By Whitney Wilde
With the crisp air of fall on the way, it’s almost time to pack away your shorts and light blouses and trade them in for your coats, scarves and boots. Sweaters are a staple in women’s clothing as cool weather rolls around. Whether they are treated as an accessory or as the main attraction of the outfit, knowing when and how to wear your sweaters is key to fashion success.
These aren’t just your grandma’s knitted sweaters. Here are five sweater types currently trending and how to style them.
Cardigans are a must in every wardrobe, and it’s hard to go wrong with this staple. They come in two basic types: V-neck or crew neck. Each can be layered with a collared shirt or modest tee, but a crew neck can also be buttoned to the top for a more classic look. Cardigans can also convert a summer blouse or dress into winter attire by adding an extra layer for warmth.
Having even just one or two cardigans in your closet allows for variation with outfits. It’s nice to have a combination of one “neutral” colored (black, white, gray, navy or tan), one colored (something bright and fun) and one patterned, and within those, be sure to have at least one crew neck and one V-neck.
A more fitted pullover sweater can be worn with pants or a skirt. If there’s enough give in the sweater, consider layering it with a patterned collared shirt, and roll up the sleeves to carry the pattern beyond the collar. And although it might sound old-fashioned, a dickey, or a false collar, is another way to achieve the same look with a fitted pullover. Add a statement necklace under the collar for an extra bit of pizzazz.
On the other hand, baggy pullovers often provide a more casual look, especially when worn with a pair of skinny jeans and some booties.
Turtlenecks aren’t just for the 1970s anymore: This sweater style has made a comeback in recent years. Although it may seem like the most intimidating sweater type to pull off, the turtleneck certainly offers the most modest neckline.
Turtlenecks can either provide a tight or loose fit around the neck. A loose turtleneck can stand on its own and doesn’t need much accessorizing up top. Wear it with some jeans for a night out with friends. A tight-fitting turtleneck can also be worn on its own, or it can be layered with a fitted blazer and a necklace, which help add variety as turtlenecks are often more of a solid, blank canvas.
Sometimes referred to as dusters, long sweaters are any sweater that hits mid-thigh or lower. Long-long sweaters, known more commonly as maxi sweaters, are especially trendy right now. Although many on the runway are pairing dusters with miniskirts or short-shorts, modest skirts, modest dresses and pants can create just as fashionable a look.
If your skirt is shorter than your sweater, it’s best to go with a maxi sweater to create a large difference in length. Or, you can wear a skirt and a sweater that are more equal in length. Either way, the key is balance.
Ponchos aren’t just rain cover anymore — now they are a fashion statement that comes in various shapes and sizes.
A pullover poncho is often what comes to mind first when thinking of a poncho. They are essentially a square piece of fabric with a hole in the center for your head. But poncho scarves, or an open-front poncho, can create a similar look. A belt can be added to either to create a more fitted ensemble.