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Working in fashion has taught me a certain amount of shopping restraint. I swear by a single button-down shirt that renders all other dress shirts unnecessary. When I found out about a line of party shoes padded with memory foam, I removed all other heels from my virtual cart. But that personal fiscal responsibility and awareness of my apartment’s limited closet space goes out the window when I think about striped sweaters.
Striped sweaters are hardly groundbreaking. Yet somehow, designers at every end of the market have found new ways to show their stripes this fall. There are currently an abundance of striped sweaters—from oversized turtlenecks in black and cream to mohair pullovers in rainbow brights—that are calling my name. Best of all, the latest twists on this classic take a step outside the stripe sweater’s traditionally preppy confines (so there’s enough variety to justify another order).
“Most sweaters can be very flattering and at times even sexy,” stylist Alexis Badiyi tells me. For a striped sweater outfit that’s more nonchalant cool than New England collegiate, she says, “balancing whichever cut you choose with [the right] proportions is key.” Oversized striped sweaters can complement a slim-leg pointe pant and striped half-zips with a cropped hem often demand a front-tuck into billowing trousers.
Across the board, “for something unexpected, I love styling against the traditional feeling of a striped sweater, that to me can feel a bit preppy or buttoned up,” Badiyi adds. And if you want to go the Jane Birkin route with your stripes, new options from La Ligne, Toteme, and Khaite will have you covered. Read on for 20 striped sweaters so essential, you may have to shop more than one. Each to wear a different way, of course.
BEST STRIPED SWEATER FOR VARIETY – KULE, The Betty
From FaceTiming with stylist Allison Bornstein to casually catching up with other editors, Kule’s striped sweaters have a habit of working their way into the conversation. Usually, with lots of praise. It’s half because Kule has one of the widest ranges of stripe colors to choose from, half because they keep their fresh-from the-box quality after dozens of wears. (The same standard applies to its best T-shirts.)