Last week I started swapping my summer wardrobe for fall, and in doing so I came to the realization that I have a lot of sweaters. But not necessarily in a good way, you know? I’ve been collecting and trying different cuts from brands that claim to have the “best sweaters for women” over the years without any significant purge.
As I was sorting, I also realized that the ones that brought an “ooh, I can’t wait to wear this again” smile to my face were from the same little group of brands. They’re the sweaters that are well designed, don’t pill, allow for the perfect jean tuck, or fit without struggle underneath fall coats.
And honestly, since sweaters tend to be expensive, I couldn’t keep this realization to myself. Below, I’m sharing the sweater brands I’ve tried, ranked from favorite to least. My rating doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t recommend the brand or won’t reach for those ever again—it’s just an honest take on which sweaters meet or surpass my “perfect cozy fall sweater” expectations!
Everlane knitwear is by and large my favorite. They have everything from oversized chunky knits to half-zip sweaters, turtlenecks, mock necks, cardigan sweaters, and thin long sleeve sweaters to layer under blazers and coats in the best colors (both neutral basics and bold colors). The best part? Their women’s sweaters are usually under $75 or $150. For the variety and the fact that they’re machine washable, I happily pay for these that I love (and own) knowing I’ll wear them for years: the cotton crewneck sweater, the merino half-zip pullover sweater, and the oversized alpaca crew. This turtleneck sweater is on my wish list this year!
2. Free People
I reallllly struggled with whether to place Free People first or second but ultimately decided they’re runner-up in my list of the best sweaters for women. Truth be told, some of their knits fall flat while others absolutely knock it out of the park. Like, buy 2-3 of the same style out of the park. My three favorites are the Ottoman Slouchy Tunic, the Easy Street Tunic (looks great with leggings), and the Swim Too Deep knit sweater.
I treated myself to one of these last year, and I’m a little upset I love it so much. These are in my third spot only because they usually cost several hundred dollars, but they feel and look incredible. Do not buy one of these if you don’t want to get stopped and asked where it’s from every time you wear it. I wore mine to a small holiday party last year and got so many compliments on the neckline, side tie, and quality.
The quality of J.Crew’s cardigans earned them fourth place in this roundup! I’ve talked endlessly about how the open front J.Crew cardigan coat is the best coatigan on the block, but I’ve also really enjoyed this button-down cardigan (last seen here). People rave about their cashmere wool blend sweaters (under $100), so they’re on my list to try.
Bloomingdales has become one of my go-to online shopping destinations because I love the selection of brands, their products seem to sell out less quickly, and they partner with ShopRunner for 2-day shipping. The Aqua in-house brand in particular has made some of my favorite sweaters over the years. C by Bloomingdales is great for reasonably-priced cashmere sweaters, cardigans, and hoodies. I wore one of their v-neck sweaters in this post.
H&M is one of those stores where sometimes you receive your order and you’re like, “meh,” and other times you’re like, “This was only $19.99?!”. Their sweaters follow suit. I’ve found some real winners, mostly from the H&M Conscious and Premium Selection, and some real doozies. You’ve got to be committed to a little trial and error. Pro tip—there are usually very honest product reviews! Here’s an oversized sweater from last year that knocked it out of the park.
Oh Sezane. How I love thee. I have two by this French brand and they win major points for uniqueness in design and gorgeous, gorgeous colors. The cable-knit sweater I purchased reminds me of the sweater Cameron Diaz wore in the holiday, and my sage knit is one of my must-have comfy casual pieces. However, the care involved to maintain these isn’t for the faint of heart. No washing, they must be folded and stored properly, and they’re more expensive than most. Keep your eyes peeled for Sezane’s archive sales, which are a great way to grab their sweaters on a discount!
8. Jenni Kayne
I have one Jenni Kayne sweater and it’s this far down the list because of the price point. I really wanted to write home about it, but it just didn’t blow me away. I will say, the color and cut are beautiful (see it on me in my late summer sweaters roundup). But it just didn’t have that super-soft, cozy sweater feeling I crave. I still want to give their popular cocoon sweater try.
The camel coat I bought from Mango was one of my favorite fall purchases last year (see it in my snow day outfit must haves), so I was crossing my fingers for a similar experience with the sweaters. Sadly, the one I bought pilled and stretched quite a bit over time. Maybe I’ll give their oversized knits a try this year to see if they’re any better.
Amazon Essentials has gained popularity thanks to dozens of “best sweaters for women on Amazon” roundups from bloggers. But honestly, I just don’t see the appeal for the most part. The sweaters I’ve tried have a baggy fit and you can tell they’re cheap from the feel. If you’ve found one you love from Amazon’s in-house brands, I’ve love to hear about it!
Shop the Best Sweaters for Women ( My Picks, 2021)
Let me know in the comments or on Instagram if you agree or disagree with any of my ratings! And I’m curious—what’s your ride or die brand for the best sweaters for women?