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Which white cardigan is best?

A white cardigan is a staple garment that’s extremely versatile. It can take you from spring and fall through to winter with the right layering. You can wear it with jeans and a T-shirt for a laid-back look or over a button-down shirt for a smart-casual vibe. 

However, these cardigans come in various styles and lengths, so you’ll need to shop for the right one. If you’re looking for a soft cotton cardigan, the Qualfort Women’s Oversized Knit Cardigan is a top choice. 

What to know before you buy a white cardigan

Cardigan style

You’ll need to decide what style of cardigan you want before you buy. Crew neck, V-neck and open-front cardigans are among the most popular styles. 

  • Crew neck: Crew neck cardigans have shallow rounded necklines. They’re versatile because you can wear them closed up to the top to keep your chest warm, button them part of the way or leave them open. 
  • V-neck: V-neck cardigans have deep, V-shaped necklines. They’re great for wearing over the top of button-down shirts as casual alternatives to blazers or suit jackets. Some V-neck cardigans have lapels for a smarter look. 
  • Open front: Open-front cardigans don’t fasten, so you can only wear them open over the top of other garments. They give a more casual look than different styles. 


How long do you want your cardigan to be? They come in standard, long and cropped varieties. 

  • Standard: Standard-length cardigans finish around the hips, at about where the hem of an average T-shirt sits. This is the most common length for a cardigan, as it works with most outfits. 
  • Long: The hem of long cardigans can sit anywhere from the upper thigh to the mid-calf. They’re great if you want a more dramatic look or the extra warmth they provide. 
  • Cropped: Cropped cardigans can be cropped to anywhere between the chest and the navel. They give a trendy twist to a classic garment. 

What to look for in a quality white cardigan


Not all white cardigans are plain white all over. You can find some with stripes or other patterns. Some may be embroidered with floral designs or embellished with beads. 


Most cardigans fasten with buttons down their fronts. However, you can also find some with zippers. These have a more relaxed look to them. 


Think about the season or seasons in which you’ll wear your cardigan and choose accordingly. Some are light enough for warm spring or early summer days, while others are thicker for chilly late fall days or for layering in winter. 

Garment care requirements

While most cardigans are machine-washable, you’ll occasionally find some that can only be hand-washed or dry-cleaned, which is inconvenient. Many are also dryer-safe, but others can only be line-dried. 

How much you can expect to spend on a white cardigan

An average cardigan costs around $30 to $60. However, you could spend upwards of $1,000 on one from a top designer. 

White cardigan FAQ

What matches a white cardigan? 

A. The beauty of white is that it goes with everything. However, if you feel like it’s slightly jarring to wear a bright white cardigan over a dark-colored outfit, mix in some more neutral hues. For instance, try wearing gray jeans instead of black ones or wearing a cardigan over a light khaki shirt. 

What’s the difference between a cardigan and a sweater? 

A. Both cardigans and sweaters are made from knitted fabric, but cardigans have open fronts, while sweaters do not. However, there is some crossover in zippered garments, which can be described as zippered cardigans or zippered sweaters. 

When should you stop wearing white? 

A. You may have heard that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day. However, this is an archaic fashion rule from the 1800s. It was a rule created by the wealthy upper classes to show up those with “new money” and set them apart as outsiders. If someone didn’t know wearing white after Labor Day was a fashion faux pas, it meant they didn’t belong as part of the elite. 

Not only is this completely irrelevant today, it’s rooted in classism. As such, there’s no need to give up wearing white for the winter. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in and don’t worry about arbitrary fashion rules. 

What’s the best white cardigan to buy?

Top white cardigan

Best QUALFORT Women's Cardigan Sweater

Qualfort Women’s Oversized Knit Cardigan

What you need to know: This roomy button-down cardigan is cozy and chic. 

What you’ll love: It’s made from cotton with ribbed cuffs. The large buttons are easy to use and pair well with the oversized nature of the cardigan. It’s lightweight and soft. There is one design with pockets and one design without pockets. 

What you should consider: It’s listed as an “off-white” and looks whiter in the picture than it is in person. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top white cardigan for the money

Best Amazon Essentials Lightweight Crew Neck Cardigan

Amazon Essentials Lightweight Crew Neck Cardigan

What you need to know: Simple and stylish, this crew neck cardigan is a versatile piece. 

What you’ll love: This cotton blend washes well and feels great. You can choose from standard bright white or off-white ecru color. It has ribbing at the collar, cuffs and hem. Sizes run from XS to XXL. 

What you should consider: The material is a little thin, although it feels warm while it’s on. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Goodthreads Soft Cotton Shawl Cardigan

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Shawl Cardigan

What you need to know: This V-neck cardigan with a lapel is great for smart-casual wear over a shirt, or you can dress it down. 

What you’ll love: It’s made from 100% cotton, so it feels good to the touch and is breathable and easy to wash. It comes in a pale off-white hue with contrasting large, dark buttons. Sizes start at XS and run to 3XL Tall. 

What you should consider: The sizing runs slightly small, so you may need to size up. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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

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