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Alright, alright, let’s talk about the super-weird sweater sleeve trend. Or, should I say, the turtleneck scarf trend. Or the super cropped sweater trend? This look has almost as many names as P. Diddy, and when I first saw it, I really wasn’t sure what to think. Like all wild trends, though, it slowly grew on me, so I decided to give it a whirl.
Where did the sweater sleeve trend originate, you ask? TBH, no one can say for sure. My first sighting was via the Simonett Sweater Sleeves, which are more or less a glorified mini-shrug meant to be paired with a bralette for a cute, matchy-matchy look. I love them, but for $90, I wasn’t interested. No shade, Simonett, I think your items are gorg!!!
Then, I saw more and more influencers on my feed rocking a slightly different silhouette—less of a sweater sleeve, more of a turtleneck scarf, if you will. The look resembled a super-cropped sweater, with the neckline and sleeves fully intact but the bodice cut just above the cleavage. This definitely appealed to me more, although I still didn’t believe the piece was wearable enough to really catch on.
As a large-chested gal, I was also skeptical about how this would go paired with cleavage. I’d only seen it on model-sized influencers, and I wondered if it would look a bit ~inappropriate~ paired with 36Es poking out underneath. However, I’m glad to say I was wrong; I felt really cute in my sweater sleeves when I wore them out and about, paired with a plain white tank underneath. I also got a ton of compliments, and not nearly as many “WTF happened to your sweater?”s as I expected.
Is the look unusual? Yes—it’s definitely the boldest sweater trend I’ve seen to date. Will it keep you warm like an actual sweater? No—not unless you’re someone who only needs their neck covered. Do I think it will continue to gain popularity? Yes—the look as already trickled down to fast-fashion retailers and small businesses, so it’s getting more attainable by the day.
No matter what name you call it (I’m sticking with turtleneck sleeves or half-sweater, I think), there’s no denying that this is a trend worth trying this season, and one I intend to wear all the way into 2021. If you feel the same, read on for a few shoppable options below, all of which (of course) have completely different names.
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Super Crop Knitted Sleeves
I’m a sucker for a good neutral sweater, so this PrettyLittleThing mocha colorway really does it for me. I also love that the knit doesn’t look too thick, so it won’t look weird with a simple tank layered underneath.
Zahria Cutout Super Cropped Sweater
If you want to shop small, check out this Etsy seller’s take on the trend, available in a ton of colorways. Choose from beige, black, brown or red—or snag a few and make it your winter wardrobe staple!
Super Crop Knitted Sleeves
In my opinion, this trend could be fleeting, so best not to splurge. This PrettyLittleThing option is only $30, so I can definitely justify snagging it. Plus, I love it for an all-winter-white look!
Turtleneck Sweater Sleeve Scarf
Shout out to Eloquii for being the first plus-size retailer to offer this unique silhouette! The black version is already sold out, but shoppers can still snag a chocolatey brown or classic cream in sizes 14-28.
Cable Knit Sleeve Scarf
Zara was the first of the fast-fashion retailers to jump on the trend (I bought my first half-sweater there!) and this fuzzy black knit version is next on my To-Buy list. I like the straight-across cut for just a little extra cleavage coverage.