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  • Writer's pictureKAT KOHTALA

Sweater Weather: a how-to


Graphic by Kat Kohtala

As our first week on campus began with 80-degree heat, I heard many classmates long for cooler temperatures and “sweater weather.” As temperatures drop, we could all benefit from a greater understanding of this well-loved piece.


The first step is to acquire a sweater. While sweaters can be found on fast-fashion websites, I’d highly recommend looking at a thrift store. Knits, crewnecks, fleeces, and turtlenecks are often readily available secondhand. Not only is this a more sustainable option, but vintage sweaters often feature unique patterns and are typically of higher quality.


Once you have your sweater, it’s time to style it. Knit sweaters have a unique texture, which is also important to consider. I find that the softer texture of knits pairs well with rougher textures such as leather and denim. This contrast can add intrigue to otherwise simple outfits. A sweater with wide-leg jeans or pants creates a clean silhouette that will suit anyone. For a more feminine look, try pairing your sweater with a short skirt. Warm, earth-toned colors are a great pick for the fall season. These colors pair best with gold jewelry, which can enhance and “dress-up” the look. Ankle boots or chunky sneakers are safe footwear picks, but Mary Jane’s, cowboy boots, thigh-highs, or brightly-colored Doc Martens can be thrown on to spice up the look. In colder weather, jackets or flannels can be layered atop the sweater for added comfort and style.


Finally, it’s important to properly care for your sweaters and knitwear. Most modern knits are safe to put in the washing machine, but you should wash them on the “slow” or “delicate” setting and place them in a mesh washing machine bag to avoid stretching and pulling. If you do score a delicate vintage sweater, it may be best to hand-wash it or have it dry cleaned. To hand-wash clothing, fill a sink with water, add mild detergent or soap, then swish it around. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes then rinse it out. You should not put any knitwear in the dryer. Instead, lay it flat to dry, do not wring it out, and be careful of hanging it up while it’s still wet, as this may stretch the garment. While it may seem tedious, correct maintenance ensures that your new favorite staple sweater will last for seasons to come.


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