Most equate knitwear with being cozy and covered, but this season designers are mixing – err, slashing — things up. Sweaters with trendy cutouts — think an asymmetrical slice here, a peek-a-boo cut there — are taking over as an elevated option that breathes new life into fitted and nubby knits alike. "This season is all about head-to-toe knitwear with a focus on cutouts and asymmetrical hems," Shopbop Fashion Director Caroline Maguire tells The Zoe Report. "Brands like Alexander Wang and Monse are doing an incredible job of designing wearable and statement knitwear with intricate shoulder slashes and keyhole cutouts."
With plenty of sweater trends on deck for the fall/winter 2020 season, from shrunken cardigans to vests, a cutout knit might not be the first you reach for when planning out a cozy outfit. However, it's the perfect look to embrace when transitional temperatures keep everyone on their toes at the top of the season, from spliced dresses to asymmetrically cut pullovers. It works well for evening, too, whether you're dressing for happy hour or date night (even via Zoom). If you're the type to feel fueled by surprising style choices, look to modern silhouettes like a backless turtleneck, a knitted bodysuit with cuts at the shoulder, or a strapless sweater with an alluring slice across the chest.
"The thing I love most about the cutout knitwear trend is that it can appear in the most unexpected places: on the shoulder, above the waist, near the wrists, around the neck or even on the backside," Maguire says, adding how Shopbop customers love the trend for its subtle yet elevated nature. Not to mention a fresh take on novelty when punchier hues, patterns, or graphic detailing doesn't feel right.
Cutout knits have staying power in your wardrobe well into the season, even when the weather takes a turn for the frigid. It's all in the layering, and the more creative you get, the better, especially in the thick of winter when creatively thins. "I like to style a cutout knit with a tight, sheer top underneath or with a cropped blazer for a fun day-to-night polished look," Maguire says. For a simpler look, try a coordinating knit set designed for a peek of oblique with tall boots. Or a chunky turtleneck with a spliced shoulder, pared back to jeans.
Keep scrolling to discover some of the season's most stylish cutout knits, from sweaters to knit dresses and coordinating sets. If you're ready to make a purchase, shop your favorites for a freshened-up sweater game you can wear all season.
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Cutout Sweater Trend: Open Back
An open back sweater is an easy, elevated style to pair with jeans and boots. Throw on a blazer, and you can add a bit of extra coverage.
Cutout Sweater Trend: The Sweater Dress
Longer, sweeping knitwear gets a nighttime bent thanks to cutouts at the hip or across the back. Style with heels and you're good to go.
Cutout Sweater Trend: Asymmetrical
For a fresh take on classic knitwear silhouettes, try something with an asymmetrical neckline or cold shoulder. This looks especially cool when worn with a chunky gold necklace on top.
Cutout Sweater Trend: Funky Up Front
If you're down for something a bit more daring, try a look with a cutout decolletage. You can wear a slip underneath for contrast and coverage, or simply wear with relaxed trousers for a daytime look.