The draped crossover sweater has become a coveted staple in many wardrobes today, and for good reason. With its signature asymmetrical folded front panel that creates a flattering drape, this versatile knitwear piece delivers effortless sophistication to any outfit.
Crossover sweaters are wardrobe heroes that can easily transition from running errands on the weekend to making a stylish statement at the office. The relaxed yet put-together aesthetic pairs perfectly with everything from jeans to trousers to skirts, lending your look subtle flair. Plus, the soft knit fabric provides cozy comfort that always feels great against your skin.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the chic crossover sweater, from its standout features to expert tips for choosing the right one. We’ll also showcase the top 5 draped crossover sweaters that deserve a spot in your closet this season. Read on to discover why you need a crossover sweater to elevate your style!
What Makes the Crossover Sweater So Special
Before we reveal our favorite draped crossover sweaters, let’s explore what makes this piece so universally flattering and versatile. Here are the hallmarks of a quality crossover sweater:
- Asymmetrical folded front panel – The iconic crossover styling features a panel of fabric that drapes diagonally across the front for visual interest and slimming effects. The fold is usually off-center.
- Long sleeves – Crossover sweaters typically have long, fitted sleeves to balance the relaxed fit of the body. Some may be long-sleeved shirts.
- Soft knit fabric – The best crossover sweaters are made from soft, flexible knits that contour the body shape. Popular fabrics include cashmere, merino wool, cotton, or acrylic blends.
- Relaxed fit – A slight oversized or loose fit allows the asymmetric panel to drape gracefully. But the sweater shouldn’t swallow your frame.
- Flattering details – Ribbed cuffs and hems, side slits, dipped hemlines, and varied necklines customize the look.
Now that you know what defines the crossover sweater, let’s look at the top 5 styles that should be on your radar this season.
1. Cashmere Crossover Sweater
Nothing beats the luxurious softness and warmth of a 100% cashmere crossover sweater. The lightweight knit hugs your body without clinging or restricting. Sophisticated cashmere transforms this piece from casual to refined with ease.
Details like dropped shoulders and ribbed trims give this sweater a relaxed vibe that works for weekends, travel and lounging in chic comfort. The sumptuous cashmere construction makes the price tag worthwhile, letting you invest in a high-quality layering piece.
Dress up a cashmere crossover sweater by layering under blazers or coats. Keep it casual with jeans, leggings or joggers for running errands or meeting friends. The styling possibilities are virtually endless.
2. Boat Neck Crossover Sweater
The boat neckline flatters nearly every figure by highlighting the collarbone and elongating the neck. This graceful crossover sweater gets additional textural interest from ribbed detailing along the neck, cuffs and hem.
The easy, oversized fit can be worn traditionally or slouched off one shoulder to expose and frame your shoulders. Either way, the boat neckline keeps the look chic. The merino wool blend offers breathability and comfort for all-day wearability.
Pair this boat neck beauty with tailored trousers or a midi skirt for the office. For the weekend, wear it over leggings for casual lounge time or with jeans for a put-together daytime look.
3. Tunic Crossover Sweater
A tunic-length crossover sweater that hits below the hips provides eye-catching versatility. The alpaca wool blend on this sweater delivers natural thermoregulation to keep you cozy and comfy all day long.
Side slits allow freedom of movement while preventing the fabric from bunching at the hips. The tunic length gives you comfortable coverage over leggings – perfect for lounging or running errands hands-free. For more polished looks, tuck the asymmetric front into a skirt or layer the tunic over slim jeans.
Thanks to the neutral tan hue, this sweater acts as a blank canvas in your wardrobe. Dress it up with faux leather leggings or down with sneakers and jeans. The possibilities are virtually endless!
4. Cowl Neck Crossover Sweater
Cowl necklines add instant elegance to any outfit, and this crossover style elevates the look even further. The cowl neck creates stylish draped volume that cascades over the upper torso, hitting at a flattering point.
An angled high-low hem in the back gives this sweater a modern, slightly elongated silhouette. The soft brushed acrylic fabric adds cozy texture and a touch of sheen. Acrylic also provides stretch and shape retention to keep the folds looking crisp.
The figure-flattering silhouette, luxurious hand feel and affordable price point make this the ideal crossover sweater for date nights, holiday parties or adding elegance to everyday wear.
5. Open Front Crossover Cardigan
Sometimes you want the easy styling of an open cardigan combined with the chic crossover draping. This sweater merges both in one gorgeously draped piece.
The open front design delivers customizable layering and breathable comfort. Whether you pair it with a basic tee, tank or blouse, this cardigan showcases your inner layers beautifully.
