Whether it’s lemon-yellow and draped over the shoulders of a middle-aged man in Monte Carlo, or worn with pearls and tweed by your ex’s pushy mother, the sweater has a bad reputation. Frumpy, dated, mumsy and dull, it isn’t exactly a piece of clothing commonly associated with sex appeal, style and cutting-edge. But it’s time to think again.

Light enough to avoid over-heating but cosy enough to keep the bite of spring chill at bay

The boring sweater has undergone what can only be described as a revolution in the last couple of years. The result? This classic wardrobe staple has upped its game and has climbed up the style rankings whilst skilfully retaining its wearability, versatility and cosiness. As we head towards spring we will inevitably ditch our fur-trimmed yeti coats and usher in lighter layers. Essential in this slow transformation is the sweater. Light enough to avoid over-heating but cosy enough to keep the bite of spring chill at bay.

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With designers, and the high street alike, embracing the new sweaters it is time for you to take your pick as to which sweater-camp you belong, and into which you shall be investing. If you’re more library than hockey pitch then look to Bella Freud for your cashmere inspiration. Classic colours, an unassuming crew-neck and oodles of softness give these preppy sweaters their appeal whilst little details like embroidery and pearl buttons add style definition. Look in Zara for high street equivalents or make your granny proud by investing in pure cashmere from Marks and Spencer. Wear with jeans or a skirt and avoid school-boy error by letting your crisp shirt collar make a welcomed appearance.

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Tie round your waist in a tribute to Chanel, or channel Alexander Wang and say it loud with wordy catchphrases and bold lettering.

For those tomboys at heart, get your knitwear kicks from sport-inspired designers and opt for the slogan sweatshirt. Whilst it is not technically a sweater (Fruit of the Loom are yet to do a pearl stitch version), they serve the same purpose (warmth, essentially) and are a playful alternative. Tie round your waist in a tribute to Chanel, or channel Alexander Wang and say it loud with wordy catchphrases and bold lettering. Avoid motifs and pictures if you want to ensure your sweatshirt finishes first in the style marathon and isn’t left out-dated and beyond its time from the get go. That Kenzo-inspired tiger face will scream circa 2013 by next year whereas varsity styles are somewhat timeless- re-watch Grease if you don’t believe me.

A sweater, whether it’s cloud-like huggable knitwear or bold and emblazoned with lingo, won’t date.

So if you want your February purchase to see you through seasonal change- both meteorological and sartorial then opt for the sweater or sweatshirt. A statement sweater, regardless of whether it’s cloud-like huggable knitwear or bold and emblazoned with lingo, won’t date the same way that raffia mules, patchwork jeans, tie-dye and other spring offerings will. Opt for quality and a classic shape and you can’t go wrong.

Emma Willey

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Images: clothesonfilm.com, vogue.co.uk, bellafreud.co.uk

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