How to Style & Wear a Difficult Piece

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I'm sure you all have that piece of clothing that you like very much, but can't seem to be able to pair with anything. I know I have several, so in this article (and perhaps, future ones, too), I am going to try and find  ways to style and wear"difficult" items: helping you by helping myself!

Below, I'll be focusing on styling a sweater that I got as a Christmas present two years ago and have probably worn three times since. As you can see, it's a rather chunky sweater, with a nice pattern on the front and a neutral color which should make things easier. The giant problem I've had with it is that it is very short! Even as I try to pull it down, it's still not as long as I'd be comfortable wearing:

Too-short sweater

(And now my bare stomach is on the internet - awesome.) Anyway, my main concern was finding a way to cover my midsection and also to maintain a balance between the bottom and the chunkier top, so read on to see how I did that.

1. Start with the simplest solution.

For my first outfit, I went with the most obvious choice, and mixed the cropped sweater with some high-waisted pants. Even though I wore some high platform shoes, by rolling up my sleeves and adding a masculine belt, I managed to keep the whole look casual enough to wear to class on a chilly day.

How to style a too-short sweater

The key thing to remember here is this: if the top is too short, compensate with high-waisted bottoms! We learned this from the crop tops trend (see: how to wear a crop top): the easiest way to wear them is with high-waisted shorts, skirts, or pants.

2. Go short and sweet!

A short sweater like this is perfect for layering! Here, I wanted to create a more feminine outfit but couldn't decide between a dress or a skirt. I chose the latter - because this skirt is the kind that sits high on the waist, instead of resting on the hips, I wasn't worried that I'd be showing too much skin. Of course, you could opt to wear a dress underneath and no one would be able to tell the difference!

How to style a too-short sweater with a skirt

The reason I chose the chunky sandals is that I needed to wear something to compensate for the "heavy" top - small, delicate shoes wouldn't have worked. Also, in this combination, the sweater works as outerwear: imagine wearing it on a spring day, ready to take it off once the sun begins to shine. And in case you thought such a sweater couldn't complement a more delicate piece of jewellery, I believe I managed to somewhat disprove that theory.

3. Wear something underneath.

But don't wear something that you hope will go unnoticed - be bold! Wear a crazy fuchsia t-shirt! Or maybe a neon green tank top! I chose a striped bodysuit and I unintentionally matched its colors to the scarf I put on. But who cares, as long as I can comfortably lift my arms without showing my stomach.

How to style a short sweater over a bright tee

Also, notice that I didn't go too crazy with the accessories and in this case, I actually forgot to put on a belt. (But I think the digital replacement will do for the time being.) My favorite thing about this look is that it looks pretty basic if I sit still, but once I start moving, you can see the bright colors peeking from underneath - I love that!

4. If all else fails, cover up!

Of course, with any tough piece, there is always a chance that nothing will seem to work and if that is the case, you need to find a work-around. My idea was to wear a denim jacket on top of everything, with only the sleeves of the sweater being still visible - denim on denim will always look good in my opinion. (Just be sure you don't match the denim washes - you always want to mis-match in this case!)

Denim on denim

Another alternative might be a faux-fur vest or  - why not? - a blazer. If you're struggling to fight the cold these days (as I am) no number of layers will seem too high.

Finally, the green boots add a much-needed splash of color to the whole look and all I need to do now is grab a cheerful bag on my way out and the outfit is complete!

Success! Your turn now.

In the end, I've come up with four different outfits but, most importantly, I realized that this piece may not be as difficult to wear as I initially thought. I want to hear from you now: opinions, suggestions? What's your "impossible" piece? Leave a comment and maybe I'll write a post about it.