Trend to Try: Sleeveless Sweaters

One of my favorite transition styles is a short-sleeve or sleeveless sweater, so I’m thrilled that sweater tanks and sweater vests are trending this fall! They’re a fresh update to this classic style, especially when paired with wide-leg ankle jeans.

cable vest (S) // PAIGE denim (29) // Sam Edelman heels at Zappos or Evereve (8) // AllSaints tote // Jenny Bird earrings // YSL sunnies

This sleeveless sweater immediately caught my eye when I saw it on the Evereve website. I love the chunky cable knit and the contrasting buttons. It’s the perfect length for pairing with higher rise jeans, and you can just throw it on and go without futzing with tucking or styling it.

I notice the model on the website leaves the bottom button undone, but I tried that and it looked silly. I also tried unbuttoning the top button, but it didn’t create a V-shape neckline or add an element of interest; it just looked like forgot to button the top button.

All that to say, I’ve just been wearing it like this, and it feels authentic to me. Feel free to play around with it, though. Everyone is different!

These PAIGE Leenah wide leg ankle jeans were an #NSale purchase, and I feel like I’m going to get a lot of wear out of them going into fall. The laid-back, retro-chic vibe with trouser-inspired hems is right up my alley. They fit true to size, as far as I can tell; I’m wearing what is now my usual size 29.

And then, of course we need to discuss these shoes! I love the juxtaposition of the prim shoe with the rugged denim. Notice, while these jeans are relaxed and slightly distressed, they aren’t slouchy. There’s a big difference, and I think that’s why this unexpected combination still looks polished.

Slingback shoes are having a moment this season, and more structured and ladylike styles are trending across all clothing and accessory categories, so these Chanel-inspired cap toe slingbacks are hitting all the right notes.

They also repeat the black and brown tones from the sweater, which makes them a nice way to bookend this outfit. (Notice, I did the same with the bag.) These shoes run slightly small; I’m wearing my usual size 8, and they just fit, so keep that in mind if you tend to run in between sizes.

Another footwear option for this outfit is a wood grain platform sandal like this Seychelles pair from last year. This pair and this one are similar, or you can find lots of other options at Nordstrom and Zappos.

cable vest (S) // PAIGE denim (29) // Seychelles heels (option/option) // AllSaints shoulder bag // Jenny Bird earrings // YSL sunnies

These shoes are perfect for transitioning into a warm fall, due to the walnut brown color and the suede strap and wood platform sole. They look darker and heavier than, say, a raffia upper and a jute platform, which are more summery.

They’re also comfortable and stable to walk in, which is a huge bonus for those of us with finicky feet!

I swapped out my bag for this second look, and I went with a solid black shoulder bag. I love how the shiny croc-embossed leather adds texture and dimension to the look, and the matte silver hardware gives it a slightly edgy vibe.

This bag is comfortable to carry and holds everything I need on a daily basis. It was also an #NSale purchase, but even at full price, I feel like it’s a good value for the quality.

I’ve been asked to talk more about how I choose accessories. This sweater has a lot going on, and a high neck, so I did not wear a necklace. Instead, I chose a pair of medium-sized mixed metal earrings that play into the “puffy” jewelry trend. I wish I had a better picture of them, but I’ve been wearing these a lot lately, and I love how they add just enough interest to an outfit.

I almost always wear a bracelet of some sort unless I’m wearing long sleeves, and this outfit could probably use more of a statement, but I just wore my two LAGOS station bracelets – the Caviar Beaded Bracelet and Caviar 1-Row Ball-Chain Bracelet. I showcased these in my post, Everyday Jewelry Worth Investing In. I wear these a lot because they can be dressed up or down, and the mixed metals work with whatever else I’m wearing.

