Not to be all, "I was into them before it was cool," but I foresaw the sweater vest trend long before it began to take shape back in 2020. Before you had Bella Hadid sporting sleeveless knits on her off-duty days—back when they were very much still considered Pop Pop-approved grandpacore—I was stocking up on sweater vests. And to this day, those styles remain some of the best sweaters in my possession. That said, my cozy collection could absolutely do with an upgrade—and ASAP (a certain secondhand vest quickly went from a well-loved favorite of mine to a threadbare, ragged, and, sad-looking option I no longer allow myself to wear in public).
So, because I have a terrible habit of online window shopping, I’ve rounded up all of the best sweater vest styles that I have my eye on right now. From quirky-cool options from TikTok-approved brands like Lisa Says Gah! and GANNI to sleek longline alternatives from the likes of H&M and Zara, this list is chock-full of sweater vests that are just dying to be layered over a thin tee or turtleneck this fall. Or, go ahead and wear one of the cropped options from this list with an ever-so-trendy pleated mini skirt and loafers for that classically preppy, back-to-school look—even if you haven't stepped foot on a college campus in years. Keep reading for a complete rundown of this season’s in-demand women's sweater vest styles, and insight on how to style them, too.
What to Look For
"Before you run to the mall to buy a sweater vest, take a step back," advises Lisa Sanchez, the Fashion Editor for celebrity street style and fashion platform The Nines. "This staple is designed for layering, and what you pair with the season's hottest trend is as important as the vest itself. Luckily, you have a multitude of options," she points out. "If you can't stand bulk, look for something slim enough to wear over a t-shirt. But, if you'd prefer a more voluminous look, try one that's oversized, slouchy, and cozy af. Then, wear it over your summer puff-sleeved poplins for maximum magnitude," offers The Nines' in-house stylist.
The Best Sweater Vests for Women
- Best Oversized Sweater Vest: H&M Oversized Rib-Knit Sweater Vest
- Best Vintage Sweater Vest: Urban Renewal Remade Super Crop Argyle Sweater Vest
- Best GANNI Sweater Vest: Ganni Yellow Wool Vest
- Best V-Neck Sweater Vest: Lisa Says Gah! Fangio Vest
- Best Zara Sweater Vest: Zara Ribbed Knit Vest
- Best Cashmere Sweater Vest: Naadam Cashmere Hooded Half-Zip Vest
Best Oversized Sweater Vest
Meet the perfect layering sweater. It comes courtesy of H&M, also in a creamy ivory and bright baby blue, and is the oversized sweater vest of your dreams. Its roomy design not only ensures an assortment of tops will fit underneath, but it also offers an easy and comfortable wear—which is something you'll definitely appreciate when, mid-January, you've run out of inspired outfit ideas and just need something simple and effective. File it under: Pieces I Will Be Living In This Season.
Best Vintage Sweater Vest
The Nines' Sanchez advises you to take a cue from retro-obsessed Gen Z and lean a '90s influence with your style this fall and winter. Start by snagging this genuine throwback argyle sweater vest Urban Outfitters upcycled into a flirty, uber-cropped silhouette for only $25. "Gen Z is obsessed with the idea that high school didn't used to involve smartphones ... and who can blame them? We're all a little nostalgic for the era of Alicia Silverstone and must-see network TV," says Sanchez.
Best Cable-Knit Sweater Vest
"I love a chunky, cable knit sweater in the wintertime for peak grandpa-core vibes," says Marie Claire's E-Commerce Writer Julia Marzovilla. "This one from J.Crew comes in this vibrant orange or a fresh ivory shade, and I've had my eye on both versions this season. This is the 2022 version of a vintage one I found from the brand a few years ago—the cropped silhouette hits just above the waist, making it ideal for layering now and on its own later. I'm also considering sizing up so that it fits a bit boxier."
Best Wool Sweater Vest
Here's another sweater vest Sanchez personally shouts out. "Its delicate lines will keep you feeling slim even under a coat," she explains, positioning Shrimps cherry-motif option as the ideal option for those not interested in bulky silhouettes. And despite its lightweight look, the Queenie vest is impressively warm since it's made from ultra-soft merino wool. And for those who don't instinctually gravitate toward the mint green color (It's okay! Resembling a Mint Chip ice cream sundae, fit with a cherry on top, isn't everyone's desired look), opt for the more neutral cream style instead.
Best Wrap Sweater Vest
This wrap-style vest from H&M looks like it would be worn by one of the cast members on Big Little Lies while pensively looking over the Monterrey cliffs, wondering, "How the hell did we get here?" In any case, this heathered gray vest will work wonders in your wardrobe this season—even if you're not a Californian-based mom prone to drama. Made from pure wool yarn, this option's side ties promise adaptability, meaning you, the wearer, have complete control over how the piece fits.
Best GANNI Sweater Vest
Scandi It-brand GANNI is heralded by fashion folk for its sweater vests, so Sanchez advises you to peruse its offerings first if you're hoping to hop on the sleeveless knit train. "Right now, I'm loving this Ganni sweater vest in pale yellow," she shares, "because it's subtle enough to work into almost any wardrobe. I'd wear it to the office with a button-up underneath and a pair of wide-legged trousers." Plus, she points out that its open-knit mohair and wool blend will keep you cozy without the worry of overheating.
