The 13 Best Versatile Sweaters and Sweatshirts for Women in 2023
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The Essential $75 Cashmere Sweater from Naadam is our top pick.
Whether you're heading to a beachy destination or a ski resort, sweaters and sweatshirts are versatile items you'll be glad to have with you. There are the perennial staples, like turtlenecks and layerable crewnecks, light sweaters for an extra layer, and even statement sweaters and sweatshirts that you can build an outfit around — think bold chunky knits, prints, and classic silhouettes rendered in vibrant hues.
Streetwear powerhouses (H&M, Uniqlo, Mango, et al.) and staples like Naadam have a variety of sweaters and sweatshirts that look and feel much more expensive than they are. If you’re looking for something more formal that will translate from day to night, consider a sophisticated statement knit from Sandro or Maje.
Naadam The Essential $75 Cashmere Sweater
Why We Love It: This classic cashmere sweater is a steal given its low price.
What to Consider: It can pill over time if it’s not cared for properly; use a fabric shaver for maintenance.
Everyone needs a cashmere sweater in their wardrobe, and this Naadam style is super affordable without compromising on quality. Not only can it be dressed up or down, there are 26 different colors (core neutrals, limited edition, and seasonal shades) and an extended size range (XXS to XXL), so there is something for everyone. Other highlights? It’s made from 100 percent sustainably sourced cashmere from Mongolia with odor-blocking properties (ideal for activities when you’re layered up over winter). Plus, it’s breathable, wrinkle-free, and medium weight, so you can wear it under coats without feeling too constrained, but it’s also thick enough to wear alone. All in all, it’s the perfect sweater that won’t break the bank.
Price a time of publish: $75
Sizes: XXS to XXL | Material: Mongolian cashmere
Lingua Franca Custom Women’s Crewneck
Why We Love It: You can add your own text or symbols, so it’s totally unique and can have sentimental value.
What to Consider: You will need to allow three weeks for the embroidery to be completed, so order in advance.
Lingua Franca translates to “common language,” and that is what you can find on the New York-based brand’s sweatshirts. Zeitgeisty lines like “I’m speaking” and “my body, my choice” are sewn in, and there are capsule collections designed with iconic destinations such as Le Sirenuse and the Crow’s Nest. If you want a sweatshirt that doubles as a conversation starter, check the fall collection, or if you want a piece you can personalize with something sentimental (children’s initials, wedding date, etc.), head to the custom shop.
Price a time of publish: $320
Sizes: XS to 3XL | Material: Sustainably sourced cashmere
La Ligne Mini Marina Sweater
Why We Love It: Breton stripes never go out of style, and La Ligne does them best.
What to Consider: It’s hand wash or dry clean only.
La Ligne’s collections are built around simple silhouettes and a trend that never dies: stripes. The Mini Marina Sweater is an iteration of the best-selling Marin style in a cropped, chunky cotton. There are various color combinations available beyond the classic black on white, including an elegant mint and gold, cream and cobalt, or navy on ivory. The brand was created by two Vogue editors and Rag & Bone alumni in 2016, and its fashion credentials shine through in everything from the design to the quality.
Price a time of publish: $195
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Cotton
Related:The 9 Best Fisherman Sweaters for Women of 2023
Eberjey Softest Sweats Slouchy Top
Why We Love It: Like Eberjey’s luxuriously soft pajamas, this sweater is a dream to lounge in.
What to Consider: It has an elastic hemline.
Since adding a newborn to our family, I’ve spent more time wearing Eberjey pajamas than regular clothes. And the sweater sets are just as luxurious to lounge in, made from a deliciously soft, breathable fabric. The versatile sweaters are offered in a calming color palette, from creamy white to pastel blue.
Price at time of publish: $84
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Tencel modal, spandex
Lululemon Perfectly Oversized Cropped Crew
Why We Love It: The fabric is smooth and quick-drying, so it’s great to wear to a workout class.
What to Consider: You’ll want to machine wash cold with like colors only.
