I am a sweater lover—
…and, sweater snob. I admit it, I love good cashmere sweaters and have spent several years building a collection. When it comes to price and quality, one thing I know for sure is price/quality equation is all over the map when it comes to knitwear. To demonstrate, I found three fantastic sweaters for under $50–normally I spend considerably more on sweaters. You may be surprised to know that even though I live in Florida, I wear sweaters year around. I love the soft cozy feel of a beautiful cashmere in fall and winter. Silks, linens and cotton sweaters are great for summer, and a little sweater to throw over your shoulders in the air conditioning is always a good thing.
I might go so far as to say I am a sweater connoisseur, with fifty five years experience, not only wearing sweaters, but also knitting. I threw you a curve ball with that little factoid, didn’t I? Good yarn is a wonder to behold, no question. I love the feel of soft yarns. While I don’t knit sweaters, I still love knitting and knitwear.
I can’t abide a bad sweater.
What makes a bad sweater, you ask? Scratchy yarn, synthetic looking yarn, fibers that pill easily, and knitwear that loose their shape easily. I have learned that sometimes you get what you pay for when it comes to sweaters, some times you don’t.
Price can be deceiving
Don’t be afraid to experiment-try the sweater on, make sure it feels as cute as it looks and if you find a good one at a lower price point, snap it up. When it comes to expensive sweaters, don’t be fooled by the high price tag, make sure the quality and feel are there. There is nothing worse than a scratchy sweater, no matter the price point.
—once in a while I will come across a cashmere that has a scratchy quality, or will be very thin—always hold out for nice thick cashmere. Cotton and other wools make for great sweaters too—one of my favorite summer sweaters is from Target and is probably almost ten years old. It’s a cotton button up sweater that folds well so I can put it into my purse. It’s got a beautiful pattern on it—I knew I loved it when I saw it—and I still love it. It’s great when you want something casual that makes a statement.
Recently, I purchased a few sweaters from Amazon that are beautiful and actually under $50 dollars. That’s what I am talking about today. Over the past month, I purchased three new sweaters, one from Target, the other two from Amazon. I was fully poised to shoot photos of the sweaters and return them—but when I saw the quality, I was so impressed that three new sweaters have joined my collection.
The first sweater is a hot trend, the French fisherman sweater, white with thin black or navy stripes—with buttons on the shoulder. Balmain came out with a version of this sweater a few years ago, and it’s been trending ever since. Even though I have one already, I decided to order an Amazon version to see how it measured up. In short, I am impressed. This sweater is a more relaxed version, perfect for a front tuck, or worn as a tunic with a pair of faux leather pants. Priced at forty dollars, and made of cotton and acrylic, this sweater is super cute, and very affordable.
The next sweater was, again on trend, with a fun V pattern, a mock turtle neck, and balloon sleeves, this sweater comes in several colors, but I chose cognac for a relaxed fall vibe. This sweater is made of acrylic, is very soft and has a nice drape, which is again perfect for the front tuck look, and is long enough to be worn out as well. I have worn this sweater with jeans and suede boots that almost match perfectly, and I styled it with my black faux leather Spanx for a casual chic look and added an old pair of booties to add interest to this look. This is a great sweater to add to your collection, and if you don’t like the color I chose , there are several others to choose from.
The final sweater was from Target, following the fair isle sweater trend. I wanted to see how Target’s version would measure up to one that I showed in the newsletter a few weeks back. (If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter, you are missing out on a lot of great stuff). Anyway, I loved the color combination of chocolate brown and pink—it’s stunning.
The yarn is definitely synthetic but I don’t find it scratchy-it just has a slight tell tale sheen of synthetic fibers—and will probably pill, but the colors are so pretty, and the price tag so good, that I decided to keep it—even if I only wear it this season. I especially love the brown and pink combination. I’ve styled it with a pair of faux brown leather leggings but really love it with my Spanx faux suede flairs—it looks a little more polished and flattering with a trouser style rather than the leggings, I think.
Caring for Inexpensive Sweaters
As a sweater fanatic, I keep a sweater shaver on hand to de-pill my sweaters and for the most part, I wash them at home—even the cashmere—and lay them out to dry on towels. Caring for sweaters properly will help keep them in good shape for years to come—and my sweaters usually stay with me for years.
The moral of this story is that you can find some pretty great things at lower price points—which I do especially when buying trends I know will only be around for a few years. I know I will get plenty of wear out of these sweaters and won’t feel bad about possibly letting them go a few years from now, if I feel like they are a bit tired or off trend.