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Shop styles from Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and Amazon
The subtle signs of autumn are arriving — the aroma of pumpkin spice in the air, a crisp brown leaf on the ground, and the overwhelming urge to buy a fall sweater. We can assist with the latter, being recently inspired by the fall sweater trends that celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Meghan Markle, and Gigi Hadid have been spotted wearing.
“A great sweater should captivate you,” celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy tells PEOPLE. “The perfect fall sweater will reveal itself when you consider three things: warmth, comfort, and style.” She also looks at “the cut, color, coziness, and proportions.”
In addition to physical attributes, you should also consider the overall value. “It’s important for your purchases to be valuable, durable, and timeless,” fashion stylist and personal shopper Elisabeth Kassab tells PEOPLE. “I look for a cozy material and shape in a good sweater.”
Whether you’re in the market for a cool cardigan, a cozy turtleneck, a sleek ribbed sweater, or a classic cable knit, there’s a fall sweater style for every wardrobe preference. We scouted the best fall sweaters from popular brands like Amazon, Mango, Lulus, and more — all for under $100.
Read on for the best fall sweaters to kick off your seasonal style.
Our Top Picks
We wouldn’t blame you if your love for cardigans started with the Taylor Swift song of the same name. Or perhaps, you appreciate the sporty style of cardigans, long paired with tennis skirts and other country club apparel. No matter the origins of your interest, the cardigan “remains a time honored autumn favorite,” says Conroy. “Worn open or closed, cardigans are a versatile piece […and the] perfect addition to any style repertoire. You can dress them up or down and wear them for various occasions.”
Reese Witherspoon is one of many fans of this trend, opting for a chunky, winter green version in a recent Instagram the actress posted from The Morning Show set. Jennifer Garner has also been spotted rocking a more fitted version of this silhouette, with bold stripes and vibrant gold buttons.
If you go for a more oversized, bulky cardigan, and pair it with jeans, it takes on a more casual appearance. Conversely, a thinner, more fitted cardigan can be easily dressed up with a skirt or even worn over a dress. “Cardigans are amazing because you can layer [them] underneath and over, in so many different ways,” says Kassab. “No two people will style one cardigan the same way.”
Get the Look:
Mango Decorative Seams Cardigan
This ultra soft sweater is available in two neutral shades of gray and beige, making it the perfect base piece to add to your fall closet. Its timeless design makes it versatile for pairing with jeans, long skirts, or work slacks, as the cardigan silhouette blends in with an assortment of styles. The Mango cardigan is made with a blend of viscose and polyester which achieves that almost cashmere-like softness. As a result, it’s a little more delicate than other sweaters on our list, and should only be hand-washed.
Price at time of publish: $59.99
Material: Viscose, polyester, polyamide | Sizes: XXS–4XL | Fit: More fitted, button closure | Colors: Pastel Gray, Heather Gray | Cleaning: Hand wash cold, hang dry
Lulus Winter Love Color Block Cardigan Sweater
If you’re not afraid of a little color, this bold color-block cardigan from Lulu’s is just the ticket. The placement of three sturdy buttons creates a secure but playful v-neck silhouette. The materials with this sweater (like many) are ultra soft and as such, a bit finicky with washing — so you’ll need to hand wash the sweater in cold water on laundry day. That said, the stylish design of the cardigan is worth a little effort. It would make the best fall ensemble with a black leather skirt and booties.
Price at time of publish: $59
Material: Polyester, recycled polyester, nylon | Sizes: XS–XL | Fit: More fitted, button closure | Colors: Brown and black pattern | Cleaning: Hand wash cold, hang dry
Free People Lila Cardi
If you want a more relaxed style cardigan, the Lila Cardi from Free People has a cropped, waffle design that would pair just as well with a skirt and fall boots as with sweatpants and comfortable sneakers. It has a good density to it, which would provide some warmth as the days grow chillier, and the soft cotton material is comfortable enough to wear all day. Like others, this one requires careful washing, but with proper care will last for a long time.