A shawl collar frames the face while the exaggerated crossover front makes a bold style statement. The smooth acrylic fabric offers stretch and elasticity to complement your silhouette. Go for dramatic flair by leaving the cascades loose or cinch them with a belt over dresses.
This eye-catching open front cardigan deserves a spot in every fashionista’s wardrobe rotation. Wear it atop dresses, jeans, trousers – anything!
Now that you’ve seen our top crossover sweater picks, here are some tips for choosing your perfect match:
How to Choose a Crossover Sweater That Flatters
- Consider your needs – Do you want breathable layering for fluctuating temps or lightweight warmth? Acrylics and cottons work for fall/spring while cashmere and merino wool provide winter coziness.
- Focus on fabric feel – Seek out soft, flexible knits with some drape like wool, cashmere, alpaca or acrylic blends. Avoid stiff, rigid fabrics that won’t move well.
- Determine fit and silhouette – Size up for an oversized, slouchy shape or stick to your normal size for a close fit. Pay attention to details like sleeve length, side slits, neckline.
- Choose versatile colors – Neutrals like black, navy, gray, and tan offer ease of styling. Go bold with a colorful sweater for a statement.
- Mind your budget – Quality cashmere and wool costs more. Acrylic and cotton sweaters are budget-friendly. Watch for sales on luxury materials.
- Read reviews before buying online to gauge true fit and feel. Understand any special washing requirements.
- Evaluate pairing potential – Pick crossover sweaters that will complement your existing wardrobe for maximum cost per wear value.
- Consider your lifestyle – Relaxed oversized fits work for casual wear while refined wool options pair well with dressier pieces.
The right crossover sweater flatters your shape while offering versatile styling. With so many fabrics, colors and silhouettes, you can find one to suit your needs and style preferences.
Next, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about crossover sweaters:
FAQs About Crossover Sweaters
Q: How do you style a crossover sweater?
A: The asymmetric folded front of crossover sweaters adds built-in visual interest, so you can keep the rest of the look simple. For casual ensembles, pair it with jeans, leggings or joggers and sneakers or boots. Give it an elevated edge by layering under a blazer, peacoat or leather jacket with booties or heels. For the office, tuck the front into a skirt or trousers.
Q: What body types can pull off the crossover sweater?
A: One of the biggest appeals of the crossover sweater is its universally flattering silhouette. The drapey asymmetric front flatters fuller figures by camouflaging problem areas at the waist and hips. Petite frames benefit from the elongating waterfall effect. The off-shoulder variations highlight the collarbone and beautifully frame the neck and face. Since the sleeves and hem remain fitted, the looser bodice balances curvier figures evenly.
Q: How should you wash a crossover sweater?
A: To best maintain the integrity of the fibers, follow the recommended care instructions. Wool, cashmere and blends should only be hand washed gently or placed in a mesh garment bag on the delicate cycle. Avoid high heat drying. Lay flat to reshape while damp. Acrylics and cottons have more flexibility for machine drying on low heat. Regardless of material, turn the sweater inside out first.
Q: Which fabrics make the best crossover sweaters?
A: Soft, supple knit fabrics with some drape work best to accentuate the signature folding. Wool varieties like merino and cashmere offer luxurious warmth and breathability. Cotton makes a lightweight casual option, while acrylic provides affordability and easy care. Seek knits with enough weight to hold the shaped crossover panel flat. Blends merge the best attributes of natural and synthetic yarns.
Q: How does a crossover sweater differ from a cardigan?
A: While both act as versatile layering pieces, the construction differs. Cardigans have a complete opening down the front held closed by buttons, snaps or zippers. Crossover sweaters feature an attached asymmetrical drape without closures. Some open-front crossover cardigans blend elements of both. But the iconic crossover silhouette relies on an unbroken cascade across the torso for that effortless, flattering drape.
Elevate Your Cold Weather Style With a Crossover Sweater
A quality draped crossover sweater offers comfort, style and flattering visual interest that every wardrobe needs. The next time you spot one in a store, give it a try. We hope our recommendations help you discover the perfect crossover sweater to elevate your seasonal style.
Look for soft, supple knits in rich neutral hues, interesting textures and luxe materials like merino wool or cashmere. Keep silhouettes relaxed yet fitted through the sleeves and shoulders. Then add skirts, trousers, jeans or leggings to create chic head-to-toe looks.
Let us know if you have any other questions about choosing, styling or caring for crossover sweaters. We’re always happy to help fellow fashionistas build a versatile, confidence-boosting wardrobe!