The 9 Best Women’s Sweaters for Summer, According to Style Experts

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Updated June 10, 2024: This article on the best sweaters for women was updated with fresh product picks for summer and top editor’s choice recommendations, along with sweater outfit inspiration and trend insights for 2024.

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Sweaters are a wardrobe secret weapon in every season — even summer. You may find yourself needing a cozy cover-up to brave a sunny beach day that’s turned gray, or a trusty topper in frigid AC at the office or on a plane, so a lightweight knit is always helpful to have on hand. Whether it be a thin and versatile cardigan, a breeze-blocking crewneck, or an open-weave top, our picks for the best sweaters for women earn high marks for breathability, high-quality durability, and timeless style that leans into the season’s top trends.

What’s better than an emotional-support sweater? Luckily, you don’t have to leave it behind for summer, even as temps continue to rise. “I believe that knitwear is a very effective purchase,” says Chloé Harrouche, creative director and founder of Loulou Studio. “They are pieces that will follow you and sit very close to your skin.”

The key to transitioning knitwear for warmer weather lies in its fabrication and weave. Breathable materials like cotton and cashmere are lightweight, while wide gauges allow the breeze to hit your skin, still providing effective coverage and comfort. Knitwear can play as a lightweight layer or a top in and of itself, offering multiple ways of wear (which also comes in handy for summer travel). Styles that can be unbuttoned, tied over the shoulder or rolled up at the sleeve — all of which are included in our shopping list — get extra versatility points, as they can apply to many outfit formulas for all occasions.

Sweaters come in many different silhouettes, with each one brings a different vibe for summer styling. Contemporary trends are leaning into “quiet luxury” inspired silhouettes, like V-neck tennis sweaters or nautical stripes that bring a posh attitude to ensembles for work or play. Similarly, preppy and retro styles like sweater vests and polo cardigans are continuing to take shape in hot new releases from brands like Mango, J.Crew, and Open Edit as updated takes on timelessly flattering shapes.

“A modern take on knitwear calls for a blurring of the lines,” Harrouche says. “To look at the pieces with fresh eyes, to elevate and not put it in boxes. A fine cashmere sweater with jeans, a chunky jumper with silk trousers — these balanced contrasts, I believe, create the strongest silhouettes.”

Below, shop our edit of the best summer sweaters for women, along with expert tips and tricks to curate a timeless sweater collection, and sunny weather outfit inspiration featuring our favorite knits.

Top Sweaters for Women of 2024

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Editor’s Choice: Top 3 Women’s Sweaters of 2024

Now that summer’s here, your heavy wool blends won’t be of much use, so it’s due time for a lightweight swap. The best women’s sweaters for summer come in a wide range of silhouettes, fabrications, and styles, so rather than selecting a singular universal recommendation, we’ve compiled our top three picks that’ll keep you covered without making you break a sweat. We evaluated our top picks based on essential criteria, like stylish versatility, comfortable materials, and long-term durability, so you can rely on a summer’s worth of wear and then some. Below, the top sweaters on our wish list this season.

  • J.Crew Relaxed Crewneck Beach Sweater: An emergency sweater is a must-have in any beach bag, and this sweater was designed for just that. Soft and textural, this trendy butter yellow crewneck looks chic tied over the shoulder or as an added layer when the breeze picks up.

  • Abercrombie The A&F Mara Button-Up Sweater Vest: The vest trend is still in full-effect for summer. This lightweight cotton blend is supremely versatile layered over a button-up for the office or as a top with cut-offs on the weekends. Shiny gold buttons bring polish, while also offering the option to wear it as a sleeveless open cardigan over a tank.

  • Banana Republic Linen Sailor Sweater: Hey, sailor! This vintage-inspired women’s sweater brings in quintessential coastal vibes for summer, with a wide-laying collar and nautical striping that looks so “old money” for practically any summer occasion. The relaxed fit makes it comfy for daily wear, while its soft linen blend will keep you cool when you transition from shade to sun.

women's sweater
women's sweater


J.Crew Relaxed Crewneck Beach Sweater

Editor testing review rating: 5/5
Size Range: XXS to 3XL
Colorways: Buff Clay, Rich Olive, Spring Blush, Antique White, Black, Navy, and more
Fabric: 70% cotton, 30% recycled polyester
Care: Hand wash


Buy Now at j. Crew

Specially-designed for beach, this bestselling and top-rated crewneck from J.Crew will be your bestie all summer long. Featuring a textural and lightweight cotton knit, along with bold ribbed trims, this style is easy to throw on when you feel a chill in the air. We love this buttery yellow shade that’s on-trend this season, but you can choose from vibrant hues and staple neutrals that’ll no doubt carry you well through fall.

