Which sweater coats are best?
When the seasons shift and the air gets colder, it’s a great time to invest in a cozy, warm sweater coat. A sweater coat tends to be a longer, warmer sweater. You can wear it on its own or under a proper coat when it gets really cold. Ideally, it should feel like a comforting hug. The top choice for a sweater coat is the Lauren Ralph Lauren Ribbed Long Cardigan.
What to know before you buy a sweater coat
If you live in an area that gets pretty cold in the fall and winter, it’s a smart idea to get a sweater coat that will keep you warm. Some are meant more as very light jackets, while others are thicker. For people who get cold very easily, it’s better to get a thicker sweater or plan to layer it.
A sweater coat is a great closet staple because it can be worn throughout the year. Consider getting one in an easy neutral color so it goes with spring florals as easily as fall plaids. Spring colors generally are lighter. Think of pastels and light neutrals. Fall and winter colors tend to be darker or jewel tones.
Some knitted garments are labeled as safe to wash in your machine. In general, it’s better to wash any stretchy materials such as knits on a warm or cool setting, then hang or lay them flat to dry. When you wash them on hot then put them in the dryer, the heat will damage them over time. This is why some sweaters don’t last very long.
What to look for in a quality sweater coat
Not everyone needs a hood on their sweater coat, but it can be a nice feature. It’s especially useful on those unexpectedly cold days when you didn’t think to bring a hat or left your scarf in the car. However, a hood can make a sweater coat seem more casual, which might make it less suitable to wear to formal or semi-formal occasions.
You can wear a sweater coat that is versatile enough to work as a stand-alone piece and as a layering piece throughout the year. To judge its versatility, check the thickness and the fiber content of the sweater. A thinner sweater coat can serve as a light jacket in warmer months but fit comfortably under heavier coats and jackets in colder months. Look at options that have multiple colors available, and see what colors you tend to wear in each season.
Most sweater coats are designed to fit more loosely and don’t have buttons. If buttons are a requirement for you, buy a long cardigan instead. Sweater coats don’t have buttons because they’re meant to hang open or be worn closer to the body using a belt. Sometimes, they have pockets, but depending on how the sweater hangs, you won’t want to put anything too heavy in them. Weighing down the pockets could stretch out the sweater.
How much you can expect to spend on a sweater coat
Depending on what time of year you shop, you can find a sweater coat for around $30 on sale or up to $110 at full price.
Sweater coat FAQ
Is a sweater coat an actual coat?
A. No, a sweater coat is essentially a long, buttonless sweater. Sometimes they have details similar to a coat, like a structured collar. But in general, they are still sweaters.
How often should you wash a sweater coat?
A. Certain fibers, such as wool, can’t be washed normally. For those that can, you still don’t need to wash them that often. Do a smell check and if it is starting to smell funky, throw it in the wash; otherwise, you can keep wearing it. Only wash in cold or warm and lay it flat to dry on a clean towel or sweater rack.
What are the best sweater coats to buy?
Top sweater coat
What you need to know: This sweater coat by Lauren Ralph Lauren combines style and comfort.
What you’ll love: It comes in four colors and can be sized up or down depending on your preferred fit. It works as easily in a professional wardrobe as in a more casual one. It’s machine washable and easy to layer.
What you should consider: It only goes up to size XXL and might not be thick enough for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
Top sweater coat for the money
What you need to know: Featuring both pockets and a hood, this sweater coat is thick and cozy.
What you’ll love: The heathered coloring adds an interesting visual texture to your wardrobe. It’s not too thick, which makes it great as a light coat and as a layering piece. The hood is not large and will fit close to your head, keeping it warm.
What you should consider: It only goes up to size XXL and the smallest size might be too large on XS customers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Designed specially for Macy’s, this hooded sweater coat is the perfect casual accompaniment to your outfits.
What you’ll love: With six colors to choose from, you can easily find a color to wear year-round; or you can buy multiple colors while it’s on sale. It has pockets and a hood and is easy to layer.
What you should consider: Some people reported quality issues. Wash gently and lay flat to dry to prevent these issues.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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