Maximum comfort has become a stalwart theme in fashion as of late. You saw it with the loungewear boom of two years ago that almost made "hard pants" (essentially any trouser with a non-elastic waist) extinct. Even the knitwear space, an industry niche that's already synonymous with coziness, was taken to new comfortable frontiers when all of the best sweaters (opens in new tab) began to grow baggier and boxier. And at the heart of this sweater trend that revolves around relaxed fits is a simple fact: In times of strife—or, rather, just whenever you want—the best oversized sweaters double as emotional support blankets.
"I’ve always been a big fan of oversized women's sweaters (who doesn’t like cozying into a wearable blanket when it’s cold and wet outside?)," Heather Newberger (opens in new tab), stylist and fashion writer, shares over email. "But there are absolutely some things you need to keep in mind when purchasing." Ahead, the fashion stylist breaks down what's key to consider when shopping for a relaxed-fitting sweater and offers insight on how to style an oversized sweater so the loose silhouette doesn't completely overwhelm your look. You'll also find 12 of the best oversized women's sweaters on 2023's market ready to shop, too, so ensure your debit card is at the ready.
What to Look For
"For one, I’d ask yourself: How sensitive is your skin? There are a ton of different fabric blends out there, but not everyone is suited for your individual needs," details Newberger. "Even just touching a sweater in the store isn’t always the easiest test, as your hands are much rougher than the rest of your body. I suggest taking a look at what sweaters you already have/love and getting an idea of what materials they’re made of before heading out to shop. Make sure to cross-reference these materials with what you’re interested in prior to purchase because it doesn’t matter how cute something is if you’re never going to wear it."
"I’d also take into account the climate of the environment you live in, or where you plan to wear your sweater," offers the How to Date Your Wardrobe author. "A lot of (specifically fast fashion) retailers don’t put in the extra effort to make sweaters actually warm. They use cheap materials, in addition to polyblends, etc., so while they may look great on the rack or on your body, they may not hold up to the scrutiny of the outdoors. Nordic brands (such as the mid-tiered & Other Stories)," shouts out Newberger, "do a great job of bringing both style and substance to their sweaters."
Shop the Best Oversized Women's Sweaters
- Best Oversized Turtleneck Sweater: Naadam Luxe Cashmere Oversized Turtleneck (opens in new tab)
- Best Black Oversized Sweater: COS Spread-Collar Pure Cashmere Sweater (opens in new tab)
- Best Oversized Cardigan: Alex Mill Emma Cardigan (opens in new tab)
- Best Plus-Size Oversized Sweater: H&M+ Cable-knit Sweater (opens in new tab)
- Best Cable-Knit Oversized Sweater: & Other Stories Layered Cable Knit Sweater (opens in new tab)
- Best Oversized Cashmere Sweater: Falconeri Ultrasoft Cashmere V-Neck Maxi-Jumper (opens in new tab)
The Best Oversized Half-Zip Sweater
"I am a sucker for a half zip, and Everlane makes a hell of an oversized sweater," enthuses Newberger. "I appreciate how they work to make each of their textures unique and their sweaters warm while keeping them reasonably priced (for what they are!)." The Felted Merino Half-Zip Sweater, in particular, is one of the stylist's favorites. And Everlane's customers rave about the style, too; One reviewer wrote, "What a dream this sweater is. It hugs in all the right places and is structured so that the neck doesn't slouch."
Pros: Made of 100-percent merino wool; Seven colorways; 4.75/5 stars rating from customers.
Cons: One reviewer said sleeves run short; Dry clean only; Size range is only XS-XXL.
Best Oversized Turtleneck Sweater
This oversized turtleneck from sustainable and ethical cashmere brand Naadam is an internet cult fave and one that frequently sells out. Take it from one overjoyed customer: "The cut is super flattering and modern with slightly bubbled sleeves and a really lovely neckline that goes up to the chin," they write in their review. "It has a definite shape to it so it's not baggy and doesn't hang off of you. I am so in love and will be buying this in a second color despite the price! You need this in your life."