What testers say: “I bought this in two colors and I’m going back for more! It’s the perfect length and fit (a little loose fit but not baggy) and looks good both dressed up and with shorts and flat sandals. It has a more open weave and is great for cool summer evenings and ‘not so warm’ days. I’m 5’4, usually an XS/S, but ordered the small for a slight over-sized fit.”

Versatility: 5/5 rating | Comfort: 5/5 rating | Durability: 5/5 rating

Price upon publish date of this article: $98

women's sweater
women's sweater

Abercrombie The A&F Mara Button-Up Sweater Vest

Editor testing review rating: 4.9/5
Size Range: XXS to XL
Colorways: Taupe, Navy, Cream, Navy Stripe, and Black
Fabric: 60% cotton, 20% nylon, 20% viscose
Care: Machine wash cold


Buy Now at abercrombie

The beauty of a sweater vest is that you can wear it all season long as a top in the summer, then easily transition it for fall over a long-sleeved tee when the temps start to drop. This polished style from Abercrombie features a blend of nylon, cotton, and viscose that’s not only super soft but also breathable — meaning it won’t leave you breaking a sweat. Its slim-fitting silhouette appears slightly cropped, which pairs perfect with high-waisted jeans and midi skirts, while its V-neckline is just deep enough to show a little sun-kissed skin.

What testers say: “I have worn this vest so many times I’ve lost count! I live in Florida and love to wear it by itself or with a tank under. But I’ve also worn it up north with a tee and it was cute too!! So many ways to style it. I just purchased another color!”

Versatility: 4.9/5 rating | Comfort: 5/5 rating | Durability: 4.9/5 rating

Price upon publish date of this article: $50

women's sweater
women's sweater


Banana Republic Linen Sailor Sweater

Editor testing review rating: 4.9/5
Size Range: XS to XXL
Colorways: Neutral Stipe and Passion Flower Blue
Fabric: 100% flax (linen)
Care: Machine wash


Buy Now at banana republic

This chic sailor sweater from Banana Republic covers all the bases: A comfy and slouchy fit, breathable linen material, and a summery “quiet luxury” attitude. Inspired by vintage sailor uniforms, the new, oversized long-sleeve sweater features a wide-laying sailor collar with a straight ribbed hem that comfortably cinches the waist. Throw it over your swimsuit for a day on the coast, or style it with slacks to brave the chilly AC at the office.

Versatility: 4.9/5 rating | Comfort: 5/5 rating | Durability: 5/5 rating

Price upon publish date of this article: $160

women's sweater
women's sweater

Open Edit Collar Rib Cardigan

Size Range: XXS to L
Colorways: Blue Hydrangea and Green Calm
Fabric: 77% rayon, 20% nylon, 3% spandex
Care: Hand wash

$26.97 $69 61% off

Buy Now at nordstrom

This cardigan from Open Edit fronts a design that melds a classic polo collar with a sleek and flattering longline fit. Its thin fabrication won’t weight you down in the sun, and it makes for a versatile topper you can wear with trousers at work or open as a lightweight layer over a tank top or tee on the weekends. Pro tip: secure the middle two buttons to cinch your waist and create a flared-out hourglass shape over baggy jeans and skirts.

What testers say: “I love the material — it has a slight sheen to it. I love that it will dress up any outfit. Nice fit and perfect length!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $26.97

women's sweater
women's sweater

Bandier The Upside Louie Sweater

Size Range: XS to L
Colorways: White
Fabric: 100% organic cotton
Care: Machine wash


Buy Now at Neiman Marcus

Tenniscore, anyone? The sporty-chic, mid-weight style is one of the biggest trends of the season, with vintage-inspired knits being an essential element of the aesthetic. This oversized Bandier sweater hits the nail on the head with retro-striping, a deep V-neckline, cable panelling, and embroidered touches that underscore its “old money” appeal.

Price upon publish date of this article: $180

women's sweater
women's sweater

Free People Miranda Sweater Set

Size Range: XS to XL
Colorways: Pink A Boo, Aven, Wet Plaster, Mocha, Summer Fig, and more
Fabric: 62% ccrylic, 38% cotton
Care: Hand wash cold


Buy Now at free people

You can still wear knits head-to-toe in the heat with a lightweight sweater set like this one from Free People. It includes a longline, tunic-fit boatneck top with high side slits for exceptional breathability, along with pull-on ribbed shorts. Not only does this matching pair make you look especially put-together, it simplifies daily styling and allows you to mix and match with other pieces — so ideal for travel.

