The Must-Try Sweater Trends of Winter 2023

Prepare for lots of shimmer and sex appeal.

winter sweater trends
(Image credit: Brittany Holloway-Brown)

What's your favorite sweater you own? Is it the black turtleneck you reach for when you can't be bothered to use more than two brain cells when getting dressed in the morning? The timeless cable-knit sweater you've had in your possession for God knows how long but don't have the heart to toss? The classic, tried-and-true knits stand out for a reason, as they play a hugely important role in your wardrobe. But the coming season, however, argues that the best sweaters are those that stray from convention. The sweater trends of winter 2023 laugh in the face of minimalism and favor fashion over function, almost to the point of impracticality.

Marc Rofsky, Director of Buying of Ready-to-Wear at Moda Operandi, points to the sexy, bare-it-all attitude that's consumed fashion as of late and spawned one of the most exciting winter fashion trends: Sexy sweaters. "If there is one universal trend from the runways, it is that skin is in! Designers are standing for female empowerment and for women to be in control of their bodies," he explains to Marie Claire, linking the all-around embrace of femininity to the growing prevalence of sheer knits and revealing cutout styles. 

Ahead, Rofsky breaks down the titillating knitwear trend further and shouts out the other notable sweater styles he predicts to define winter 2023—and if anyone would have the capacity to forecast the future of fashion, it's the shopping expert. Take a look.

Glitter, Shimmer, & Shine

Tory Burch Resort 2023 shiny sweater

(Image credit: Tory Burch)

"Embellishment, high shine, and sparkle were ubiquitous on the Fall/Winter 2022 runways and throughout Resort 2023 collections. And knitwear is an unexpected wardrobing piece that offers a fun way to play into the trend of opulent shimmer with broader versatility and lower commitment than more traditional eveningwear," Rofsky shares. "From knits adorned with all-over liquid sequins, shimmery crochet, and crystal embellished sweaters, there are many options to capture just the right amount of sparkle."

Color Explosion

colorful sweater in Christopher John Rogers Resort 2023

(Image credit: Christopher John Rogers)

"Color explosion is a knitwear aesthetic that picks up on the season's most impactful color trends, starting with Barbiecore pink, purple, and periwinkle," details Rofsky. He adds, too, that this kaleidoscope look includes "graphic color blocking in unexpected combinations."

Skin-Flashing Sweaters

cutout sweater from Jonathan Simkhai Resort 2023

(Image credit: Jonathan Simkhai)

"This trend is all about what someone chooses to conceal and reveal," says Moda Operandi's buying expert. "Knitwear offer designers technical attributes to explore various forms of the trend, including graphic cutouts on elevated essentials and sheer knits." And he adds that sultry sweaters won't be leaving the trend cycle anytime soon either. "We are seeing this trend continue into Spring '23, with further explorations into sheer textiles, artisanal crochet, and mixed media pieces that combine sheer and opaque weaves within a single piece."

Tactile Textures

fuzzy sweater in Bottega Veneta Resort 2023

(Image credit: Bottega Veneta)

The Moda Operandi expert also spotlights tactile, dare-to-be-touched textures as a leading knitwear trend for winter 2023. Specifically, Rofsky says mohair sweaters with extra visible fuzz will be a defining style and expect an increase in "unexpected novelty, including hand-knit details."

An Ode to the Classics

Derek Lam 10 Crosby cable knit sweater

(Image credit: Derek Lam 10 Crosby)

Rofsky adds that winter 2023 will pay homage to timeless sweater styles by "reinterpreting classic motifs, from Fair Aisle to argyle." Cable knits are splashed with graphic pops of color, and even the stalwart sartorial code of Parisian women, the Breton striped sweater, adopts a more haggard, less polished look through exaggerated distressing. 

Meet the Expert

Marc Rofsky
Marc Rofsky

Marc Rofsky is the Director of Buying, Ready-to-Wear at Moda Operandi.  He oversees Moda Operandi’s complete Ready-to-Wear portfolio across the Designer, Evening, Contemporary, Resortwear, Denim & Ski categories for both the in-season (Boutique) and next season (Trunkshow) lines of business. Prior to joining the Moda team, he held positions as Director of Wholesale for Valentino and Senior Buyer of Designer Ready-to-Wear at Barneys New York. 

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.