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Winter 2014 trend: sweater weather

The Fall/Winter 2013/14 trend of sweaters displayed some variety on the runways this season. Designers styled looks with fair isle sweaters, fisherman sweaters, metallics and colorblocking. Easily wearable for all during this cold snap and continuing reappearance of the Polar Vortex, a sweater can be styled in a fantastic variety of ways.

A model poses at the J.Crew Fall 2013 fashion presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center on February 12, 2013.
Andy Kropa/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Alexa Chung attends the JW Anderson show during London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14 at TopShop Show Space on February 18, 2013 .
Tim Whitby/Getty Images

One of the biggest ways to style the sweater trend this season was to pair a chunky knit sweater with a collared shirt and a pencil skirt. Maybe it would be best if you also add a pair of tights to that ensemble to keep warm! Wear this look with a chic pointed stiletto or a fun oxford heel and you will look like a chic collegian from many moons ago. Do try to avoid the plain white button-down under these sweaters – consider pulling out your oft-worn chambray or Liberty of London-style floral blouse for a neat contrasting touch. Do not be afraid if the sweater has shrunken either! Shows such as N°21 showed the models wearing deliberately cropped sweaters over these blouses.

Another styling option is to wear a uniquely-patterned sweater with a miniskirt. Pair with opaque tights (or bare legs if you dare!) and a pair of booties to create a streamlined look that keeps your bottom half from looking too heavy. Let the sweater inspire everything else – a wild pattern, phrase, colorblocking, classic fair isle, or even a fun graphic would work with this look. Sweaters from brands like Tibi, Joe Fresh, Yigal Azrouël, J.Crew, and Jay Ahr all have the ability to finish this outfit at any price point.

The third styling option from the sweater trend is to wear a metallic sweater or sweatshirt. These sweaters came in bronze, gold, rose gold, gunmetal, and silver tones. These metallic hues integrated well with the different color palettes designers were working with this season. Most of the metallic sweaters were worn with no showing blouse (collared or otherwise) underneath, so consider a crewneck tee for winter layering. Most were worn with fitted sweatpants or leggings, but Alexander Wang showed his on the runway with cropped pants.

Lastly, consider an oversized knit or fisherman's sweater – or maybe just borrow one from your big brother, Dad, or significant other! Typically, these sweaters are long and possibly even past your hips, crewneck and long-sleeved. Fisherman sweaters can also be called Irish Aran sweaters. They are sold in many colors and blends of wool, but they are most common in a white, ecru, or ivory color (check out Theory, Topshop, and any clothier that carries fine Irish Aran sweaters or “jumpers.” A fisherman’s sweater has distinctive cable patterns vertically down the front (and possibly the back as well).

An oversized sweater is like a fisherman’s sweater but does not have the distinctive knit pattern on the front. An oversize sweater might have exaggerated shoulders or sleeve cuffs, and may be a more open knit. Both of these sweaters look incredible on everyone! To style either of these sweaters, due to the volume up top, you want to be streamlined on the bottom. A pencil skirt, fitted trousers, leggings, or even a floor-length skirt will work on anyone. Remember the trick of dark colors to hide weight, and consider monochrome due to its flattering qualities.

©Whitney W. Jones, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or © 2006-2014 Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a For more Fashion News & Trends content similar to above, click subscribe to receive instant free updates or follow Whitney on Twitter and like her Facebook page.

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