You can rely on Lululemon for elevated athleisure wear, and this sweater is as stylish as it is functional. It’s cropped with lantern sleeves and there are six different shades available – but the strawberry milkshake is our favorite. The fabric is the brand’s trademarked Softstreme, which is stretchy, smooth, and quick-drying, making it the perfect workout attire for a chilly day. Pair it with capri leggings and a pair of chunky white sneakers and you’ve also got a go-to outfit for the morning coffee run.
Price a time of publish: $118
Sizes: 0 to 20 | Material: Recycled polyester, lenzing modal, elastane
H&M Rib Knit Sweater
Why We Love It: It’s under $20 but looks anything but cheap.
What to Consider: The hemline is quite loose, so you’ll need to tuck it in if you want a more streamlined look.
Fast fashion gets a bad rap, but H&M’s Conscious Choice collection is made with a minimum of 50 percent sustainable materials, so it’s a move in the right direction. Good news to the fashion enthusiasts who like to experiment with trends and colors that wouldn’t always be an obvious choice, like this minty green rib-knit sweater. It has an oversized fit with dropped shoulders and a round, wide neckband.
Price at time of publish: $20
Sizes: XS to XXL | Material: Polyester, acrylic, wool, spandex
Vince Boiled Cashmere Funnel Neck Sweater
Why We Love It: It is incredibly soft and built to last.
What to Consider: It’s a dry clean only piece at a higher price point.
Elevated essentials can always be found at Vince, and this cashmere pullover is a timeless staple. The fabric is luxuriously soft, and the high funnel neck provides extra warmth for the cooler days ahead. It’s lovely to lounge in but equally appropriate for wearing into the office or for more formal occasions; just pair with a mini skirt and over-the-knee leather boots for a sophisticated fall look.
Price a time of publish: $213
Sizes: XXS to XL | Material: Boiled cashmere
Vince Camuto Freya Cozy Sweater
Best Plus Size
Why We Love It: It's perfect to wear on its own or thrown over your favorite tee.
What to Consider: It runs long.
There's no travel accessory I love better than a simple, yet cozy sweater I can wear over just about anything. Whether I'm on a plane or watching the sunset, it's nice to have an extra layer to put on, and this cozy, light sweater is the perfect companion. With ten eye-popping colors to choose from, you'll also want to wear this dropped shoulder V-neck out and about, paired with skinny jeans or even over a nice light dress. Plus, it's machine washable, so you can wear it again and again without having to make a special trip to a dry cleaner.
Price a time of publish: $79
Sizes: XL to 3XL | Material: Acrylic, spandex, and polyester
L.L.Bean Classic Cashmere Open Cardigan with Pocket
Why We Love It: It’s perfect for a cozy-yet-formal evening look.
What to Consider: It must be hand washed.
This soft, 100 percent Mongolian cashmere cardigan is a travel staple you'll be sure to take with you wherever you go. It's simple enough that you can wear it to the airport, plus it has convenient pockets so you can quickly access your main essentials. The neutral colors and high-quality cashmere are elegant enough to complete your nighttime look as well. L.L. Bean also offers sizes ranging from petite to plus, so you can find the perfect fit for your style.
Price a time of publish: $189
Sizes: Petite XS to 3XL | Material: Cashmere
Uniqlo Extra Fine Merino Ribbed Turtleneck Long-Sleeve Sweater
Why We Love It: It’s insulating but lightweight.
What to Consider: For some people, standard wool can be itchier on the skin than other warm fabrics (like cashmere).
Uniqlo is a haven of affordable winter essentials, and this classic turtleneck is a good layering piece to have in your arsenal. It’s available in jewel tones, like a rich green, violet, and olive, along with versatile neutrals. The length hits mid-hip, so it’s easy to tuck into a skirt or trousers. One thing to note is the quickly moving stock at Uniqlo; things tend to sell out quickly so don't wait to long to make your purchase.
Price at time of publish: $50
Sizes: XXS to XXL | Material: Wool
Related:The 9 Best Fleece-lined Leggings of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Reformation Luisa Cropped Sweater
Why We Love It: It's at the intersection of luxe and laid-back.
