Asian women wearing ivory turtleneck and shades

As a knitwear designer for the last eighteen years, I can say I DO know a thing or two about sweaters. Not to toot my own horn, but I know what I’m talking about when it comes to “knit and purl”. Ever since my entry level job at Liz Claiborne, I developed a love relationship with sweaters. It was a love at first sight. 

It takes a lot to be a knitwear designer. You’re constantly thinking and solving problems on how to create a piece of clothing that is compelling to a customer. On top of that, making sure it’s profitable. Every stitch is created, one loop at a time, passionately by people that have a love for sweaters. To start with a piece of string knitted into a fully fashioned garment takes time and calculation. It’s complicated, abstract, science, math and art all put together. 

My appreciation for sweaters, as a product category, has been a journey. Seeing it from behind the scenes and learning from industry experts, I understand how much work it takes, from start to finish. As a consumer, you will only see and touch the final product. But may never know the story behind each piece. Geez, we need to give more credit to knitwear. Starting to feel like the left out cousin.

With that said, I’ve curated a robust list to some of my favorite sweaters to get you ready for this cold winter season. These hand selected gorgeous pieces were based on style, trend, quality and silhouette. Best yet, drum roll please….. some are even on sale!

Basic with a Twist: 

It’s not your average basic sweater you might already own in your closet. There are small details to these that gives it an update to the classic silhouette. Look closely to each one. They all have a little somethin’.

1 Nordstrom Signature 2. BOSS 3. Tibi 4. Nili Lotan 5. Halogen

Flares + Ruffles:

Trends comes and go, and come back again. But you still want to stay relevant. Get these ruffles and flares in all shapes and sizes, to stay feminine chic.

Veronica Beard 2. Nordstrom Signature 3. Chloe 4. Nordstrom Signature 5. Grey Jason Wu

Second Skin:

A little skin never hurts, especially in the women’s most flattering areas: the clavicle and shoulder.

1 A.L.C. 2. Allude 3. A.L.C. 4. A.L.C.

Puff Sleeves:

Don’t worry, these aren’t the ones from Dynasty (the 80’s t.v. show).  It’s way cooler. You only need one of them to make a statement. Choose wisely!

Nordstrom Signature 2. 3.1 Phillip Lim 3. Joseph 4. Frame 5. Lewit


Ok! I’ve been obsessed with hoodies ever since the fashion term “athleisure” came to play. I can’t get enough of them in my closet. I tried layering it with leather jackets and blazers or wearing them back with skirts. The versatility is endless! I want them all!

1 Nordstrom Signature 2. Tabula Rasa 3. Tibi 4. Vince 5. Vince

Color Marls:

It’s taking two or more different color yarns twisted to create a subtle novelty. Fashion peeps also call this “pattern no pattern”. Basically makes a boring sweater more interesting.

1 rag & bone 2. Nordstrom Signature 3.  4. rag & bone 5. rag & bone


Can’t get enough ties and the options are endless: on cuffs, waist and dresses. Pick your favorite.

1 Vince  2. Brochu Walker 3. Brochu Walker 4. A.L.C. 5. Michael Kors

Off The Shoulder:

A bare shoulder is sexy regardless your shape or size. Make sure to wear a strapless bra or a tube top underneath to hone it all in.

1 Lewit 2. Theory 3. Helmut Lang 4. A.L.C. 5. Rebecca Minkoff


They’re back! I’ve designed these few years back and they were a hit. Now they’re cool again, as a coat alternative. It’s warm, less bulky and can be worn indoors/outdoors.

1 Zadig & Voltaire 2. Madewell 3. Vince 4.Tabula Rasa 5. rag & bone


Same situation as “coatigans”. This time around there are tons of options in pattern and shape. Keep in mind sweaters cannot be hemmed, because it will ruin the fabric and it’s sacrilege to cut a sweater. So make sure you find the right length.

1Burberry 2. Nordstrom Signature 3. rag & bone 4. Vince 5. Stella McCartney


  • ALL sweaters pill! This cannot be avoided. The tighter the stitch or tension, the lesser it will pill. This is common for higher price sweaters. Best to invest in a good quality depillar like this one to take care of the fuzz balls.
  • Read the content/care labels, like you’d read the ingredients when you shop for food. Be an educated consumer.
  • Try to shop with majority in natural fibers, such as cotton, cashmere, merino wool, alpaca and silk for longer lasting and less irritable to the skin. Avoid synthetic materials such as acrylic, rayon and polyester as these pill more frequently and not the best for the environment. 
  • Buying quality is important to have them last for years to come.
  • The more complicated the sweater, the higher the cost, because of the time it takes to produce it. Time=$. This includes anything with hand stitch, patterns and stitches.
  • Fold all your sweaters. Hanging them will stretch it out. You don’t want to find your favorite knitwear pieces to grow two inches from not wearing them last year. Also the impression the hangers put on the shoulders drives me nuts and you have to steam it out to get rid of it. 

Whew! That was a lot of knitwear knowledge. I still have more to tell, but will save it for another post.

Enjoy all these goodies & happy shopping!





Photo by Jason Tang

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Ava December 14, 2017 at 5:03 PM

My favorite…
Basic with a twist- #1
Flares/ ruffles- #1
Second Skin- none
Puff sleeves- none
Off the shoulder- #3
Coatigans- none

color marls- none


elisa December 20, 2017 at 3:51 PM

Hoodies are my favorite too!


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