And I consider my sunglasses an accessory, as well. I feel like this all works together for a modern look that is polished and put-together, but not fussy.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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21 Responses

  1. Oh no on the ticket mix-up! But give yourself some grace, Jo-Lynne. I am finding that as I get older I make more of these silly mistakes, but I’m learning to just say “oh well”. Beating myself up over these things just isn’t worth my time or energy. And they always give my children who are in their 30s a good laugh! I LOVE the sleeveless and short sleeve sweater look but am struggling to find thinner fabrics with V-necks. Let us know if you see any. I may try the J. Crew sleeveless cashmere. It’s spendy, but I have a short sleeve cashmere top that is at least 10 years old that I still wear. Enjoy your quick trip.

  2. I am sorry about your travel mixup, and hope the rest of your trip is smooth sailing!
    I have always loved a sweater vest. I had one in high school in the mid seventies that I bought at a high end store with a gift card, and I wore it for decades. I have purchased several in the past few years, and I, too was attracted to your sweater the first time I saw it. I haven’t purchased it because I have a short sleeve sweater in black from Macy’s from a couple of years ago that is almost identical. Ironically, when I wore my original sweater vest in high school, I wore it with my big flared jeans which were the style then and back in style now!

  3. Oh my! I hope your travel issue gets sorted out quickly!
    Question: do you think we will be seeing sweater vests worn into winter over a long sleeve layer (button-up shirt, knit)? Some of these sweater vests are an oversized fit, and if a trend is to wear fitted under layers, I wonder if we’ll be seeing these two together (or three) with the button up shirt later on.

  4. I absolutely love this sweater vest ! I looked at it in store last week, but it was a little more than I wanted to spend on a sweater vest, but I love how you styled it. I may have to go back for it.
    Iam OCD when I schedule a flight because I am so worried I am going to do exactly what you did! At least you were able to get it sorted out. safe travels, and enjoy getting your daughter settled in.

  5. Well I have to give you a lot of credit. You’re
    well traveled enough to have handled that ticket thing very calmly. I could kick myself for not ordering that black bag….by the time I pulled the trigger it was gone only to be restocked 2 days later after the sale. Have a wonderful
    save trip to and from Boston.

    1. I knew they could fix it and I had time. They’re are lots of flights to and from Philly and Boston. The delays are far more annoying. We were half boarded, deplaned, boarded and now delayed YET AGAIN.I could have driven at this rate.

  6. So glad you were able to get your flight figured out. Safe travels and I’m sure Caroline will be happy to see you. She seems so brave and Independant to go off to such a big college, so far away. I did not like college and I think it’s because I chose too big and far away for me. I love this sweater vest and how you styled it both ways. I just have a hard time finding the right weather to wear one. It’s either too hot for the sweater material or too chilly for sleeveless. So I don’t buy them. I have a $15 coupon code to use at Evereve so looking for what I want to use it on. Those jeans are so cute on you.

  7. Haha, you’re definitely not the only one! I once booked a flight out of DC and drove to the wrong airport. By the time I got to the check-in counter and realized my mistake, it was way too late to go another 30 miles down the road. Fortunately they were able to re-book me. No idea what I was thinking…

  8. The dress you styled on the blog yesterday and this outfit today looks fantastic, that it makes a lot of us want it too!!

  9. Jo-Lynne, thank you for elaborating on your accessories. I always get stumped as to what accessories to add to an outfit. Enjoy your time with Caroline.

  10. I’m glad that you were able to get your tickets changed this morning. I am thrilled that sleeveless and capped sleeve sweaters are on trend this fall. I have several that I really enjoy wearing. The outfit you created with the black sleeveless cable knit sweater is perfect! I hope you had fun getting Caroline settled in her new dorm room.

  11. Hi Jo-Lynne ,

    Thanks for another great post – it’s a standing joke in our house that my brain can’t be relied upon although since starting HRT the episodes are lessening thank goodness! I once booked a menopause workshop & spent half an hour in the wrong place after not checking the address! Safe travelling xxx

  12. Small world; I also went to college in Beantown 😉

    Really enjoyed the detail of your article; and totally luv sleeveless sweaters, wearing one now!

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