The Mode with Addison Butler: Sweater Weather

Despite the seeming contradiction of Salt Lake’s weather this week, the glorious season commonly referred to as autumn is finally within arm’s reach. The days of T-shirts and short shorts are coming to a long-awaited close in favor of those cable-knits, blazers and light jackets stashed deep within the confines of closets everywhere. Although summer means warmth and happiness for us all, the general coziness of fall is something we ought to welcome with open arms and celebrate during its relatively short presence in Utah’s otherwise polarized yearly weather.

Sweaters play a vital role in the definition of a fall wardrobe. Practically speaking, the addition of a sweater to an outfit warms up the body without capturing too much heat, leaving you cozy but not overheated. On the other hand, a good-looking sweater quickly spices up a look and can turn a lazy combination of shirt and pants into something far more refined and polished. While the majority of sweaters fulfill the requirements of lightly bundling up and keeping comfortable, not all sweaters can work that aesthetic magic. With the right assortment of knits, throwing on the first sweater to catch your eye before whizzing out the door can leave you both adequately heated and not entirely harsh to look at. Here are the types of sweaters every fall enthusiast should own:

The classic cable knit/fair isle

When you hear the infuriatingly cliché term “ugly grandpa sweaters,” images of the cable knit and fair isle sweaters are probably the first things to pop into your imagination. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with releasing your inner grandma/grandpa, but there are, in fact, other ways to pull off this staple. When layered over a crisp button-up and tucked into a pair of nice skinny jeans or a skirt, these sweaters can become surprisingly posh and delightfully preppy.

The heinously oversized sweater

Since Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen popularized the trend half a decade ago, “hobo-chic” has established itself as an iconic look for plenty of ladies and gents — and rightfully so. If you’re feeling lazy and uninspired, a slouchy sweater can up your look without any real effort. The key is to keep the bottom half slick and streamlined. Try pairing it with some tailored dress pants and loafers or a short, pleated skirt and tights. Even a simple pair of boyfriend jeans (or relaxed fit, for the gentlemen out there) can complement the oversized sweater quite nicely.

The “different” one

If you consider yourself a gambler, it may be in your best interest to pick up a few more “flashy” knits. Geometric prints, bright colors, asymmetrical tailoring and lively graphics are trending this fall, so a quick visit to Net-a-Porter/Mr. Porter, Topshop/Topman or Zara’s websites will give you the options you need. While intimidating at first, an edgier sweater can easily be toned down when worn with simpler colors and patterns. Neutral-toned pants or a nice blazer on top will do the trick if you want a little attention.

The cardigan

Considering the unfortunate cultural permeation of “normcore,” cardigans are finding their way back into the closets of thousands. However, what makes the cardigan so enticing is the fact that you get the full functionality and warmth of a sweater while still having the ability to show off whatever you choose underneath. Versatility is also a major plus. If it gets too hot, simply unbutton, slide it off and tie it around your waist (because that’s what cool kids do these days, isn’t it?)

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