Editor’s Note: Most sweaters will have hand wash instructions out of caution, but with materials like cotton and polyester, you can also wash the clothing on a delicate cycle with cold water (coming from someone who owns approximately 50 sweaters and can’t be bothered to hand wash anything). That said, never put sweaters in the dryer: They will shrink.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: Acrylic, cotton | Sizes: XS–XL | Fit: Relaxed, button closer | Colors: 5 | Cleaning: Hand wash cold, hang dry
With over 5,000 ratings on Amazon, this cardigan is a great look-a-like to the one Witherspoon wore on set. It has the same loose silhouette and woven design, and is available in a huge assortment of colors ranging from neutral beige to Barbie pink. It’s a bit oversized by design, so if you prefer something more fitted, we recommend sizing down.
Price at time of publish: $39.99
Material: Cotton | Sizes: S–3XL | Fit: Relaxed, open front | Colors: 29 | Cleaning: Hand wash or machine wash, hang or line dry
Turtleneck sweaters are maybe one of the most quintessential styles of fall. Whether chunky or tight enough to tuck into jeans, they are perhaps the coziest type of fall sweater. Fitted options can go well with your favorite blazer and slacks for work, and the more oversized varieties are perfect for an afternoon of lounging or running errands.
“Turtlenecks are the perfect mix of sexy and sophisticated,” says Kassab. “I love a fitted turtleneck and an oversized one.” The cream All Saints sweater Meghan Markle wore (that completely sold out) is a great example of this sophisticated style.
“For those going for a modest but sultry look, turtlenecks are the perfect go-to,” explains Conroy. “They’re understated, [and] often overlooked, but such a critical base for a number of outfits.” When it’s all said and done, turtlenecks are truly timeless which makes them a trend that you’re going to see again and again.
Get the Look:
Lulus Chic Observations Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater Top
As turtlenecks go, this ribbed variety is a little more fitted, creating the perfect opportunity for a nice tuck. Tuck it into high-waisted pants or a skirt with tights for a seamless fall look. It’s made with a blend of rayon and polyester, and is ultra soft to wear throughout the day. It’s a true turtleneck style with the neck material reaching up to your chin, so if you opt for the lightest of the three shades available, we’d suggest caution with makeup application.
Price at time of publish: $46
Material: Rayon, polyester | Sizes: XS–XL | Fit: Fitted, pullover | Colors: Black, brown, ivory | Cleaning: Hand wash cold, hang dry
Eloquii Boxy Three-Quarter Sleeve Turtleneck
Similar to the one the Duchess of Sussex wore, this turtleneck has a little more shape to it, with playful details like flared sleeves and thicker material around the neck. Available in sleek cream and black shades, the silhouette sits right at the hip and has a somewhat relaxed fit. The sophisticated look would wear well with some denim such as a long jean skirt as well as slacks.
Price at time of publish: $38.97 with code EQGLAM (orig. $64.95)
Material: 88% polyester, 12% nylon | Sizes: 14/16–30/32 | Fit: Relaxed, flared sleeves | Colors: Black, cream
Topshop Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater
When you picture a cozy fall sweater, this ribbed turtleneck from Topshop is likely the image that comes to mind. With its oversized fit, thick neck section, and plush fabric, it feels you’re wearing a blanket — but a stylish one at that.
The chunky knit comes in a soft gray for the neutral-loving crowd and a burnt orange for those who want to wear the colors of fall throughout the season. And unlike many of its counterparts, this sweater is definitively machine-washable for easy wear and wash over time.
Price at time of publish: $72
Material: 85% polyester, 15% acrylic | Sizes: XS–L | Fit: Chunky, oversized fit | Colors: Gray, orange | Cleaning: Machine washable, dry flat
Amazon Essentials Lightweight Turtleneck
If you’re seeking a basic fall turtleneck to add to your closet, this lightweight pick from Amazon comes in at a good price and with easy upkeep. Made with a cotton blend, the sweater can be machine-washed and hung to dry. Plus with over 20 colors to choose from, you could wear different versions of this sweater throughout the week if you wanted to (shh, we won’t tell). The size range is really inclusive and the reviews speak for themselves with over 8,000 5-star ratings.