What to Consider: The turtleneck is very long.
Reformation’s dreamy dresses and sandals are always coveted styles over summer, but the sustainable brand also has an impressive range of staples for fall, too, like this cropped cashmere sweater. Available in three earthy colors, this loose-fitting ribbed sweater is something that is sure to be on heavy rotation during the cooler months. It has a blouson sleeve with a cuff that adds volume without making it too uncomfortable to wear under a coat.
Price at time of publish: $228
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Cashmere
Maje Detailed Sleeve Pullover
Why We Love It: It screams French glamor and gets top marks for comfort.
What to Consider: The sleeves are voluminous so it can be a bit bulky under a coat.
Effortless glamor is something that Parisian brand Maje is renowned for, and this detailed pullover is one of the most stylish sweaters of the season. It channels ‘90s Versace vibes with bold gold buttons lining the shoulders and an oversized, slightly cropped cut. The buttons aren’t the only interesting detail; it also has a defined texture, with an angled rib knit leading into a central line down the mid-section. The creamy color is versatile, and it pairs beautifully with virtually anything from denim to tailored suiting.
Price a time of publish: $325
Sizes: XS to XL | Material: Viscose, polyester, polyamide
Dior V-Neck Sleeveless Sweater
Why We Love It: It’s the most sophisticated rendition of the sweater vest trend.
What to Consider: As you would expect with luxury apparel, it is an investment.
If you’re looking to purchase one trend piece for the season, make it a sweater vest. And if you want to invest in the best version on the market, opt for this elegant style from Dior. This blue and gray sleeveless sweater is inspired by American varsity style, with a contrasting band embellishing the waist featuring the Christian Dior signature. It is crafted in a luxurious blend of cashmere mouliné and wool and is perfect for wearing under coats, as it won’t bunch. Add a T-shirt underneath for a casual-yet-polished look or wear it alone with denim and pumps for an elevated fall look.
Price at time of publish: $1,400
Sizes: 34 to 46 EU | Material: Wool, cashmere
Tips for Buying Sweaters and Sweatshirts
Consider how and where you’ll wear it
Is it a piece for layering? Something to wear to the office to insulate from the air conditioning? Or perhaps something formal for dining al fresco as the seasons change? If you are seeking something warm for winter, cashmere can’t be beaten. Merino wool is also a good option. If you want a breathable layer, opt for cotton or viscose.
Keep seasonal trends in mind
This season, bold is better. Bright knits, particularly in bright green or hot pink, are huge right now. “Look for interesting details like jeweled buttons, boyfriend shapes and bell sleeves to inject interest,” says Olivela’s Chief Merchant, Maria Milano.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I wash my sweaters?
Always check the care instructions — it will vary depending on the fabric. For cashmere and wool, usually hand wash cold or dry clean is best. And whatever you do, don’t tumble dry.
How should I store my sweaters?
“Always fold instead of hanging so your pieces don’t ‘grow’ and use a shaver every few months to get rid of pilling,” advises Milano. Need inspiration? Check California Closets’ advice on how to display and organize different pieces of clothing.
How should I fold a sweatshirt?
Reference Marie Kondo’s KonMari folding technique — it works like a charm every time. Here are the steps:
Lay flat with the sleeves spread out.
Fold the right side with the sleeve over and down so it creates a triangle, and repeat on the left side, so you are left with a rectangle shape.
Start from the top and fold inward.
How can I make a sweatshirt look stylish?
The best way to style a sweatshirt is by utilizing fitted layers. Wear sweatshirts over skinny jeans, leggings, or even light dresses to give yourself a comfortable, yet polished look that can easily transition from day to night. For a lounge-chic look, you can add your favorite sneaker or athletic hat for a relaxed style you'll love.
Why Trust Travel + Leisure
For this article, Amy Louise Bailey drew on her decade-plus career in the fashion and luxury industry to curate an inspiring edit to suit various occasions. She also spoke with designers, leading multi-brand retailers, and personal shoppers to obtain insights on the most popular sweater styles and the trends.
Related:The 13 Most Comfortable Women's Boots of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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