“I just started back in an office job in New England, where winters demand something more substantial than a hip blouse,” writes a reader named Melissa. “But thick sweaters tend to look too relaxed for an office. I’m looking for warm, comfortable, cozy sweaters that can translate to a more formal office setting. Women’s dressier sweaters tend to be thin (even in cashmere) and not as warm as something you’d break out on the weekend. But I’m freezing and need something to keep me warm at work. Can you take this challenge on?” Happy to, Melissa, and I have to say that while I never thought about it before Melissa raised it, it is almost invariably true that the warmer, more comfortable, and cozier a sweater is, the more casual it tends to skew. There are a few chunky knits below that do manage to be office-appropriate, but my primary advice here would be to get some scoopneck Heattech T-shirts from Uniqlo, and layer up. I think this shrug looks completely toasty and very office-appropriate.
And don’t forget space heaters, if all else fails. Plus no one mentioned hats … I can guess why.
Lately, I’ve been wearing a Patagonia Capilene Air (both the funnelneck/hoody and the crew) under a blazer. It’s thin, but really warm. https://www.patagonia.com/product/womens-capilene-air-crew/36525.html?dwvar_36525_color=ARWD&cgid=root#tile-5=&q=capilene%2Bair&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=text+ad&utm_campaign=Brand+Plus&gclid=Cj0KCQiArqPgBRCRARIsAPwlHoUgM4bphFje612uT_l15MJhTXug5q6Si31UISqL36B3uND3NbgjbucaAseUEALw_wcB&start=1&sz=24
Thank you Melissa and thank you Kim! This is just what I needed in my chilly office, where big bulky sweaters look out of place and too casual. Love the shrug, blazer-ish sweaters and the sweater coat in particular.
I’d also like to recommend the silk long underwear from LLBean. I’ve used their scoopneck top and their pants under my normal clothes. They are thin and soft and non-constricting, but also really keep me warm!
Thanks for the nice sweater post. I always run cold even in Northern California. I second the Uniqlo long underwear.
I can testify that the cashmere funnel neck (Vince at Nordstrom) is a perfect weight. I bought it a couple of months ago when you did your cashmere round-up, Kim, and it’s gorgeous and comfortable and doesn’t make this old hot-flashin’ girl sweat.
When I worked outside the home in an office, I always wore some form of sweater/layer due to the meat locker type temperature (most of us ladies thought it was a man controlled type of thing but didn’t want to discount the ladies wearing light clothes due to hot flashes!! ). These are all great choices and would add interest, style and most importantly warmth to any outfit.
Tips on how to wear the sweaters with poncho-style arms and deeply dropped arm holes under a coat or winter jacket? They all bunch way up at the top, right?
You’ve really got to wear a coat with dolman or batwing sleeves. Otherwise, it can be challenging, I know.
Agree on the Heattech from Uniqlo and am putting in a plug for their Airism as well, for when it’s kind of cool and you just need another thin layer to keep things comfortable.
Layers layers layers. Uniqlo heattec. Sweater and wool scarf/shawl that you can wrap take to meeting rooms which maybe colder than than your office
Yes! My office is boiling, our conference room is freezing (always – even in summer).