Pros: 100-percent Mongolian cashmere; Sustainable; Offered in XXS-3X; Glowing five-star reviews.
Cons: Over $200; Not machine washable.
Most Affordable Oversized Sweater
At only $30, this oversized Zara sweater made from a plushy blend of recycled polyester is an accessible choice for those first test-driving a baggy silhouette. Follow Newberger's advice when styling this roomy pullover, and try the age-old French tuck. Consider inserting a handful of the sweater's hem into the waistline of a pair of front-pleat black trousers, slipping into classic penny loafers, and then adding a few pieces of silver jewelry. It's an in-office outfit ideal for when you want your sartorial tone to come off as professional with a slightly contemporary twist.
Pros: Made of 30-percent recycled polyester; Under $200.
Cons: Size range is limited at S-XL; Only two colorways.
Best Oversized Cardigan
Some days, you want your clothing to feel like a hug. Forget everything else—you need cozy comfort that warms both your body and soul! Those are the days you'd turn to Alex Mill's Emma Cardigan, which is made from a fluffy lambswool blend. One reviewer writes, "the quality is excellent, and the fit is loose [and] relaxed," which makes it "perfect for layering." Consider throwing this cozy cardigan atop a silky slip dress for a cute fall outfit that's equal parts casual and polished.
Pros: Under $200; Made from soft, cozy lambswool; Oversized fit with some structure.
Cons: Size range only runs from XS-XL.
Best Oversized Graphic Sweater
It's 8:00 a.m. You're getting ready for an in-office workday and hope to wear an outfit that packs a punch but doesn't necessitate too much brain power in terms of styling. The solution to this early-morning dressing qualm? This Joeseph graphic roll-neck. Due to the sweater's graphic, off-kilter striped print, it makes for an eye-catching number that speaks on its own accord. All you'd need to do is reach for dark separates and accessories to complete the look—like straight-leg black jeans and your favorite platform combat boots.
Pros: Eye-catching graphic print; Made of a soft Merino wool; Machine washable.
Cons: Over $250; Size range is only XXS-XL.
Best Black Oversized Sweater
Here's another oversized option that's a standout in Newbeger's personal wardrobe. "I love this sweater for multiple reasons," she gushes. "For one, the collar can be buttoned or unbuttoned to share as much skin or keep you as cozy as you’d like. Secondly, it’s lightweight enough to be tucked in or left out. And lastly, the shoulder line is low," the stylist says, explaining how the resulting silhouette is effortlessly nonchalant yet still intentional due to the dropped seams along the sleeves.
Pros: Made of 110-percent cashmere that's certified by the Good Cashmere Standard; Machine wash on cold
Cons: Over $200; Size range is limited at XS-L.
Best Oversized Cashmere Sweater
With its oversized design and decadently soft cashmere blend, extreme cashmere's pullover is the type of sweater you could wear for the rest of your days without complaints. Its roll neck offers added warmth that's not as tight as a traditional turtle, while the oversized silhouette offers an easy, unrestricted wear. In simple terms, it's truly a sweater you can live in. As for styling the luxe cashmere option, try dabbling with one of the leading, perhaps polarizing denim trends of 2023: An early-aughts-esque denim maxi skirt.
Pros: Machine washable; extreme cashmere partners with ethical agency Good On You; Stunning pistachio color.
Cons: Over $200; One size.
Best Plus-Size Oversized Sweater
What's better than a classic cable-knit sweater? Why a classic cable-knit sweater in hot Barbiecore pink, of course! This $50 option from H&M also comes in a saturated cerulean shade if bright magenta isn't your personal favorite. Part of the retailer's plus-size line, H&M+, this oversized sweater comes in an extended range of L to 4XL. And while its dropped shoulders and exaggerated wide sleeves provide a relaxed look, the cropped hemline ensures the sweater doesn't completely skew too far into potato sack-like territory.
