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No sweat: Cozy up with sweaters for snuggle season

DesignTara R. Hunt and Alison Baitz, Gap Inc. bloggersComment

We've all done it — walked into a store, reached out instinctively, and touched a piece of clothing that jumps off the rack.

There's a good chance that piece of clothing was a sweater, drawing even the most skeptical shopper in with its promise of warmth and style.

Not unlike a great pair of jeans or a timeless coat, sweaters enjoy a huge amount of fashion cred, and for good reason. They're versatile — easy to dress up for the office or down for the weekend. They're staples of layering, one of the biggest trends of the chilly months.

And, finally, they're back in season — the perfect partner to pumpkin spice lattes and Instagram-worthy color blasts in the trees. Whether you're into cashmere, wool, chunky cable knits or all of the above, here's how to look cool and stay warm in sweaters from Gap Inc. brands.

The Classics

A timeless raglan gets a major update with a touch of luxury with Gap's Cashmere Crewneck Sweater. It's definitely one of those keep-forever (and pass-down) pieces. Another classic crewneck gets a tactile upgrade with Old Navy's Textured Chevron-Stitch Sweater.

"Classic" doesn't mean the piece can't be interesting, of course; take one look at Athleta's Merino Hayes Sweater and you'll understand. Slightly boxy, the horizontal and vertical knit patterns meet in the middle, forming a near-empire waist that lends a perfect amount of interest and form to the top.

And you can never go wrong with a cable-knit sweater, laid over jeans or a floral skirt and your favorite boots. If you agree, the Chunky Cable-Knit Pullover from Banana Republic or Old Navy's Cable-Front Turtleneck Sweater is for you.

Striking Silhouettes and Bold Patterns

If you're looking to shake things up with your look, sweaters are actually a great place to start experimenting. Trying out more fashion-forward pieces doesn't mean a total departure from what you know — think a slightly more modern silhouette, a slightly more daring color or a nod to upcoming trends (hint: floral).

Banana Republic's Fringe-Front Pullover brings together both classic styling and vintage-modern fringe on the bodice. Two rows of short fringe bring major interest to the piece without going overboard, and the gray color means it'll go with just about any bottoms. It earns extra style points for its '70s flair, as the decade of disco is enjoying a huge fashion moment.

Is there anything cozier than a poncho? We think not — and we're loving the versatility of Old Navy's Marled Mock-Neck Poncho Sweater. Its open sizing means it will fit a variety of body types, and it looks great swinging free or tapered at the waist with a skinny belt.

If you love the look of a knit vest but want something a bit more updated, Athleta's Passage Sweater Vest strikes a careful balance between wholly modern and perfectly vintage with its rolled lapel and cozily oversize pockets.

Floral sweaters are nothing new, and neither is holiday-ready jacquard. Put them expertly together and you have Gap's Floral Jacquard Pullover Sweater, a piece that combines a lovely black floral pattern atop a lovely peppered base. This piece is sure to dress up any look.


Cardigans are must-haves in transitional weather — and their styles definitely run the gamut, appealing whether you stick with tried-and-true, want to experiment, or a little bit of both. First, Gap's cropped Brooklyn Cardigan hits just below the natural waist and will neatly break up any outfit it sits on (it also speaks a bit to the lingering trend of cropped tops). Meanwhile, it doesn't get any more classic than Banana Republic's Textured Boyfriend Cardigan. A wide knit and oatmeal color make this nicely over-sized piece (that hits mid-thigh!) feel more like an heirloom than a brand-new purchase.

Sweaters Redefined

Our favorite new-season knits definitely aren't limited to sweaters and cardigans. Old Navy's V-Neck Sweater Dress or Midi Sweater Dress, for example, hug close to the body and layer perfectly under a statement coat or big, bold jewelry — both of which are style statements to make in their own right this season.