What testers say: “Love this! I got it in black and I’m ordering it in the Wet Plaster color. I love that I can wear this and still breastfeed in it! Perfect for summer and in the winter I can layer over a long sleeve. Highly recommend! I ordered just for the top, the shorts are a little bonus but I’ll mainly wear with jean shorts or pants. I’m 5’10, long torso, 150 pounds and ordered a small. The length is good.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $78

women's sweater
women's sweater

Banana Republic Cashmere-Linen One-Shoulder Sweater

Size Range: XXS to XXL
Colorways: Sugar Melon and Twine Beige
Fabric: 62% cashmere, 38% linen.
Care: Hand Wash


Buy Now at banana republic

There’s nothing worse than sitting down for a sunset dinner only to be left shivering by the time dessert is served. This one-shoulder sweater is the solution. It’s reminiscent of a blouse or dressy top in silhouette, with a lightweight cashmere and linen fabrication that provides insulation and cozy-softness when a tank or tube top is a no-go. It drapes beautifully over the torso for a laid-back-yet-polished feel, and this Sugar Melon colorway is sure to sparkle under the moonlight all night long.

Price upon publish date of this article: $160

women's sweater
women's sweater

Ganni Crop Pointelle Organic Cotton Cardigan

Size Range: XS to XXL
Colorways: Egret
Fabric: 100% cotton
Care: Hand wash


Buy Now at nordstrom

Buy Now At Saks Fifth Avenue $275

A short-sleeve, wide-gauge cardigan is a great option for summer, and this posh style from Ganni is super versatile to wear as a blouse. Its crewneck neckline, shiny buttons, and pointelle weave allows it to play ladylike for work, while the short hem can feel laid-back for brunch or picnics in the park.

Price upon publish date of this article: $275

9 Best Women's Sweaters 2024
9 Best Women's Sweaters 2024

Mango Knitted Cardigan With Bow

Size Range: XS to XL
Colorways: Ecru
Fabric: 100% cotton
Care: Machine wash

Buy Now at mango $45.99

For a modern take on a classic cardigan, look to Mango’s Knitted Cardigan that secures with bows. This style won’t leave you feeling stuffy, thanks to its airy cotton fabrication and wide front openings that allow you the option to flash a vibrant tee or tank underneath. It’s finished with fuss-free feminine touches, like ruffle hems and cuffs and a high round neckline.

Price upon publish date of this article: $45.99

What to Look for in a Women’s Sweater

There’s a wide selection of women’s sweaters to shop for all seasons, so it’s important to consider the level of warmth you’re looking for and how you intend to style your new knit for summer.

  • Material: Sweaters can be knit from cashmere, cotton, wool, alpaca, synthetic fibers, and more, or they could be a combination of several materials. “The weight and material is the best way to choose sweaters based on the time of year,” says Harrouche. Cotton is your best bet for summer, as it’s the most breathable, reliably soft, and easy to wash. If you’re looking for more insulation (or stocking up for the chillier month) opt for wool and cashmere, of which can also play dual roles seasonally, depending on the gauge.

  • Gauge: The gauge of a sweater is the measurement used to determine the stitch count in an inch of knitted fabric. Various gauges will impact their density and warmth factors. Fine gauge will often represent lighter-weight fabrics, while heavy-gauge creates thicker, more insulating knits. Cashmere, for example, when knitted in a fine gauge, can be very lightweight and thin, which will work for warmer months, or it can be knitted in a heavier gauge technique for warmth in the winter. For summer, you can also consider wider gauges that look similar to netting.

  • Silhouette: The best part about sweaters is that there are a plethora of different shapes on the market. From cardigans to pullovers, turtlenecks, vests, and more, you can have it all — but make sure you know how you’ll style it before you take the plunge. If you’re looking for a staple style that’ll last you years of wear, you can never go wrong with a versatile crewneck or cardigan. Additionally, petite statures will be best flattering with slightly cropped hems, while those who are taller have more room to play with oversized shapes.

  • Price: The materials that the yarn is made from will impact the price point of the garment. Polyester, acrylics, and nylons will be less expensive than natural materials like cotton and cashmere, which require more intricate production processes. When possible, look for recycled materials and blends that offer a higher quality yarn at a fraction of the price. However, any sweater that’s versatile, durable, and comes in a timeless silhouette will always be well worth the spend.

The Different Types of Women’s Sweaters

  • Crewneck sweater: The most classic sweater shape is generally the crewneck. Inspired by the popular cut of athletic tees and sweatshirts, the design quickly became popular in the knitwear arena, as well. Whether thin, chunky, or ribbed, a crewneck sweater is one of the most popular types in a women’s wardrobe.

  • Hooded sweater: “A hoodie for ease and comfort when traveling,” Harrouche adds as a must-have on her list. A street style favorite silhouette, the hoodie needn’t be reserved for only fleece sweatshirt materials. Today, hoodies have found new life, with designers often offering the shape in luxurious yarns, such as 100% cashmere.

  • Cardigan sweater: Cardigans can be worn closed or left open and unfinished without closures. Cardigans are generally cut in either crewneck or V-neck shapes and were inspired by British uniform waistcoats.

