PHOTO BY: Courtesy Chico's, Old Navy, Banana Republic
Classics That Warm Up Every Wardrobe
Sweaters — like everything else — have trended up. Right now it's all ruffles, bows and extravagant sleeves, but we both know they'll whiz in and out of style faster than you can say pashmina. Basic styles like V-necks, crews, turtlenecks
andcardigans really do last nearly forever, but even they need an update to keep going as long as possible. These 10 sweater looks are guaranteed to heat up your looks, life andbody.
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The V-dip exposes extra inches of collarbones and upper chest for the illusion of a longer neck and silhouette. Every woman's body regardless of size or height benefits here, but be sure to choose this classic in two updated lengths: straight and semifitted to cover hips, such as the Banana Republic Merino Vee ($68, bananarepublic.com) and V-Neck Luxe Any Day Pullover by A New Day ($18, target.com); or opt for a longer thigh-grazing tunic, such as Loft Refined V-Neck Tunic Sweater ($60, loft.com). Both styles have side vents for a contemporary look and ease. Neutral colors of navy, gray, charcoal or camel are your best buy here.
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This form-fitting flatterer in a lightweight rayon-polyester or a silk-cotton-cashmere blend — such as Chico's Ribbed Turtleneck in rayon-polyester ($60, chicos.com) or
Republic Silk Ribbed Turtleneck ($78, bananarepublic.com) — makes us all feel like Audrey Hepburn. Black is a must-have first choice — elegant, professional and chic day or night. Look for a Banana ribbed turtle with a slim neck to define your body in a cool, classy way without causing attention. Add a black pencil skirt, pants or jeans to keep the edge head to toe. tight
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Skip the twinset and just sling on a round-neck cardigan Michelle Obama-style over a dress or skirt. A traditional fine-gauge knit — such as Banana Republic Machine Washable Merino Ottoman-Stitch Cardigan ($78, bananarepublic.com) or Target Any Day Cardigan by A New Day ($23, target.com) — changes its fit depending on how you wear it. Button only the top for an A-line shape, at the waist only to define or emphasize that spot. Pair it with toned ankle pants or a skirt for a businesslike look.
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Every woman age 50-plus has show-off-worthy shoulders for evenings out — the look is sexy without showing too much cleavage. They are trendy now (though top designers such as Donna Karan made them staples), so snap them up before they're gone at a reasonable price. Look for a simple style in a soft, subdued color like gray, cream or navy — such as Old Navy Rib-Knit Off-the-Shoulder Sweater for Women ($35, oldnavy.com) in Char Latte or Target Women's V-Neck Off the Shoulder Pullover Sweater by Nitrogen in Gray ($45, target.com). A poly-acrylic-cotton plus spandex blend has enough stretch and hold to keep all in place.
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The soft-draping and face-framing folds of the cowl take the place of a scarf. Attached to a long derriere-covering tunic, it's a chic chill chaser. Try ones like Chico's Zenergy Knit Collection Cozy Pullover ($70, chicos.com) or Loft Textured Cowlneck Tunic Sweater ($70, loft.com). For a pulled-together look, wear it
overleather or ponteleggings and boots, jeans and booties, or slim ankle pants and flats.
PHOTO BY: Steve Cohn/AP Images, Banana Republic
A luxurious cashmere sweater makes every woman feel like a million bucks. This wow sweater is yours for life (if you baby it), whether you opt for a 100 percent cashmere V-neck, such as Uniqlo Women Cashmere V-Neck Sweater ($80, uniqlo.com); a lighter all-seasons cashmere-silk, such as Brooks Brothers Silk-Cashmere Shawl-Collar Sweater ($148, brooksbrothers.com); or an in-between cashmere-wool such as the Banana Republic Italian Superloft Bow-Cuff Crew ($78, bananarepublic.com). Nothing will make you feel as sensual. Choose a style with a slightly relaxed fit, in a color from violet to blue, coral, fiery red or creamy ivory that makes your skin look as radiant as it feels.
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This is the glam throw-on to wear with jeans and heels or any work outfit for after-five — or when you just need a last-minute fix on a blah day. If it's embellished with beads, pearls, sequins or embroidery, you don't need jewelry. Stick to neutrals like black, ivory or gray that work with every color — like Chico's Pleated Faux Pearl Cardigan ($99, chicos.com) in black or Target Embellished Pearl Pullover by A New Day ($30, target.com). Other good sources are flea markets, consignment shops or Etsy for vintage looks.
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Chunky Cocoon Cardigan
This is the thing to wear over layers (or just a tee in chilly movies and restaurants) for a modern, sophisticated cuddle. Look for swingy, slouchy but substantial ribbed or textured knit cardigans in wool or cotton-acrylic blends, with a shawl collar and wide or raglan sleeves that layer easily — such as Target Oversized Cocoon Cardigan by Mossimo Supply Co. ($30, target.com) or Etsy KnittySunny Chunky Cocoon Cardigan ($79+, etsy.com).
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No prim, preppy sweaters for us. Opt for a simple round neck, straight lines, a fine-gauge flat knit, side vents and a long hip- or booty-covering length — like J. Jill Sophia A-Line Pullover ($69, jjill.com) or Target Crew Neck Luxe Any Day Pullover by A New Day ($18, target.com). Viscose-nylon-modal blends are machine washable for easy care and right for any season. This is a great base over a crisp white, flannel or denim shirt and long tees — with scarves or solo.
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This wraps, flings over one shoulder to drape, belts for extra polish, layers over other sweaters and blazers, and is a dream item for travel. Those in 100 percent acrylic feel luxe but don't crease, wrinkle or pill. Medium neutrals — like Target Wrap Sweater by Sylvia Alexander in gray or taupe ($40, target.com) or the H&M Fringed Poncho ($25, hm.com) — look classy and sassy day or night.
For more beauty and style tips for women age 50+, check out The Woman's Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life and Love After 50 by Lois Joy Johnson and AARP's Beauty & Style issue.