Simple rules for finding the best sweater style for your body type.

Oct '13 NC web banner-4

 By Suzanne Mauro, AICI

It’s fall and that means it’s time to bust out the heavier clothes. You certainly do not want to look too chunky or bulky by choosing the wrong sweater for your body this season. So be open to new ways of styling sweaters and follow some of my simple rules to find the best sweater style for your body.

 Pay attention to where your sweater hits.

A piece that ends right above your hips can add thickness. Try slightly longer cuts that fall at midhip. In addition, think about clinginess. If your stomach is not so slim, a draped cut will lie nicely.

 Consider what you wear underneath.

Stick with thin or light layers under your knits or just a smooth bra. Don’t stuff a puff sleeve into the slim arm of a cardigan. Wear lightweight, sleeveless pieces under cardigans.

If you’re a Pear-shaped body type, larger necklines are flattering. Choose a sweater with a wide V-neck, large cowl, boat neck or sweetheart neck. The horizontal that a boat neck creates helps to make narrow shoulders appear broader and also balances wider hips and derrieres. The deeper the diagonal of the V-neck sweater, the more slimming the effect.

 Do not use sweaters to hide your body. It is not the solution to hide under a large big sweater, it’s about finding things that fit. It’s best not to match an oversize sweater with an oversize bottom. It will overwhelm you. If you choose to wear a larger sweater, balance your bottom with a skinny pant or jean or pencil skirt to elongate your overall look.

 Consider revamping an old crewneck. An all-purpose basic crewneck can be a perfect backdrop for a great necklace or brooch. Details around the neck draw attention to pretty hair and makeup, and can dress up a simple pant or skirt.

It’s ok to mix fabrics. A heavy sweater can be paired with a silk skirt or pant. Grab your lace skirt from summer and pair it with a crewneck or turtleneck in a matching color to take you thru fall.

If you’re a Rectangle-shaped body type, try belting your sweater or cardigan. Cinching in the waist creates a more womanly figure and slimmifies. A wrap sweater will also create the illusion of curves.

A White-sweater. Consider wearing a cable white sweater with a simple black bottom. No need for a necklace or scarf with this clean, uncluttered look. Let the sweater take center stage. Choose a skin-tone bra for underneath.

The Turtleneck. By seeming to elongate the torso, this is a style that is almost universally flattering. This neckline complements a long face and neck and can help shorter women appear taller. It is always more flattering to try a lightweight knit, so as not to add bulk.

Yarns and weaves. A cotton knit sweater will lose its shape must faster than a silk one, and a loose, delicate knit will sag before a tighter one. Folding each sweater before you store it away will prevent wrinkles and put less stress on the sweater’s fibers.

Cashmere blend. Everyone knows that Cashmere is the best sweater material you can buy. It is warmer for its weight than any other fiber, it drapes beautifully and does not itch. However it can be very expensive. A way to cut the cost is to look for garments whose fabrics blend cashmere with wool or silk.

I hope that I have given you the confidence to pursue the style that works best for you and that you now know which looks from a season’s offerings will fill your needs, flatter your figure and fit your body type.

Ultimately, I want you to look and feel your best every day.

Happy sweater style!

 Suzanne Mauro can be reached at with any style or fashion questions