Filling your closet with several types of sweaters is a great idea for lots of reasons. Sweaters are particularly great for the rainy and winter seasons, as they provide the right amount of warmth. Similarly, they’re perfect for layering, so you can carry them and wear them over your clothes at the end of the day once the temperature drops.
Types of Sweaters - 19 Best Options
With the high number of sweater types available in the market, let’s narrow them down to the top sweaters you can consider adding to your wardrobe. To make it easier, we’ll divide them into two categories: types of sweaters based on neckline and style. You can pair most of these sweater styles to any kind of pants, skirts, and shorts, as well as over a dress.
Types of Sweaters According to Neckline
Your sweater’s neckline style can add to the warmth the garment provides and plays a role in adding style to your layered outfit. Some of the most common necklines you’ll find are:
- Crewneck or Crew Neck
- Cowl or Funnel
- Mock Turtleneck
1. Crewneck or Crew Neck
With a classic, casual, somewhat sporty, and simple look, the crewneck sweater has a round, short, ribbed, collarless neckline sitting just around the neck’s base. It has been modeled from the sports sweaters commonly worn by athletes around the 1900s. Although it has a casual vibe, you can wear it in the office and on special occasions, especially if you don’t want to look too underdressed and overdressed.
2. Cowl or Funnel
These types of sweaters were trendy in the 1930s, and the neckline style was created in ancient Greece. It has a drapey or hanging, wide or broad long neck that you can fold if you prefer. It’s the perfect sweater to pair with your trousers and skinny jeans and over any top. People who don’t like wearing a jacket during the autumn season will love the cowl or funnel sweater.
Who says you need to be all wrap up when wearing a sweater? Aptly named, this sweater has a wide neck to show off your shoulders and upper chest. The off-the-shoulder sweater has a form-fitting style to add to the sexiness and chic look. It was most popular in the 1890s and then re-emerged in the 1970s and then in the 1980s. Thus, it’s best worn with ripped, distressed, or classic skinny jeans.
Also known as the polo neck sweater, the turtleneck is among the warmest types of sweaters since it covers your entire neck, from your collarbone to just below your chin. That is why some people might find it too constricting, but it folds down naturally. First appearing in the 1800s, turtleneck types of sweaters are classy, so they’re casual, smart casual, and formal, depending on what you pair them with. For instance, you can wear the sweater under a blazer to make it suitable for the office. Just make sure that you don’t tuck it in and choose one that isn’t too tight for your body size.
5. Mock Turtleneck
Often confused with the turtleneck sweater, the mock is more casual and has a shorter neck, covering at most one inch of your neck. Hence, some describe its neck as having a style that combines both turtleneck and crew neck sweaters. Another distinguishing feature of this sweater is the neck’s edge is a little rolled. The neck is also not as constricting as the turtleneck types of sweaters.
A scoop or scooped neck sweater features a wide, round neckline that usually exposes both your neck and collarbones. Though you’ll find ones with their necks that can scoop a little lower. As such, there are two general types; one has a semi-circle neckline while the other has a U shape. If you’ll wear this sweater style in a conservative setting or want to limit skin exposure but still want it, you can wear a collared blouse or shirt underneath.
Like the mock and turtleneck types of sweaters, the shawl neck sweater will help frame your face perfectly. It will also frame your chest and neck. As its name implies, the neckline appears as if you’re wearing a shawl, thanks to the additional fabric sewn around the sweater’s neckline. The neckline can go as low as the waist area, so you can up your style by wearing a blouse or shirt underneath.
As one of the easiest types of sweaters to identify, the V-shaped neck helps make you look a little taller. You can wear a blouse and collared shirt underneath this sweater to give you a preppy and smart look. It’s also best to tuck it in, as it’s usually form-fitting.
9. Zipped or Zippered
This sweater has a zipper on its neck area, so you can wear it as an alternative to a jacket, especially since it’s easy to put on and remove. Still, you can wear it as is. These types of sweaters come in different variations: half-zip and quarter-zip. The opening of the half-zip sweaters extends up to the middle of the chest, while the quarter-zipped style's opening stops above the chest area.
