With the first frost advisory behind us, thoughts turn to pulling out the sweaters. Or, perhaps better still, shopping for new ones.
This fall, it shouldn’t be too difficult to land one or two sweaters that look nothing like the ones you already have in your closet.
You’ll see sweaters with wrap designs. Sweaters with V-neck backs accented with ribbon ties. Pullovers with hemlines that are curved and slightly longer in the back. And cardigans that extend to just above the knees.
In addition, the “cold shoulder” treatment continues with sleeve cutouts and off-the-shoulder looks even as the temperatures drop. Sweaters are embellished with pompoms, pearls or embroidered designs – some dressy enough for evening affairs.
Some unexpected fall colors such as hot pink and lavender show up, as do many, many options in yarns and blends. Polyester, wool and nylon yarns, for example. Washable merino wool. Cotton cable knits. Cotton with a bit of cashmere – and more.
And if it’s the familiar you’re after, an abundance of stripes and Fair Isle motifs prove that some patterns never go out of style.
Here are three trends that pop out at us this season:
• Oversized pullovers. Roomy sweaters do not have to be as huge as the ones sometimes seen on the runways that practically swallow up the models wearing them. But large and cozy are key words when it comes to sweater dressing this fall.
Styles range from oversized chunky-knit turtleneck tunics to swingy sweater capes to slouchy scoop necks in smooth knits. Many are ideal for topping leggings, short skirts (worn with opaque tights and boots) and slim-leg jeans and pants.
But oversized sweaters can also work with long slim skirts or, as designer Victoria Beckham showed them on the runway, with long billowy skirts or slouchy trousers.
Study photographs. Experiment. Take a good look in a full-length mirror.
• Cardigans galore. Even if you have several in your fall wardrobe, you may want to check out all the new styles – from short boxy cardigans to long ones that can replace a lightweight coat.
In fact, some of the latter are called “sweater coats,” “cardi-coats”or “coatigans.” Some are dressy enough for the office; others scream weekend – strolls through the park, visits to farmers markets, trips to the grocery store.
You’ll also find that some cardigans have button fronts, while others swing freely. Look, too, for details such as ribbing, contrast trims, buttons at the cuff and, some women will surely rejoice, pockets.
• Dramatic sleeves. Here are some of the ways that the various styles of sweater sleeves are described this season:
• Retro-inspired bell sleeves
• Balloon sleeves
• Flutter sleeves
• Ruffled sleeves
• Tiered ruffled sleeves
• Ruffled cuffs
• Tie cuffs
• Fringe-trimmed sleeves
... and on and on. Choosing a sweater with statement sleeves is a fun way to update your fall wardrobe.
Just be careful around the bowl of guacamole.