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Sweater Power: Our Editor’s Picks

Posted: Dec 16 2013

Many of our brands, collections, and merchandise reflect not only our love of the fashion industry and its trends, but also its classic influences. Since we’ve found ourselves wearing each one of our sweaters 20 different ways since the first leaves fell, we just couldn’t resist digging a little deeper into the history of this wardrobe essential. In honor of the cold, cold weather leading up to the holidays, today we’re highlighting one of the most versatile and valuable pieces a person could own around this time of year.

Since the 1920s, the sweater has had a major overhaul thanks to designers Chanel and Schiaparelli, who transformed a piece of masculine outerwear into something that can be extremely feminine. During the 30s and 40s, legendary screen sirens made simple knit sweaters the epitome of glamour. With the addition of embellishments such as fur, rhinestones, applique, beads, and sequins, the sweater soon became chic eveningwear (a concept which has been re-introduced as of late). In the 50s, college girls turned plain cashmere cardigans into a student uniform that symbolized Ivy League status.

 

Once used primarily for utilitarian, military, cold weather, and athletic purposes, the sweater has evolved into a versatile and must-have staple in every woman’s closet. Today, sweaters are unique in that current styles evoke both classic designs and luxe fashion trends: Nordic intarsia patterns once developed during the Renaissance can be found in a multitude of runway shows, fine retailers, and fast fashion stores. Fair Isle sweaters, Aran jumpers, and Harvard Prep cardigans have transcended time and have been influential across many types of apparel.

 

Day to night, office to happy hour, hiking to lounging, these essential knits have definitely come a long way. From crew necks to V-necks, to slouchy and chunky, the art of wearing a sweater is all in the layering, the material, and the attitude. On that note, I’ve curated my favorite sweaters from CH that are sure to keep you warm and sophisticated for any occasion:

 

1. The Office – Casual Crew

 

Ash Rain + Oak Rosa Sweater

 

Ash Rain + Oak Rosa Sweater

 

This cozy, color-block sweater is perfect for looking chic yet staying warm and cozy. Pair with a simple black blazer for a day in the office, or with a luxe fur coat for dinner, this Rosa crew neck is great for the versatile, chic young woman.

 

2. Date Night – Plum Romance

 

One Teaspoon Grampions Knit & Suede Jumper

 

One Teaspoon Grampions Knit & Suede Jumper

 

Going out for date night doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice looking sexy and romantic to stay warm. This gorgeous scoop knit jumper adds warmth while the deep plum shade is flattering under dim lighting. And of course, never leave the house without a statement clutch.

 

3. Café Day: Parisian Chic

 

J Apostrophe Short Sleeve Combo Sweater

J Apostrophe Short Sleeve Combo Sweater

 

This combination wool and silk sweater provides sophisticated and light warmth (not to mention a polished foundation for layering) for those days working out of the local café. Pair with skinny black jeans and your favorite oxfords or buckle ankle boots for a feminine and approachable look that has just the right edge. Chic finger bands and your laptop are the perfect finishing accessories for this effortless look. Just add coffee!

 

4. New Year’s Eve: Luxe Statement 

 

Generation Love Bobo Metallic Sweater

 

Generation Love Bobo Metallic Sweater

 

This Generation Love embellished sweater has the right balance of sheen and sparkle that’s perfect for a New Year’s Eve soiree. The faux leather arms add a touch of punk while the gold metallic threading gives a delicate, feminine accent. Complete the party look with evening gold chain earrings to stand out in the crowd.

 

5. Beach Day: Free & Easy

 

Free People Shake n Roll Pullover

Free People Shake n Roll Pullover

 

This stretchy, loose knit provides free movement and comfort for those days at the beach. The black and white stripes make for an effortlessly sophisticated yet casual look, perfect for relaxing in the sand or riding a beach cruiser down the coastline. Pair with fresh white leather oxfords to complete this day look.

 

Reference:

http://vintagefashionguild.org/fashion-history/cashmere-sweaters/

http://global.ralphlauren.com/en-us/Style/Men/RLClassics/Pages/holiday_sweater.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Isle_(technique)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aran_jumper

 

 

 

 

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