Price at time of publish: $28.50
Material: 55% cotton, 25% modal, 20% polyester | Sizes: XS–6X | Fit: Fitted | Colors: 21 | Cleaning: Machine washable
If you’re Gigi Hadid, you can make anything into a trendy outfit, but a ribbed sweater goes a long way to add some style for the rest of us too. The model was seen wearing an olive green, V-neck ribbed sweater with some cargo pants, looking like she just stepped off the runway (yet when we wear cargo pants, it looks like we just left The Home Depot).
“Ribbed sweaters are amazing because they’re great for layering,” says Kassab. “You start with the sweater and add on, so it’s great for early fall transitioning into winter.” Conroy adds that “warmth and texture” are other factors to consider with this style. “Not only do [ribbed sweaters] keep you warm during cold months, but they add much needed texture and cohesion to simple outfits.”
There are so many ways to play up the ribbed sweater trend, whether tapping into beloved silhouettes like a ribbed turtleneck or mock neck, or even playing with an off-the-shoulder design. We found an assortment of stylish, ribbed fall sweaters from favorites like Cider, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom, all coming in under $70.
Get the Look:
Maeve Ribbed Turtleneck
This fitted sweater is the embodiment of a closet staple because it can go with so many different looks and be dressed up or down with ease. The blend of materials creates a lightweight feel that’s easy to machine wash on laundry day. It does have a fitted shape which makes the sweater a great option for layering — pair it under a vest, blazer, or even a fall dress for a nuanced look.
Price at time of publish: $48
Material: 63% polyester, 34% rayon, 3% spandex | Sizes: XXS–XL | Fit: Fitted | Colors: White, black, navy | Cleaning: Machine wash with cold water
Treasure & Bond One-Shoulder Rib Sweater
Sometimes it’s all about the angles, and this off-the-shoulder silhouette creates a lot of visual interest for a fall sweater. You can play with how it sits across your collarbone to suit your vibe, whether you want a more boatneck look or prefer one shoulder on display.
The assortment of various materials makes this a soft but delicate sweater that needs the TLC of hand washing to endure over time. We’d suggest the combination of this sweater with denim and a sleek french tuck.
Price at time of publish: $69
Material: 52% acrylic, 20% polyester, 16% cotton, 10% viscose, 2% spandex | Sizes: XXS–XL | Fit: Relaxed, off-the-shoulder cut | Colors: 4 | Cleaning: Hand wash, dry flat
Cider Striped Knit Round Neckline Long Sleeve Top
This relaxed knit from Cider brings a lovely stripe to your fall wardrobe. It has a spacious shape that has all the coziness and comfort you could want, in a range of sizes. Acrylic fabric gives an almost wool-like feel, so the sweater is not only soft but has a good thickness to it, to keep you warm as fall turns to winter. In addition to the whimsical stripe, the sweater comes in three warm shades of beige, white, and green. Plus at $24, it’s the least expensive sweater on our list.
Price at time of publish: $24
Material: 100% acrylic | Sizes: XS–4XL | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: White, green, camel | Cleaning: Hand wash, dry flat
Zesica Crew Neck Ribbed Sweater
The Zesica Crew Neck sweater offers a relaxed everyday option as the months get a little more crisp. Throw this comfortable top on with jeans, leggings, or work slacks — it works with most outfits no matter where your day is headed. With 27 color varieties, you’re not stuck with just boring black or white, so you can play with different styling options of this versatile sweater.
