The 12 Best Embellished Sweaters to Brighten Dark Winter Days

Comfortable and glamorous are not mutually exclusive.

woman wearing a crystal embellished sweater
(Image credit: Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images)

Turtlenecks interwoven with shimmer from Tory Burch, glittery knit gowns from Proenza Schouler, and crystal-trimmed sweater sets from Paco Rabanne—according to the Resort 2023 offerings, embellished sweaters are a leading look-at-me style for the winter season. The trend takes your best sweaters up a notch by incorporating festive, eye-catching adornments, like a sprinkling of lustrous pearls or a smattering of tonal sequins. Furthermore, it's a method of ensuring the season's gloom and doom doesn't zap all the joy out of getting dressed. Because what's more joyful than light-reflecting shimmer and shine?

Below, we compiled our favorite takes on the trend that are still high function (as in they're versatile options that will keep you toasty), but their touch of glitz makes them high fashion, too. Scroll on for our edit of the best embellished sweaters for women and some insight from a fashion stylist on everything you need to know about the statement style.

Why Are Embellished Sweaters Trending?

"Embellished sweaters aren't exactly new (see: the never-ending number of pearl appliqués used in the mid to late 2010s)," Heather Newberger, stylist and fashion writer, shares over email. "However, I attribute the recent uptick in the trend to how people are thinking differently about showing up not only for themselves but also for the world at large over the last few years. Using your wardrobe to stand out has increasingly become the norm as more and more people embrace their new work-from-home lifestyles. So while we may be wearing sweatpants more than ever, we're also putting more work into our outfits when we leave the house, too," shares Newberger, pointing to maximalist sweaters with personality-filled detailing, like rhinestone embellishments, glittery yarn, or jewel buttons.

What to Look For in an Embellished Sweater

  • Crystal Adornments

"Light is at the forefront of the embellished sweater trend, which takes its cue from the holiday season that celebrates it," explains Newberger, saying you should look for bejeweled adornments like crystals, rhinestones, and diamanté. 

  • Pearls

"Pearls aren’t going anywhere either—in fact, it’s actually quite the opposite. Intrinsically we think of pearls skewing feminine, but this year men have been wearing them more than ever. The popularity of male peal necklaces has become pervasive, and I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest they may be the latest incarnation of the early 00s puka shell choker. Regardless, this has opened up a new space for both men and women to bring peals into their lives on a more casual basis, whether they be on sweaters as decorations, buttons, or both."

  • High-Shine Knits

"Shiny yarns are also more ubiquitous this season, and have been helpful in creating a middle ground for those of us who want to glow, but aren’t ready to add any additional features."

The Best Embellished Sweaters

Meet the Expert

 Heather Newberger
Heather Newberger

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
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.