If you think some of this season’s sweaters smack of the 1970s or some other distant decade, you’re right. Preppy pullovers, bold graphics and even some cowl necks can all be found.
Add to these old-time classics some of the latest trends, and women may put sweaters at the top of their fall shopping lists.
Particularly noteworthy is the mixed-fabric sweater. A knit with faux leather, for example.
“Leather accents are very big this fall – sweaters with leather shoulders, leather elbow patches or leather sleeves,” said Tara Brisson, of Leelee, 5444 Main St., Williamsville.
Other sweaters may have a patterned knit front and a chiffon back. Or, as Brisson explained, a surprise pop of color.
Picture a gray sweater with a hot-pink back.
Versatility is another key trend. A knee-length cardigan-style sweater is one option. A unique pattern, big buttons and stylish collar can add to its appeal.
“You could wear it as a dress, or you could wear it as a jacket with pants and a blouse,” said Stephanie Robb, owner of Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave. at Lexington Avenue.
On fall runways, sweaters also were shown as evening wear. Some knit sweaters have sparkles woven into the design, for example.
“They look like fairy dust was sprinkled on them. You can wear one for evening with a pencil skirt, a little black dress or beautiful trousers,” Robb said.
Here’s a look at five other key sweater looks for fall:
• Chunky sweaters: What’s notable about this season’s chunky sweaters is that not all of them are all that chunky. They’re merely textured. That’s good news for women who don’t want the bulk of, say, a heavy fisherman’s knit. This month’s issue of InStyle magazine shows a cream-colored crewneck that comes just to the hip and is not too chunky – which adds to its versatility. The magazine shows it worn three ways: For the office, simply layered over a basic black skirt and a blouse that is left untucked so it extends a bit below the sweater. For evening with dressy metallic pants. And just for fun, with a colored leather short skirt and tights.
• Knit turtlenecks: Whether the look is rather mod and form-fitting or totally relaxed, turtlenecks were a big trend on the runways and can now be seen all over the pages of fashion magazines. And to think many women already have several in their closets.
• Sweaters with skirts: This works several ways. For the office, as with the crewneck mentioned above, the right sweater can easily replace a blazer. Some are calling this pairing the “new suit” trend. During the fall fashion previews, designers also showed knit sweaters, often pullovers, with flouncy or pleated skirts hemmed somewhere above the knee. This youthful look screams for boots and tights once colder weather arrives.
• Oversized cardigans: Along with crewnecks and sweater dresses, the oversized cardigan landed on Macy’s women’s “Hot List” for fall. Again, the look does not have to be bulky. Try one belted over a slim skirt, or wear it open with a tucked-in shirt and belted jeans or slim-leg pants.
• Plenty of patterns: Think polka dots are only for spring? Not so. You’ll see them on both cardigans and pullovers. The Elle collection at Kohl’s included a pullover in a “black tie dot” definitely on the dressy side and suited for cooler weather. Stripes are another popular pattern. And graphics and color-blocking definitely make a statement.
Bolder still: Whimsical sweaters for juniors and women with animal faces on them. Owls, penguins, bears, birds ... they’re not just for toddlers anymore.