  • Mock neck sweater: It’s time to test drive the mock neck sweater. A mock neck sweater is similar to a turtleneck; however, the neck is about half the length of a turtleneck’s, perfect for those who feel a turtleneck is suffocating. Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic are some of our favorite brands with the best mock neck sweaters of the season.

  • Polo sweater: Lean into the preppy aesthetic with a polo sweater. These are simple sweaters with collars made up of lightweight (soft ribbed) knits, with some featuring buttons. These versatile tops can easily be worn with skirts, jeans, and tailored trousers.

  • Sweater vest: A sweater vest may not come to mind when first thinking of a women’s sweater, however, it’s a supremely versatile knit option for any season. Whether loose or fitted, cropped or longline, plain or patterned, sweater vests go with everything.

How to Style a Women’s Sweater for Summer — Summer Sweater Outfit Ideas

Beach Babe

J.Crew Relaxed Crewneck Beach Sweater

Buy Now at J.crew

Shown with: Cuup The Bandeau Swim Top ($88), Cuup The Bikini Swim Bottoms ($79), Casablanca Cotton Crochet Tote ($440), Reformation Ludo Ring Strappy Flat Sandals ($128)

Contemporary and Casual

Abercrombie The A&F Mara Button-Up Sweater Vest

Buy Now at Abercrombie

Shown with: Madewell Rilee Denim Midi Skirt ($110), Clare V. Pot De Miel Handbag ($275), Schutz Heloise Metallic Leather Slingback Sandals ($128)

Negroni Knits

Banana Republic Cashmere-Linen One-Shoulder Sweater

Buy Now at Banana Republic

Shown with: Loveshackfancy Banti Floral Maxi Skirt ($416) Castaner Faye Raffia Ankle-Strap Platform Espadrilles ($390)

How to Wash and Care for Sweaters

Before buying a sweater, be sure to take a look at the care label and specifications. Seasonal upkeep of knitwear is essential to keeping it in a pristine, newly bought state. Plus, it will allow the garment to remain wearable over the years. “Natural knits are inherently durable, but they require proper care,” Harrouche says. “For my pieces, I do delicate hand washing with cold water and flat drying to keep their shape.”

Also, storage is an important factor to consider when it comes to sweater care. Be sure to avoid hanging sweaters when storing, as this will cause stretching of the garment over time. Once clean, fold sweaters into airtight containers or space bags to prevent damage or erosion from the elements (for instance, moths). Proper storage is as equally important in order to retain quality as is the correct washing methods.

How We Selected the Best Women’s Sweaters for 2024

Since 1910, WWD — often referred to as “the fashion bible” — has been the leading industry voice of authority for senior executives in the global women’s and men’s fashion, retail, and beauty communities, while also informing the consumer media that cover the market. Today, WWD’s breaking news and trend coverage continues to be a trustworthy resource for both fashion insiders and consumers alike. Our shopping editors continue to uphold WWD’s editorial standards and values with quality, expert-backed product selections.

To curate our top lists of women’s sweaters on the market, we interviewed a fashion expert for insight on high-quality fabrications, trend insights, and insider recommendations to shop. We conducted thorough research across the contemporary fashion market and compared top-rated customer reviews for universally satisfactory options. Additionally, we assessed products through hands-on editor testing, evaluating materials, fits, and silhouettes, to compile well-worthy sweaters that are worth the buy. Learn more about us here.

Meet the Expert

Chloé Harrouche is the founder and creative director of Loulou Studio. With a background in fashion consulting for nearly 10 years, Harrouche finds inspiration in art, architecture, and Paris, her muse. Her intuitive yet exacting design process drove her to establish Loulou Studio in order to offer a timeless wardrobe of everyday essentials. Also, the brand’s Creative Director, Chloé Harrouche creates powerful collections blending comfort, detail, and structure, reflecting a bold, authentic take on the feminine silhouette.

Meet the Authors

Kristina Rutkowski is a New York-based freelance writer and editor focusing on fashion. She was previously the Senior Fashion Market Editor at InStyle, covering everything trends and shopping. She has also worked in the fashion departments at Self and Glamour. Her bylines have appeared on,,, and Rutkowski owns many sweaters, but she also canvassed the market and interviewed a fashion designer and digital creator for input on the most important factors to consider when selecting women’s sweaters.

Olivia Cigliano is a Commerce Writer & Producer at Footwear News and WWD where she writes and edits shopping content across fashion, beauty, footwear, TikTok style trends, and more. Cigliano received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College, and her byline can be found in publications including Elite Daily and CR Fashion Book. She is currently based in New York City. Cigliano updated this women’s sweater shopping guide for 2024 with retailer new releases, Editor’s Choice recommendations, and fresh trends for summer.

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