To be clear: our love affair with oversized sweaters started long ago. (Who doesn’t want to spend the winter swaddled in fabric like an adult baby?) But last February, it was reignited in full when cocoon-like knits popped up in the Pre-Fall collections of Pringle of Scotland, Ryan Roche, Edun, Spencer Vladimir, Sacai, Barbara Bui, Chloe, Victoria Victoria Beckham, M Missoni and more.
Oversized sweaters are genius things: comfy, cozy and oh-so-versatile. Perhaps that’s why designers aren’t letting go of them, be it winter, spring, summer or fall. To wit: Max Mara’s Spring 2018 runway — filled with cool, minimalist, tonal looks — featured an all-white, no-frills, knee-length cardigan/semi-sheer shirt/white trouser combo. At Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia slipped lace-lined V-neck sweaters over coordinating negligées and turtlenecks. The prior season, Marc Jacobs (with actual cold weather in mind) teamed outsize wool jumpers with shearling-trimmed corduroy jackets and sportswear-inspired trousers.
Despite their resemblance to actual blankets, oversized sweaters can be flattering, energetic statement pieces, if styled correctly. One option is to streamline your look in monochromatic, head-to-toe knits. And, as proven by Jacobs — and Victoria Beckham, time and time again — you can’t go wrong in a gargantuan knit and loose trousers or a flowing skirt, so long as your footwear is sharp.
Another super soft, fail-safe look is the maxi dress/huge sweater combo: layer a cashmere pullover over a floaty dress (or silky slip), then polish off the look with heels and dramatic drop earrings. A deconstructed knit and jeans makes for a classic yet punky pairing, especially if there’s a tartan button-down involved. Or you can always go the Bella Hadid route and wear an oversized sweater as a dress, belted, with no pants at all.
Especially this time of year, it’s hard to find an outfit that isn’t made better — and, more importantly, warmer — by a giant sweater. Because these toppers usually come in low-key solids, feel free to get wild with the texture, color and pattern of the rest of your look. Generally speaking, you want to keep things narrow and streamlined on the bottom, add on eye-catching extras (a hat, a slung-across-the-chest fanny pack) and try for the element of surprise. One of our favorite trendspottings featured huge sweaters layered over outerwear. Genius, no?
Shop our favorite oversized sweaters in the slideshow below. (Remember, order one to several sizes up. We’d err toward several.)