How To: Do Chunky Without Looking Lumpy

I know I’m not the only one who’s been (im)patiently awaiting the arrival of fall temperatures. When we think of fall, we often think of dreamy, chunky sweaters.

Wait. What?

Our society, while improving, has been focused for so long on how to look skinny. And yet, come fall, we’re drawn to chunky? A true “chunky” sweater can be disastrous. Sure, we’ve all seen models stomp down the runway in ridiculously oversized sweaters with enough material to create a personal, wearable sweat lodge. But that’s not realistic for me, and there’s gotta be a way to do chunky without accentuating all the wrong lumps and bumps. Here are three of my favorite ways:

1. Chunky Components

One of my favorite ways to do chunky is to choose a sweater that has a chunky component to it, but isn’t all-over chunky. A cowl neck is one of my favorite options, but other options, like bell sleeves or a flowy enclosure, can give your garment faux chunkiness that still looks sleek. Check out my favorite steal and splurge versions of the cowl neck sweater.

2. Marled or Textured Fabric

A sweater with a marled look or textured fabric can also give off a ‘chunky’ vibe. I love the Escape to the Mountains top  and the Counting Stars cardigan from Juliana’s Boutique (use the code ‘mostlymidwestern’ for 10% off sitewide!). The top has a marled texture and is described as lightweight yet cozy. When we say chunky, we think cozy, but a sweater doesn’t have to overwhelm your body to look cozy. The cardigan is patterned and oversized, giving off a textured vibe, and is a great option when hoping to achieve the chunky look.

3. Layering

My last tip for achieving the chunky-not-frumpy look is layering. It seems like a no-brainer, but this can often end up looking unintentionally frumpy. My tip? Throw a form-fitting cami on over the button-down you layer with. This will smooth out all the lumps and bumps of the button-down so the sweater over top doesn’t enhance them. Make sure your button-down is the same size or smaller than the sweater, as layering an oversized button-down with a fitted sweater will not create the look you’re going for. I LOVE Old Navy’s flannels for fall layering.

What are your tips for making chunky look sleek? Have you found success in a chunky component, a marled or textured fabric, or layering?



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