Taking requests: office-worthy sweaters

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“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.

A simple V-neck sweater gets dressed up with pretty balloon sleeves.
A sweater coat is a good way to go: they’re completely cozy and very streamlined.
This furry wrap sweater could be worn with a cami underneath.
A basic black cashmere funnel neck sweater wins here for versatility.
I like the diagonal slant of the knit on this Vince sweater.
The slight puffy shoulder on this turtleneck takes things in a feminine direction.
And another turtleneck that couldn’t be much more classic.
A nice chunky V-neck that’d be great layered over a white button-down.
This blazer-style sweater is awfully smart.
And another blazer that comes in a variety of colors, although I’m partial to chic camel.
I’s wear this poncho-style sweater with another, thinner sweater layered under it.
The single stripe here is a cool touch.
I like the colorblocking on the sleeves here a lot.

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12 Thoughts on Taking requests: office-worthy sweaters
    Viajera
    6 Dec 2018
    10:29am

    And don’t forget space heaters, if all else fails. Plus no one mentioned hats … I can guess why.

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    Candy
    5 Dec 2018
    9:14am

    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.

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    smserendipity
    5 Dec 2018
    9:23am

    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!

    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/75211?page=silk-pointelle-long-sleeve-scoopneck&bc=12-27-887&feat=887-GN1&csp=f

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    Kathy Ormiston
    5 Dec 2018
    12:07pm

    Thanks for the nice sweater post. I always run cold even in Northern California. I second the Uniqlo long underwear.

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    Mae
    5 Dec 2018
    1:50pm

    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.

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    Kathi
    5 Dec 2018
    1:57pm

    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.

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    Darcy
    5 Dec 2018
    2:11pm

    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?
    thx!

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      Kim France
      6 Dec 2018
      10:47am

      You’ve really got to wear a coat with dolman or batwing sleeves. Otherwise, it can be challenging, I know.

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    Anne
    5 Dec 2018
    3:38pm

    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.

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    Karen
    5 Dec 2018
    7:58pm

    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

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      Heather
      6 Dec 2018
      7:48am

      Yes! My office is boiling, our conference room is freezing (always – even in summer).

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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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