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Might I Suggest: A Bunch of Really Good Sweaters Under $200
09.30.19

As a team, we’re often fielding fashion-centric quandaries via Twitter, text, and Instagram DM, so we figured, why not make it dot-com official? Welcome to Might I Suggest, the style advice column that solves your most elusive market searches and enduring style challenges. This week, Harling answers a question from MR reader and designer behind SZ Blockprints, Sarah Zellweger:

What are the best fall sweaters that feel special and unique but don’t break the bank?
Girl in blue sweater
Perfect sweater-induced head tilt: check.

Apple-picking season is nigh, which means not only do we have the perfect excuse to use the word “nigh” in a sentence (blessed be the fruit–literally), it’s also officially time to take stock of our sweater inventories. I appreciate Sarah’s question because it really hones in on two of the most important aspects of sweater shopping: 1) the craving for something aesthetically satisfying (since sweaters are going to be the centerpiece of most outfits from now until April) and 2) the practical/financial considerations of investing in something that doesn’t always hold up over time thanks to the enemy known as PILLING.

Having conducted a thorough sweep of the internet, I’ve compiled a rundown of what I would consider “special and unique” sweaters under $200, categorized according to key sweater genres. Scroll down for a one-way ticket to cozy town.

Solid as a Rock

Here we have a delightful collection of solid-colored options, but solid does not = boring around these parts. On the contrary, just check out this mock neck button collar contender from Everlane, which comes in a whole array of fun shades like “Golden Palm” and “Heathered Ink” (here’s hoping a celebrity names their kid one of these in the near future). If you’re looking for a classic cotton option, might I suggest a ribbed cashmere number from Nadaam? Or this one from J.Crew? It looks like the epitome of sitting by a fire, or a smoky candle, and waxing poetic about Sally Rooney with a graham cracker in hand. This cardigan from J.O.A. is ideal for those among us who like to show off what’s underneath their knitwear. I realize it’s not 100% monochrome, but a little neon trim never hurt anybody. Neither did vintage cable-knit, for that matter, or short sleeves and ruffles.

Of the Same Stripe

Stripes are my preferred fall neutral, so pardon me while I aggressively recommend this particularly dapper cardigan from Kule which happens to be 50% off at the moment. If you’re more of a horizontal gal, here are options that lean both light and heavy, depending on the temperature outside and the timeline of your menstrual cycle. Prefer a thinner stripe? I have you covered by means of this crewneck with balloon sleeves that would clearly have a swing in their step if sleeves could walk. Into a collar moment? Here u go! Swoon for a men’s zip-up? Try this on for size.

Après-Ski

I predict that the après-ski trend will continue to thrive this winter, so buckle up and dive right into a Fair Isle knit like this one, a style that is fittingly called the “Helga Sweater.” Etsy has a ton of great options, too, like this one with precious little silver clips at the top, or this men’s version with the perfect mix of neutrals and pastels. This one is fun, too, if you’re into a more saturated look. Skiing is fully optional whilst wearing après-ski attire; the real goal here is to be insulated against inclement weather as you simultaneously channel a Slim Aarons photograph.

Wild Cards

There’s no better cure to the inevitably jeans-and-knitwear fatigue onset than a sweater that makes your whole torso feel alive again–a special statement option you can rely on to cheer you up while it warms you up. Perhaps a stretch-knit piece with a fringed hemline that is sweater-adjacent but could could also conceivably moonlight as a going-out top would be just the thing. Or this cool one with a huge flower on the front and a literal statement on the back? Or! This one with a cool necktie. And last but not least: a 90s-inspired gem from Etsy.

Do you have a go-to brand or silhouette for distinctive knitwear that doesn’t cost an arm and a paycheck? Feel free to share in the comments.

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