FAQ

What kind of shirts can I wear under a chunky cardigan? 

A. Chunky cardigans are best worn with lighter clothing underneath as they generally tend to utilize thicker fabric. Pairing this item with another heavy article of clothing can cause those wearing the item to overheat or feel restricted.

If I’m buying a cardigan online, how do I know which size will fit best? 

A. When buying any article of clothing online, be sure to read customer reviews and the product photos to find out what size will fit you best. In some instances, the size that you normally purchase will not fit you due to certain brands’ sizing. For example, some manufacturers’ products may run small, and buyers will need to pick a larger size than they normally would.

What’s the best chunky cardigan to buy?

Top chunky cardigan

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Quick Sturdy Cardigan

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Quick Sturdy Cardigan

What you need to know: This item is made from lightweight material while features fragments of knit to keep the user warm.

What you’ll love: This cardigan features a front-button closure and comes in multiple colors.

What you should consider: Many buyers report it is not as soft as they expected and that it requires extra care when washing.

Where to buy: Revolve

Top chunky cardigan for the money

Jollycode Chunky Knit Cardigan 

Jollycode Chunky Knit Cardigan 

What you need to know: This item is loose and lightweight. It is made with a quality material that is breathable while still providing necessary warmth.

What you’ll love: The texture of this cardigan is unique, and it does not cause itching as some knit products can. This sweater comes in many colors.

What you should consider: The material is not especially soft, and the fabric easily snages.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Back to Block Cardigan 

BB Dakota By Steve Madden Back to Block Cardigan 

What you need to know: This sweater includes front-button closure. It features multiple shades of brown that make it a versatile wear. It is longer than many other chunky cardigans.

What you’ll love: The knitted fabric provides extra warmth in the fall and winter months, and the front slip pockets are rather convenient.

What you should consider: This cardigan can not be washed in a machine and thus requires extra care. Some wearers say it can be itchy when worn for a long period of time. 

Where to buy: Revolve


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

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