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Just a quick PSA: if you’ve been wearing the same gray crewneck sweater since November of last year, it’s probably time for an update. The same goes for that black turtleneck that you’ve been layering under everything. Your favorite basics might keep you warm year after year, but these 2021 sweater trends will keep you looking way more stylish.
If you’re anything like me, you live for the thrill of adding a few new pieces into your usual rotation at the start of every season. During the winter, those new items are usually a new sweater or two (or three). While last year was a bit of a wash when it came to fashion—hello, wearing the same hoodie everyday—I’m determined to make more effort in 2021. Ordering a few new sweaters means I’ll still be able to look cute on my Zoom meetings, while also wearing my favorite pair of sweatpants just out of frame. Nobody needs to know!
There are seven major trends that I have my eye on this season, and if you haven’t seen these pieces all over your Instagram feed just yet, you’re about to. From preppy sweater vests and sporty quarter zips to bright prints and sweet cardigans, all of these trends will fit perfectly into your wardrobe when styled correctly. Case in point: I already have three sweater vests hanging in my closet, and that’s not just because a Gossip Girl reboot is coming and I wanted to live my prep school fantasy.
Read on for the top seven sweater trends worth shopping this season, plus our favorite picks you can buy right now.
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This Blue Patterned Moment
Channel your inner Gilmore Girl and pick up a few argyle sweaters this season. The preppy print has been reinvented in a bunch of new styles that won’t make you feel like you’re wearing your old high school uniform. Try it with a pair of high-waisted jeans to keep the look more casual, or a mini skirt if you want a more retro vibe.
This Neutral Cropped Dream
This tan cropped sweater with deep V neckline and argyle print looks great with light-wash jeans, so you can totally wear it when the weather warms up come spring, too. For now, layer it over a neutral slip dress or a white button down.
This Chunky Cutout Knit
This bizarre trend received some skepticism at first, but it’s a low-key great transitional piece, don’tcha think? Whether you call them sweater sleeves, half sweaters or bolero knits, one thing is for sure: you’ll look trendy AF.
This Chunky Plus Turtleneck
This Eloquii turtleneck pick is a total dream, available in three colors. She’s popular, so don’t be surprised if you end up on the waitlist for your hue of choice!
This Chic Cashmere Pick
We’re calling it now: Collared sweaters are this season’s alternative to button-down shirts. You can layer any number of collared pieces under blazers or thicker knits for an added level of texture, and this brown option from Reformation will quickly become a wear-everywhere piece in your wardrobe.
This Lacy Statement Collar
The collar trend isn’t just about knit collars—you can also opt for statement styles, and the bigger the collar, the bigger the statement. This lacy white collar looks sweet at first glance, but the exaggerated detailing takes it from Pilgrim chic to totally on-trend.
This Gossip Girl-Inspired Staple
You can’t go wrong with a black and white sweater vest. If you’ve been on TikTok for even a few minutes, you’ve probably seen a hundred different styling videos on your FYP showing off this total wardrobe classic. Sweater vests add warmth without bulk in the sleeves, making them perfect for tricky in-between days when it’s too hot for a puffer coat but too chilly for walking around in just a tee.
This Slouchy Turtleneck Vest
I already have a few neutral sweater vests in my collection, so I’m seriously thinking about adding this red one into the mix this season. If you’re not into the borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic, consider this more stylized option with wider armholes and a slouchy turtleneck.
This Cutesy Cherry Knit
Harry Styles must have known what he was doing when he was spotted out in a bunch of funky patterned sweaters late last year. 2021 is about to be the year of having fun with your wardrobe thanks to unexpected patterns and prints. My tip? Lean into the trend and go bold.
This Sweater with All of the Patterns
This fun crewneck is like the trendy version of a Christmas sweater and I am so here for it. The colors are somehow both bold and slightly muted, so it’s a great option for those who are nervous to go full-out with this wild look. Wear it with other similar shades of red or blue for a more playful vibe, or keep the rest of your outfit neutral to let this piece shine.
This Nautical Striped Moment
Quarter zips got a surprisingly modern update this season. I love wearing mine with dark denim or leather pants to add some edge. If your style leans more preppy, consider wearing them with white jeans or tan trousers—either way, the blue stripes on this sweater from La Ligne is giving me major French Girl Energy.
This Classic-Cool Cable Knit
Throw this chunky white sweater on over everything in your closet for some cozy vibes this year. It’s an effortlessly-chic staple that you’ll buy now and rely on forever. You can’t go wrong with a white fisherman’s sweater, period.
This Cropped Fuzzy Staple
While matching bra and cardi sets had a major moment in 2020, this year will focus on just the sweater part of the duo. This fuzzy cardigan from Eloquii comes with a matching top, but you could totally wear it on it’s own all buttoned upm too. Last year’s look was all about more fitted, cardi-as-shirt styles, while this year’s take is a bit more relaxed.
This Cloudy Cardi
Cloud sweaters have been a huge trend over the past few months, and this slightly less literal interpretation is especially cozy—plus, it’s got the Jenner sister seal of approval.