I blame the fact that I spent the first 22 years of my life living in California for the panic that consumes me this time of year. Sure, fall in New York City pretty, but it's also a precursor to the freezing months to come (goodbye beach days). I have plenty of friends who anticipate the first day of "sweater weather," but no matter how much I love a cozy knit (and I love a cozy knit), I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of dread. But since retail therapy can be an occasional cure-all, I figure that shopping the best fall sweaters might actually abet my existential crisis, because if that can't cure cold-weather blues well, I'm out of ideas.
Here's the great thing about mining the current sweater selection of my favorite retailers: This fall, the knitwear options are refreshingly playful — and playfully bright: There's no shortage of brazen neon hues and punchy prints. But, before you write these sweaters off as overly-gimmicky, I'd like to make the case for a knit that steps outside of the comfort zone.
Picking out a statement-making sweater means that you can throw on straight-cut jeans and a simple pair of boots and your outfit still looks plenty fashion-forward. Below, find the sweaters that'll offer a small bright spot in the chilly months ahead. From the warmth of your bed, desk, or even café chair, get a jump start on the season and shop your favorite, starting at just $30.
Embroidered Wool Sweater
Calvin Klein 205W39NYC
Crafty embroidery details make this sweater an especially fun choice.
Fall tones get a bright reimagining in this Sies Marjan knit.
Neon is the trend to try, so consider taking this bold sweater for a spin.
Jilly Crop Sweater
The high-volume arms on this Isabel Marant pick add a romantic bent to a classic crop style.
Oversized Striped Sweater
Ganni's striped sweater is a street style favorite, and what's not to love.
If you're ready to hop on board with the animal print trend, consider this swingy style by Nanushka. The neutral tones make it ideal for styling with denim or the rich camels and creams of fall.
Garbanzo Stitch Top
A knit named garbanzo? It's hard not to love this cropped ivory sweater by Rachel Comey.
La Ligne is all about stripes, and in this case classic red and blue make for an understated-yet-cool combination.
For a print that entertains but doesn't overwhelm, consider this split-level stripe by Ktiri Studio.
Floral Rope Sweater
& Other Stories
Sometimes, simplicity makes a statement all its own. This pretty sweater is a standout that's easy to mix and match with the fall staples you already own.
Multicolored Argyle Sweater
Zara's take on the neon trend is subtle. By styling a day-glo green with a pop of purple, and darker tones, it's a digestible way to add a little color into your ensemble.
Striped Crew Sweater
Who What Wear
A fitted crew-neck sweater is a staple every woman should have in her wardrobe. Who What Wear's take is colorful without feeling overwhelming. Consider wearing with courduroys or mixing with florals in a similar color palette.