15 Winter Sweaters That Are Anything but Ugly

The future of obnoxious knits.

By Zoe Sayler

The products listed here were selected by a member of the editorial staff. Should you choose to purchase a product through a link on this page, we may receive an affiliate commission.

When you can't stop looking at your sweater.

Image: Eddie Bauer

Ugly novelty sweaters had their time to shine. Now, we're getting serious. Or at least marginally more so: This winter's statement sweater trend plays around, but never messes. It's a gutsy pattern, a larger-than-life knit, or a risque silhouette you'd never catch a substitute teacher adorning with an apple brooch. Here's where to find your perfect fit at local shops and online.

House of Sunny Golden Years Sweater, Pipe and Row Local


Image: Pipe and Row

It's impossible to give anyone full credit for a trend, but House of Sunny certainly took the statement sweater and ran with it. Count this abstract earthy version among the brand's more subtle—Fremont boutique Pipe and Row also stocks its swan motif vest ($122) and trippy shroomed-out cardigan ($159).

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Alber Open Back Sweater, Reformation


Image: Reformation

We love imagining the creative minds at Reformation sitting around a table ideating on how to make the sweater sultry.

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Corridor Optic Boucle Crewneck Sweater, Prism Seattle Local


Image: Corridor

It's not an illusion: You'd look incredible in this crewneck.

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River Island Flower Embroidered Pom Pom Sweater, Nordstrom Local


Image: Nordstrom

Someone at River Island must have heard me wish all the adorable toddler sweaters came in grown-up sizes. The London-based clothing brand wins the day for textures, pastels, and tea-party sweetness with its mock-neck peplum ($84), embellished lavender turtleneck ($90), and painterly pink swirls ($64).

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Paloma Wool Black Matrix Sweater, Glasswing Local


Image: Glasswing

 They're staring at you and your sweater.

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Dream in a Knit, Lika Love Local


Image: Lika Love

Animal print sweaters? Been there, done that. West Seattle's Lika Love freshens it up with a little abstraction and a loose, casual fit.

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Sunday Best Peggy Sweater, Aritzia


Image: Aritzia

This sweater plays tug-of-war between subtle and striking: easygoing silhouette; big, groovy florals; cool, low-contrast colorway; pops of grabbier blue. Everyone wins.

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Saylor Martina Fringe Top, Sway and Cake Local


Image: Sway and Cake

Cozy enough for a night at home, glitzy enough for cocktail hour, and as easy to wear as your favorite sweatshirt but a hell of a lot fancier.

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Abstract Jacquard Sweater, Zara


Image: Zara

Zara's got a stockpile of cute, interesting sweaters in the menswear department—this one's especially distinctive, but we're fans of colorblock ($50) and squiggly lines ($50). (And the prices.)

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Rita Row Narciso Sweater, Clementines Local


Image: Clementines

Who needs patterns when haphazard florals look so effortlessly cool?

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Extreme Cashmere Little Game Breton Stripe, Flora and Henri Local


The best time to wear a cashmere striped sweater from a beloved local shop: all the time. Especially one that buttons down the front and back.

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Maeve Floral Sweater Shrug Set, Anthropologie

$98 $140

Image: Anthropologie

Apologies to everyone who still cringes at their early 2000s shrug phase, but they're back in a big way—this time, as matching sweater sets we totally won't regret this time. Right? This one from Anthropologie comes in petite, straight, and plus sizes.

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Frnch Nisa Wave Sweater, Nordstrom Rack Local


Voluminous sleeves take this otherwise simple baby blue sweater up a notch, but it's the $40 price tag that really sold us.

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Hope Macaulay Neptune Colossal Cardi, Free People


Image: Free People

Has anyone canonized Hope Macaulay as the patron saint of out-there knits? Handmade in Northern Ireland, these chunky sweaters (and scarves ($424), and dresses ($424)) are a divine work indeed.

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Cabin Calling Sweater, Eddie Bauer Local

$45 $90

Leave it to Eddie Bauer to turn a sweater into an ode to the Pacific Northwest.

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