Price at time of publish: $39.99 (orig. $54.99)
Material: Viscose, rayon, polyester | Sizes: S–XXL | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: 27 | Cleaning: machine wash, hang or line dry
Cable Knit Sweaters
If you’ve been queuing up reruns of Gilmore Girls to kickstart fall, you’re not alone. And you might have caught a glimpse of Rory Gilmore’s Y2K cable knit sweater ensemble, the perfect example of this trend’s longevity. “Cable knit sweaters are a true staple for fall and winter wardrobes alike,” says Conroy. “That’s why they’ve endured all of these years. They embody what it means to dress for the season with softened lines, and the feeling of blanketed coziness.”
That said, brands have found ways to modernize this style if you prefer chic over just cozy. “Cable knits are great because they add such great texture to your look,” says Kassab. “They give a little something extra that a normal sweater doesn’t.” We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite cable knits from Free People, Amazon, and Grey Bandit.
Get the Look:
Free People Frankie Cable Knit Sweater
With a very similar appearance to the one Rory wears on Gilmore Girls, the Frankie Cable Knit sweater from Free People has the same classic fisherman design without the oversized fit. That said, it’s still quite relaxed and roomy with 100 percent cotton softness and a cozy feel. If you want to play it safe, stick to the ivory or black colors, or venture into something wilder with the lime green shade.
Price at time of publish: $98
Material: 100% cotton | Sizes: XS–XL | Fit: Relaxed | Colors: Lime, ivory, black | Cleaning: Hand wash cold
Amazon Essentials Fisherman Cable Crewneck Sweater
Sometimes Amazon is the gift that keeps on giving, and this sweater is a prime (pun intended) example of that. Made with 100 percent cotton, the Amazon Essentials sweater is soft without any itchiness, completely machine washable for easy maintenance, and features the classic fisherman cable knit design. Combine the desirable fabric with the sheer variety of options available (21 colors and 12 sizes) and the price (under $40), and you have a staple fall sweater for a great deal.
Price at time of publish: $35.60
Material: 100% cotton | Sizes: XS–6X | Fit: Fitted | Colors: 21 | Cleaning: Machine wash
Grey Bandit Let's Cuddle Sweater in Gray
A modern take on the traditional cable knit sweater, this Grey Bandit pick marries the sweater style with a quarter-zip silhouette. Wrap up in this sweater like a hug, with its loose, comfortable sleeves and fitted cuffs at the bottom (with thumb holes for added warmth) — perfect for a casual but tailored look. The popular cream shade has already been snatched up this fall, but if you act now, you can still buy the soft gray or brown shades.
Price at time of publish: $78
Material: 55% acrylic, 45% cotton | Sizes: XS–XXXL | Fit: Relaxed, zipper/pullover closure | Available Colors: Brown, gray | Cleaning: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry
More to Consider: Stylist Picks
If you’re willing to splurge, our stylists shared their favorite fall sweater picks that are built to last (thus reflecting the higher price points).
Jace Top by Staud: Conroy describes the Staud sweater as a “turtleneck for the ages.” Made with a blend of viscose and nylon, and available in neutral shades of beige and black, the sweater runs for $235 and goes with any outfit you can think of.
Ophelia Top by The Row: Kassab admits this cashmere and wool sweater from The Row is “a serious investment," and at $1,550 it’s certainly not for the faint of wallet, but if you’re feeling a splurge, this is the sweater to invest in. “I will never [have to buy] this sweater again because it will last me forever,” she says.
How to Pick the Best Fall Sweater
When you think of a fall sweater, there are several materials that might come to mind. However, we’d recommend more lightweight fabrics for this season, while saving the thicker, warmer materials for winter. “Sure it has to look cute, but how does it feel?” asks Conroy. “While extremely warm, for those with sensitive skin wool can be itchy and uncomfortable.”
A thick wool sweater isn’t really necessary for fall in most climates, so instead, consider pure cotton like the Frankie Cable Knit Sweater, polyester like the Maeve Ribbed Turtleneck, and various blends like the Winter Love Color Block Cardigan Sweater (or even cashmere if you don’t mind a splurge). Conroy also suggests trying “a nylon, viscose, and wool blend” which is “much softer against your skin” or wearing a cotton layer underneath wool sweaters to “act as a barrier between the [material] and your skin.”
