How to Make an Outfit Instantly Stylish with a Pullover

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Stylish pullover vest

Is a “stylish” pullover an oxymoron? No! As a little side table is to an interior designer, a sleeveless pullover or vest is to a fashion stylist. A sleeveless pullover is one of my favorite fashion tricks as I mentioned in this article. A tank, sleeveless, or short-sleeved pullover instantly makes an outfit appear more fashionable, chic, and stylish with minimal effort. It instantly elevates an outfit with a twist of your own personality.

At first thought, you might be thinking of a man’s pullover vest. Thank goodness for both of us, this is not really the look we are going for.

Instead, we are striving for a more modern and fitted silhouette, like a dressed-up street style. There are endless ways that you can layer a pullover shirt or sweater overtop of different shirts and dresses. I become more creative during trips where I have not packed for fluctuations in the weather. Out of necessity, I started layering pieces which I usually would not think of pairing together. It is one of the fun things about fashion, and right now pretty much anything goes as textures and patterns are being mixed and matched.

Types of Stylish Pullovers

A sleeveless pullover could be many different types of clothing pieces. I shy away from cardigans as for me they skew a little too feminine and preppy for this type of outfit. So, I tend to lean toward pullover items that are more fitted or cropped for this stylish, layering look: sleeveless pullovers sweaters, sleeveless pullover shirts, tanks, vests, short-sleeved sweaters and short-sleeved shirts.

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What to Layer Under a Pullover

Similar to why I do not choose a cardigan to layer on top, is the same reason I don’t want a traditional plain button-down shirt to layer underneath. IMO, the ensemble is just too conventional and makes me look older. However, I like to layer pieces underneath which are more loose-fitting and unstructured, a bit more flirty and feminine. For me, it is easier to layer a stylish tapered or cropped pullover over a long sleeve. However, a short sleeve also works.

  • Long sleeve summer dress
  • Short sleeve summer dress
  • Blouse with billowing long sleeves 
  • Shirt with fuller short sleeves
  • Lace or ruffled dresses and blouses

Even though I have stated that prints, patterns, and stripes are difficult to extend from year to year since they go out of fashion so quickly. This is an excellent opportunity to increase the life of an otherwise dated piece of clothing by layering it underneath a chic and modern pullover. Additionally, with layering the pullover overtop, you are covering up a large portion of the printed material.

How to Accessorize a Stylish Pullover

Whether the pullover is more fitted or not, a belt will instantly give your outfit style and definition. I especially like this look when layering on top of a dress. It really helps to pull an outfit together and is an opportunity to infuse your own personal style with a unique belt. It just totally rounds out an outfit.

Take a stab at layering a sleeveless, or short-sleeved pullover overtop of a blouse or dress. You will be amazed at how instantly more chic and stylish you will feel with this little wardrobe trick. Plus, I like the added benefit of a more tapered pullover as some current dress styles can make you feel more abundant. The pullover brings everything back into proportion to your frame.

Stylish pullover vest