The black sweater: 15 takes on a classic

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nili lotan sweater

There are few items as timeless and forever useful as a black sweater, and although I am making some effort to wear color close to my face, I don’t think I’ll ever quite give them up. They’re just too figure-flattering and easy. This is a splurgy cashmere option from Nili Lotan: I think the buttons at the shoulder are really chic.

vince sweater

Just a nice, heavy V-neck with ribbing that isn’t too tight, as ribbing so often is.

gia cardigan

A lightweight cashmere cardigan is such a good layering piece, and I like them slightly oversized (here is one that looks pretty good too, and is cheaper).

universal standard cape

This cape  sweater from Universal Standard is so good I wish it came in straight sizes, as I do so many pieces from Universal Standard. I heard a rumor that they are planning to do a capsule collection of straight sizes, but it’s totally unconfirm-able.

trouve sweater

I like how forgivingly cut this V-neck is—very good for camouflaging stomach junk.

other stories turtleneck

The side slits on this chunky turtleneck are a nice touch.

sundry sweater
This
 Bowie-esque lightning bolt is fun and graphic.

other stories mohair

This is made from a mohair blend, so it’s nice and fluffy.

eileen fisher sweater

There are subtle sequins on this Eileen Fisher option, which would look as nice with jeans as it would more dressed up.

halogen cardigan

A round-neck cardigan can skew a bit girly for my taste, but they’re really good with dresses.

brochu walker sweater

I’m afraid that this is only available in limited sizes, but it’s so graceful and sculptural (and comfortable-looking) that I had to include it.

free people sweater

Here is a really excellent big huggy choice.

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 12.43.47 PM

The lace detail here is so pretty, and even a little sexy.

topshop sweater

I like the slit detail at the arms here, and the price is quite nice.

Another big old V-neck suitable for the coldest of days.

 

Here is a post on black pieces under $100 that I wrote a while back.

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Comments

25 Thoughts on The black sweater: 15 takes on a classic
    Alix
    16 Jan 2018
    7:36am

    I hope Universal Standard does NOT start making straight sizes — at least not until most of the other high-end designers start making size 16s.

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      Kristin
      16 Jan 2018
      9:30am

      I totally agree. It feels a bit mean spirited to think that, but there are so many things for women below size 12. So so so many things even though the majority of women are not below size 12 in the US. Can’t ladies who’ve had (and still have, frankly) such limited options have something just for them when so many things are just for slimmer ladies???

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        Alix
        16 Jan 2018
        9:45am

        Agreed!

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        DeDe
        16 Jan 2018
        11:21am

        Also agreed!

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      ljchicago
      16 Jan 2018
      5:47pm

      What’s a straight size? I’ve never heard that before.

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      Erica Winter
      17 Jan 2018
      12:07am

      I totally understand your feeling. It wouldn’t bother me if they did, though, because I’d still rather buy from US than the others.

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      Barbara
      17 Jan 2018
      7:58pm

      Have no knowledge of the Universal Standard “straight” size rumor, but I was told by one of the reps during their Chicago roadshow that they were looking at adding petite versions to some of their stuff. As a short, round woman, some of there stuff is unwearable for me, like the those awesome t shirt dresses that drag on the floor when I wear them!

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    Heather
    16 Jan 2018
    8:31am

    Those Halogen 3/4 sleeve cardigans are the bomb.

    I have a vintage Yves St Laurent black cashmere turtleneck that I have to repair every time I wear it, and I dread the day when it disintegrates completely. I’ve never seen anything that would quite replace it.

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    Alix
    16 Jan 2018
    9:46am

    Am I the only one who misses morning links?

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      Alexa
      16 Jan 2018
      10:00am

      Nope! ; )

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        KimFrance
        16 Jan 2018
        10:19am

        Sorry guys, I’ve been really remiss lately. Will get them back to you some time soon.

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          Alexa
          16 Jan 2018
          7:09pm

          We all just do what we can. It’s just that what you do is so frequently awesome. : )
          Please don’t stress about it!

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    Emily
    16 Jan 2018
    10:09am

    Love the Nili Lotan, but ordered the mohair instead. It is one degree here right now. I’m blaming the fact that I’m at my desk in my coat and scarf still for my lack of sweater-buying-willpower.

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    Kelly Simmons
    16 Jan 2018
    10:34am

    And . . . that lightning bolt just flew into my shopping cart

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      deenie
      16 Jan 2018
      11:54am

      I want that one and the one with lace trim. And both are expensive 🙁

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        deenie
        16 Jan 2018
        11:58am

        Well, the lightning one isnt too bad but the lace detail one is most definitely expensive

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    c.w.
    16 Jan 2018
    10:37am

    I love a black sweater even if my rapidly aging face does not! This is an excellent group, Kim! I do try to wear a scarf of one color or another next to my face when wearing black––seems to help if only in my imagination.

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      S.
      16 Jan 2018
      2:52pm

      Right? I feel like black sweaters are a part of my identity, and I have so many, but all of a sudden I do not look ok in them. This is not as much of a woe as the hot flashes, but it’s definitely on my list of confounding aging-related bummers.

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    Bonnie
    16 Jan 2018
    4:44pm

    This is a fantastic grouping of black sweaters. I also enjoyed the sneak peak of bottoms that were paired with each one.

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    Sara
    16 Jan 2018
    7:25pm

    I read you blog all the time, and enjoy it thoroughly. I do have to say that the term “stomach junk” doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t help but bristle at the implication that it’s an accepted view that there are certain parts our bodies that should be hidden or camouflaged. I’m sure it’s your personal preference, but It feels regressive and out of character with your blogs effort to be body positive and inclusive of all sizes.

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    DeDe
    16 Jan 2018
    9:30pm

    That Nili sweater is super good! And only $400-something, instead of $800-something, which is really affordable for her! *mind boggles* I feel like Vince has perfected a neo-Nili vibe at a much less cringe-worthy pricepoint, so thanks for including one of their sweaters, too (incidently, my husband got me a Vince sweater you featured here for Christmas and it’s my new favorite!)

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    Erica Winter
    17 Jan 2018
    12:04am

    I’m utterly obsessed with Universal Standard – so many beautiful pieces that are designed for bodies like mine and beautifully made. The customer service is topnotch too. I’m not normally a brand-loyal type, but without exception, every piece I’ve bought from them brings me joy. It’s about time!

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      Barbara
      17 Jan 2018
      7:55pm

      Totally agree, Erica. I have several pieces that I am very happy with… and so easy to swap sizes if you order wrong.

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      Kristin
      18 Jan 2018
      12:31am

      I do love them. I went to their pop up here and watching the workers be so patient and loving with the women who were trying on super classy and well fitting and well made things by the armful and never rushing and running around to get different sizes and colors… it was so beautiful especially because a number of women I overheard saying that they had never been able to go into a store and do that before—try on super cool and well made items. Fan for life.

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        Barbara
        18 Jan 2018
        12:05pm

        Totally agree – their pop up was a great experience!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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