Most of these materials are fairly durable and should last for a long time, though you’ll frequently see “hand wash only” labels to extend the lifespan of the clothing. “I can’t wear a sweater if it’s not soft and cozy,” adds Kassab. “That’s the most important part for me, next to it looking good on my body.”
Not only how a sweater fits your body, but also how it fits under other clothing, is an important quality to consider when we’re talking about the colder months ahead. If your interest is for standalone sweaters to ease into fall, then you have to decide what fit will be the most comfortable for you. “It’s easy for a sweater to not do anything for you so it’s important to find one that suits your shape the most,” says Kassab. “I love a cardigan and a crewneck myself.”
Some prefer a thicker, chunky oversized silhouette like the Topshop Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater for maximum coziness, while others like something a little more tailored and fitted such as the Chic Observations Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater Top. “Oversized or cropped sweaters are always fun, but the sheer nature of their design allows for more airflow, meaning it won’t keep you as warm,” says Conroy. Then consider the other outerwear you might wear with it, and a thinner sweater like the Amazon Essentials Fisherman Cable Crewneck Sweater creates more space inside of coats and jackets.
Style and Weave
We’ve touched on the four major styles here: cardigans, turtlenecks, ribbed, and cable knits, but each really offers something unique. If you want a lighter, layering sweater, a cardigan like the Mango Decorative Seams Cardigan is a great choice. Ribbed sweaters offer a bit of texture, and certain types like the Treasure & Bond One-Shoulder Rib Sweater are a good balance of thickness so you can wear them as standalone pieces or comfortably layer them with thicker outerwear. For more cozy vibes, look at thicker sweaters like the Eloquii Boxy Three Quarter Sleeve Turtleneck or the Grey Bandit Let's Cuddle Sweater in Gray.
“Whatever style you pick, just remember, trends come and go, but a great staple sweater can be used for a lifetime,” says Conroy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of sweaters won’t pill?
One of the hazards of long-term sweater wear is pilling — basically the age spots of fabric. Pilling can happen with extended use, washing delicate materials, and general wear and tear over time. That said, certain materials are less likely to pill than others, such as cashmere, but these fabrics are usually a bit more expensive than your standard cotton, polyester, or rayon blend. (If you do experience pilling, we recommend buying a fabric shaver to keep your knits in tip-top shape.)
“Splurge on a cashmere sweater for guaranteed softness and no itch factor,” says Conroy. “It’s an investment, but it means your new fall favorite will be much more durable than wool or a cotton and polyester blend.”
How should a sweater fit?
The right fit depends on the wearer and their preferences. With so many styles and silhouettes, there’s no shortage of choice, but you might want to consider the various ways you would wear the fall sweater to determine the best size or fit.
If you’re going for an oversized, cozy option, sometimes you can size down and there’s still extra room. For sweaters you want to wear to the office or more formal occasions, you might go with something more fitted that could go under a blazer or be tucked into slacks or a skirt. And when it comes to tucking, sometimes chunky sweaters can prove difficult unless you use the sweater tuck hack.
Take Our Word For It
Madison Yauger is a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who’s tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources and a penchant for accuracy. For this story, she spoke to celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy and fashion stylist and personal shopper Elisabeth Kassab to learn about the latest trends surrounding fall sweaters. She also followed the sweater trends celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Gigi Hadid, Meghan Markle, and Jennifer Garner wear on repeat. Madison looked at the materials of each style, as well as the size options, colors, prices, silhouettes, and washability to provide a range of options for everyone.
Meet Our Experts
Cindy Conroy is a fashion expert, celebrity stylist, keynote speaker, and on-air commentator who’s appeared on E News! and CTV’s The Social and has been featured in Forbes, WWD, New York Magazine, InStyle, and more.
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Read the original article on People.