Best V-Neck Sweater Vest
Calling all horse girls! For those whose hearts still reside in the stables or who never fully recovered after not receiving that pony they asked for as a child, this Lisa Says Gah! V-neck style with a nuzzling horse motif will make you exponentially happier than any other neutral sweater vest option. Lean into its equestrian nature by pairing it with medium-wash jeans and a pair of riding boots. Due to the vest's oversized fit, you could also layer a turtleneck sweater underneath if needed, weather depending.
Best Ruffled Sweater Vest
And then we have this fun little number courtesy of Mango! The ruffled sleeves are just one of the reasons why I love this particular piece. Others include the fitted bottom design that will make tucking it into a pair of trousers a breeze, the 3-D appliques that add playful texture, and the striking v-shaped front graphics that add visual intrigue. Oh, and did you see its manageable $70 price tag? All in all, this is a sweater vest that's too good to pass up.
Best Graphic Sweater Vest
"My second choice, also by Ganni, is the total opposite of my first," Sanchez shares. "Its look-at-me logos and happy faces make it perfect for anyone looking to stand out. Influencers like Emma Chamberlain are all about that full-on 90s look," she says, referencing this exact eclectic style the Gen Z content creator wore when attending Copenhagen Fashion Week this past summer. Follow Chamberlain's sartorial lead and layer a white tee underneath the vest, and then, for bottoms, try baggy jeans in a playful bubblegum pink shade.
Best Zara Sweater Vest
Ribbed sweater vests are a little more lightweight when compared to your usual densely-woven knit versions, making them a great option for warmer fall days. This one from Zara comes in sharp Bottega green (If you know, you know, and for those who don't, now you do!), making it a bright and incredibly on-trend option. As for styling the jewel-toned piece, go for a pair of sleek leather trousers and black, heeled booties for a down-to-earth outfit with just the right amount of cool-girl edge.
Best Striped Sweater Vest
"Fall and winter are tailor-made for striped clothing in my book, and this boxy sweater vest from Closed has been worn on a weekly basis since I got it back in September," says Marie Claire's Marzovilla. "Boxy enough to throw over top of a knit dress or maxi skirt yet casual enough to be worn over jeans and a white T-shirt, it’s endlessly wearable. Plus, the quality is next-level (and very much worth the investment.) I’ve washed it maybe 10 times since I first received it, and it’s just as soft."
Best Button-Up Vest
Want to look put instantly together on your next Zoom call? Layer this chocolate brown-colored button-up sweater vest from Madewell under a plaid blazer and throw on some sculptural gold huggie hoops. Boom—effortlessly put-together and polished, and no one will ever know that you're wearing leggings and fuzzy socks! And, to sweeten the deal, this particular Madewell vest is one of the brand's best-seller. In fact, almost 900 people have added it to their carts in just this past week alone.
Best Fair Isle Sweater Vest
If Fair Isle sweaters are a wardrobe staple, then a Fair Isle sweater vest is a wardrobe necessity for fall 2022—heck, and winter 2022-2023, too. You'll get all of the '80s vibes with this option from Alex Mill, which boasts a classic pattern like those you'd traditionally see in northern Scotland, only in a cheeky pink and red color palette. It's made of 100-percent extra fine merino wool, too, which means it'll keep you as cozy as can be. Consider either layering a white button-up underneath or—and bear with me here—styling it with the matching Alex Mill Fair Isle cardigan for a fully coordinated ensemble.
Best Cashmere Sweater Vest
Heading on a long flight sometime soon? Pick up this hooded cashmere vest courtesy of Naadam to keep you warm and comfy—and chic!—in the airport as you jet set. For the uninitiated, if you're shopping for a cashmere sweater, sustainable knitwear brand Naadam is where you should first turn. All of its cashmere is sourced directly from Mongolia's Gobi Desert and is made from renewable or recycled sources. In addition, the label works in direct cooperation with local goat herders to create an all-around ethical production process.
Best Crochet Sweater Vest
Go ahead—buy the sleeveless crochet top. It's kitschy, it's fun—and not to mention it's very trendy at the moment. This crochet sweater vest from fashion-girl fave Sea offers a contemporary-cool approach to kitschy crochet with its skin-revealing pattern and circular silver hardware that creates an almost keyhole-like effect. Make this particular style a bit more suitable for winter's harsh temperatures by layering a sheer turtleneck underneath. Then, slip on dark trousers and ankle boots to complete the city-meets-Boheme look.
Best Checkered Sweater Vest
If you want to experiment with color this season without going all-out, full-tilt kaleidoscopic, pick a sweater vest that is made in a series of easy-to-style pastel hues. This one by English Factory, for instance, relies on an understated lilac and seafoam checkered print that's inherently colorful but not in a way that feels like too much of a statement and would scare away minimal dressers. My styling input? I'd throw this number over a black, tiered maxi dress and slip on my favorite pair of combat boots.
Meet the Expert
Lisa is the Fashion Editor of The Nines, a site that features celebrity fashion exact matches and “buy it for less” versions of every outfit. Lisa has been working in various roles in the fashion industry since graduating from The University of Colorado in 2012.