Types of Sweaters According to Style
The differences in style are based on the sleeve design, fit, and length. Some of the best ones that we highly recommend are:
- Puffed Sleeve
- Sweater Dress
- Sweater Vests
Seeming like you borrowed it from your boyfriend, these types of sweaters have a roomy and loose style. It’s also long enough, with its bottom reaching your hips or thighs. Thus, you can easily wear it over most, if not, all tops. These casual sweaters generally have a v-neck and a ribbed bottom. They’re cozy and comfortable, so they’re perfect for both cool and warm weather conditions. You can even wear them at home or as sleepwear.
Most of you have surely heard or are familiar with pullover sweaters, also known as jumpers in the UK, as they’re the most famous. They’re available in two different neckline types: v-neck and crewneck. You’ll also find them in several lengths and fitted or oversized styles. As their name implies, you pull the sweater over your head to put it on and off. These sweaters are versatile since you can wear them with most or all casual bottoms and over any top.
Yet another cozy sweater, chunky sweaters are thicker and heavier than pullovers. They’re perfect for the winter, especially since they’re knitted. Some manufacturers knit the chunky yarn fibers using textured or simple garter stitches. That said, these sweaters aren’t the most flattering when worn because of their size.
One of the sexiest and modern-looking types of sweaters, cutouts are easy to distinguish because they have a section that exposes a little skin. The sweater can have a little cut on the chest, shoulder, or back. The cutout sweater was most popular in the 1960s, but you can see celebrities sporting it. You can wear it in the office, as a top layer for special occasions, and everyday casual wear, depending on what you pair it with.
5. Puffed Sleeve
As its name implies, this sweater has distinct bulky sleeves that look puffy. It has been around since the Renaissance period but became most famous in the 1890s and 1930s. These sweaters have a short length, usually above one’s waist, to ensure balance in style. Like most sweaters on our list, the puffed sleeve is extremely versatile.
The raglan sweater is one of the types of sweaters that you can distinguish because of its sleeve style. Designers attached the sleeves directly to the sweater’s collar, giving it a single, long seam that runs down the arm’s length and across the front or chest. It has an overall loose, drapey style, so it’s one of the most comfortable sweaters with a seamless fit.
Contrary to popular belief, these types of sweaters aren’t just meant to keep you 100% warm. Some of them are made for fitness enthusiasts. Also known as fitness sweaters, running sweaters come with mesh panels for breathability. They ensure you don’t overheat while running, jogging, and exercising, while also making sure you sweat to the max.
8. Sweater Dress
Made famous by Coco Chanel, sweater dresses are usually knitted and form-fitting with their hems reaching the thighs, legs, or knees. They’re perfect for individuals who want to stay cozy but want to show off some legs. Nonetheless, you can also wear sweater dresses with your favorite skinny jeans, leggings, and stockings.
9. Sweater Vest
Though mostly seen worn by men and as part of ivy league school uniforms, sweater vests are now a fashion staple for women and professors. They do away from the typical long-sleeved sweaters, as they’re sleeveless. However, since sweater vests are mostly worn as a top layer, they pass as types of sweaters. You can wear it over a polo shirt, another sweater, polo dress, and more, giving you a preppy, nerdy, casual, or business look.
Mostly worn by tennis players and enthusiasts, these sweaters have been popular since the 1930s. They have a white, ivory, cream, or off-white color and a V-shaped neckline with color bands. These sweaters are usually knitted with a cable knit pattern and are perfect casual clothing.
Types of Sweaters - In Conclusion
Various types of sweaters exist, and we featured some of the most versatile ones to ensure you make the most out of them. Generally, they are available in several neckline styles, and the various sweater lengths, sleeves, and fits are available in one or more of the neckline types. Sweaters are also made using several materials and techniques, but cotton and knitting are the most common.