Pros: Five-star reviews; Under $200; Reviewers say it's relatively true to size.
Cons: Only two colorways; Unsustainable blend of polyester, acrylic, and polyamide.
Best Oversized Sweater Vest
Ah, sweater vests. (opens in new tab) In recent years, they've transitioned from a grandpa staple reminiscent of your Pappy to a fashion girl favorite found on the likes of Gen Z icon Matilda Djerf and All the Pretty Birds founder Tamu McPherson. Mara Hoffman's Simona Turtleneck Sweater Vest taps into the piece's trendy potential but ensures it'll remain timeless by offering it in neutral black and a relaxed fit. As for styling the sleeveless top, wear a sleek bodysuit underneath and throw on a printed silk skirt for bottoms.
Pros: Neutral black color; Made of a cozy organic cotton blend; True to size.
Cons: Over $200; Only sizes available are XS-M.
Best Oversized Cable-Knit Sweater
& Other Stories stays true to the classic sea-faring look of an ivory cable-knit sweater but offers a few stylistic tweaks with its boxy layered number. You can achieve the trendy look of a sweater vest worn atop a long-sleeve shirt (Kendall Jenner, for one, is an avid fan of the combo) only without the additional layer—which is a bonus for those who don't want to expend any more styling energy than necessary. The overall vibe of this oversized cable-knit sweater makes it feel like what a 2023 It girl would sport on a months-long, open-water journey.
Pros: Under $200; Easy layered look; Certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard.
Cons: Hand wash or dry only; Size range is limited with only XS-L; Only cream colored offered.
Best Oversized Cashmere Sweater
Falconeri's cashmere Maxi-Jumper (the brand's unique term for its sweaters in relaxed fits) is an oversized option with an undeniable luxe look and feel. And with its V-neck silhouette, Newberger shouts out the cashmere sweater as a perfect one to team with baggy bottoms. "You'll want to start with a sweater that has a more open collar when pairing an oversized sweater with oversized jeans. While it sounds counterintuitive, doing this will add a little more shape and sex appeal (collar bones will never not be sensuous,)" she says.
Pros: 100 percent cashmere; Six colorways; Deep V-neck.
Cons: Hand-wash in cold water only; Over $200.
Best Embroidered Oversized Sweater
Florals for fall and winter? Honestly, that does feel a little bit groundbreaking! For when the seasons' cold temps feel unbearable, and your weather app taunts you with nothing but wind chills and cold fronts for the coming days, Madewell's embroidered floral jumper will remind you that warmer days and sunshine are ahead. And considering it is crafted from a nubby blend of cotton and merino wool, this pullover makes for a very warm addition to your sweater-weather collection. And, bear with me here, but you can try styling it with a pair of cargo pants for an unconventional girly-meets-gorpcore ensemble.
Pros: Under $200; Offered in both standard and extended sizing; Eye-catching embroidered details; Machine washable.
Cons: Only one colorway offered; No user reviews.
Meet the Expert
Heather Newberger is a fashion stylist, author, and television commentator. Her mission is to help people find joy and self expression through clothing. An imaginative and discerning creative, Heather’s inspired point of view uniquely reflects her commitment to championing all genders, shapes, and sizes. She is devoted to creating inclusivity within the fashion industry. Heather’s first book "How to Date Your Wardrobe" is available for purchase wherever books are sold.
Emma Childs is the Style Editor at Marie Claire, where she researches up-and-coming trends, curates shopping guides, and gushes about the must-buy items she can't stop thinking about. She previously wrote for TZR, Editorialist, Elite Daily, and Mission Magazine and studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University. When she's not writing up fashion deep-dives or finding the season's best pieces, you'll find her fiddling around in Photoshop and perusing HBO Max for the next show to base her personality on (currently, it's "Succession").
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