The best women’s plus-sized sweater

Outerwear

If you need a versatile sweater but find black is too dark for your liking, consider other popular neutrals like charcoal, chocolate brown or navy.

Women’s plus-sized sweater

If you’re ready to restock your wardrobe with a few new essentials, make sure sweaters are at the top of your list.

Sweaters are versatile, practical pieces that belong in every wardrobe, and they’re not just for cold weather wear. Besides chunky knits, there are plenty of sweater styles for other seasons. Lightweight cotton cardigans are comfortable for warmer weather, while midweight pullovers are popular for cooler temperatures.

Sweaters can be worn as a layering garment, too. Depending on the fit, they can be worn with button-down shirts, sleeveless blouses, thermal tops, or dresses.

To point you in the right direction, we’re sharing this buying guide on women’s plus-size sweaters. We’re covering everything you need to know about different styles and sharing a few of our favorites. Our top choice, Lands’ End Cotton Cable Drifter Crew-Neck Sweater, earns praise for its cozy softness.

Considerations when choosing women’s plus-sized sweaters

Materials

The most common materials for sweaters include natural ones, like cotton, cashmere and wool. More recently, synthetic blends have risen in popularity. These days, it’s common to see polyester, acrylic, rayon, nylon and elastane blends.

No matter which materials sweaters are made with, it’s important to care for them appropriately. While cotton and synthetic blends are generally machine-washable, cashmere and wool sweaters require hand washing or dry cleaning.

Collar

Collars play a significant role in sweater choice because they affect overall comfort. Some wearers prefer to stay cozy with close-fitting collars like turtlenecks or crew necks, whereas other wearers find these styles overwhelming. V-neck and scoop neck sweaters expose the décolletage area, which helps keep some wearers cool. Others feel they’re cut a bit too low, particularly if they’re not worn with layers beneath them.

Popular styles of women’s plus-size sweaters

Chunky knits

Chunky knits are popular for their coziness and warmth. To many wearers, they have sentimental value since they’re reminiscent of sweaters hand-knitted by their grandmothers. Some chunky knits are boxy, while others are tapered at the waist and create a more flattering fit.

Button-down cardigans

Button-down cardigans are preppy and feminine and can be worn buttoned, unbuttoned, or partially buttoned. They can be worn as outer layers to lightweight garments like sleeveless shirts or strappy dresses. To find a correctly fitted button-down cardigan, make sure it doesn’t pucker across the bust when it’s buttoned.

Pullovers

Pullovers are best known for their sporty academic look. They’re a popular choice for upscale casual wear or business attire and can be worn with collared shirts. Because some pullovers are quite fitted, it’s recommended to size up to accommodate base layers.

Oversized sweaters

Oversized sweaters remain much-loved styles for their generous cuts and puffy sleeves, leaving plenty of room for base layers. Since they are typically boxy or amorphous, oversized sweaters are usually worn with fitted bottoms like leggings or skinny jeans to achieve a more flattering silhouette.

Dusters

Duster sweaters or cardigans are long, flowy sweaters whose hemlines usually graze the knees. Simple styles are monochromatic, while more elaborate designs feature embellishments like intricate beading or embroidery. Dusters may be worn in lieu of jackets, and many women choose to size up to accommodate base layers.

Women’s plus-sized sweater price

Classic cotton and cotton-blend sweaters cost between $25 and $40. Sweaters featuring premium materials including wool and cashmere blends tend to run between $50 and $80. High-end sweaters from leading designers, many of which are 100% wool or cashmere, cost $90 to $220.

Women’s plus-sized sweater FAQ

How should I store sweaters?

A. Always fold sweaters and keep them in drawers or on shelves. If possible, avoid stuffing them on top of one another to prevent peculiar lumps or dents. Hangers aren’t much of an option for sweaters because they warp their shape.

Is it worth spending big bucks on a wool or cashmere sweater?

A. Some women say yes, given their luxurious feel. Others say it’s not a great investment if you’re on a budget. Unfortunately, these materials require extra special care, so there is an ongoing cost for either special detergents or dry-cleaning bills.

Women’s plus-sized sweaters we recommend

Best of the best

Lands’ End Cotton Cable Drifter Crew-Neck Sweater

Lands’ End Cotton Cable Drifter Crew-Neck Sweater

Our take: A classic chunky sweater that’s versatile enough for casual or business wear.

What we like: Available in sizes 1X to 3X. Flattering fit that tapers at the waist. Made with soft, breathable, midweight cotton that works well for layering. Sleeves are the perfect length. Comes in 20 colors.

What we dislike: It’s 100% cotton, so it’s prone to shrinking and requires special care for line drying.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Shiaili Classic Oversized Cardigan

Shiaili Classic Oversized Cardigan

Our take: An affordable option if you’re looking for a comfortable, laid-back chunky knit.

What we like: Looks more expensive than it is. Made with 100% acrylic and features more than one knit pattern. Cozy oversized pockets. Ribbed hem and cuffs give the sweater classic details.

What we dislike: Very limited color selection — only available in black or gray.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ReneeC. Long Duster Cardigan

ReneeC. Long Duster Cardigan

Our take: Stylish duster sweater whose flowy design is unbelievably comfortable.

What we like: Available in sizes 1X to 5X. Hi-low hem adds contemporary flair to the design. Made with a flexible blend of polyester and bamboo. Sleeves are extra long to achieve the “scrunched” look.

What we dislike: Some wearers would have liked to see it available in prints or patterns.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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