Sweater weather: The best women’s jumpers for autumn 2021

Zoe Gunn

12 October 2021

Get cosy in this season’s chicest knits

12 October 2021 | Zoe Gunn


he freshness of spring and the warmth of summer are great but, as far as we’re concerned, autumn, with its vibrant colours and cosy knits, is by far the most stylish season of the year. And, while a disappointing summer 2021 may not have given you much reason to pack away last year’s sweaters, that's all the more reason to invest in a wardrobe of chic new knitwear for the upcoming months.

Here's our pick of the best jumpers for women for autumn 2021...

The best roll-neck jumpers

Clockwise from left: Diamond quilted roll-neck jumper, £820, burberry.com; Oversized roll-neck jumper, £345, ganni.com; Marques’Almeida asymmetric merino jumper, £332, farfetch.com; Pointelle jumper, £219, maje.com

Perhaps the most sophisticated of all jumper silhouettes, the humble roll neck is the piece to be seen in this season thanks to a series of innovative design upgrades. Necklines, for example, have been given the high-end treatment courtesy of Marques’Almeida – where interest is added via asymmetry – and Ganni, whose oversized sweater features a transformable neckline that can be worn as a scarf or tied in a bow at the back of the neck. You’ll turn to both for effortless boardroom-ready elegance.

For weekends, the saccharine sweetness of Maje’s baby pink pointelle roll neck is the ideal foil for your stompiest winter boots. Alternatively, opt for Burberry’s understated quilted number which speaks of quiet, sophisticated luxury.

The best patterned jumpers

Clockwise from left: Etro cropped teddy sweater, £320, brownsfashion.com; Floral knit jumper, £1,250, gucci.com; Khaite intarsia cashmere jumper, £1,200, net-a-porter.com; JW Anderson jacquard wool-blend sweater, £590, matchesfashion.com

Block colours are all well and good but, in our humble opinion, knitwear is the perfect place to express a bit of personality with your style – and that means colours and pattern. If you wouldn’t describe your everyday look as flashy, dip your toe in with Gucci’s pretty-as-a-picture floral knit or Khaite’s '70s-inspired take on the traditional cricket sweater. Feeling brave? Etro’s fuzzy cropped teddy sweater and JW Anderson’s abstract jacquard jumper are as bright and bold as they come.

The best cashmere jumpers

Clockwise from left: The cashmere sweater, £160, asket.com; Chloé puff-sleeve cashmere sweater, £899, harrods.com; Repurposed cashmere star sweater, £250, chintiandparker.com; Extreme Cashmere No163 Ken jumper, £470, harveynichols.com

Not for nothing does cashmere have a reputation for being the softest, most luxurious knit around. Simultaneously lightweight and warm, it’s the perfect option for introducing layers into your workwear wardrobe. Opt for neutral hues, as offered by Asket and Chloé, that can be easily paired with skirts and trousers without adding bulk under tailored jackets.

Still working from home? Chinti & Parker’s star sweater is made from sustainable, repurposed cashmere, with coordinating sweatpants offering the most luxurious of loungewear. Finally, Extreme Cashmere’s high-neck forest green jumper is the ideal piece for throwing on for everything from weekend brunches to impromptu Zoom meetings.

The best crew-neck jumpers

Clockwise from left: Lemaire peplum-hem wool sweater, £605, matchesfashion.com; Shrimps Jerry cable knit jumper, £295, farfetch.com; Boucle jumper, £75, lyleandscott.com; Ribbed crew-neck jumper, £89, whistles.com

A crew neck may be the most basic of jumper designs but that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Take, for example, Lemaire’s ribbed-knit wool design, which plays with silhouette via an exaggerated peplum hem and balloon sleeves. Or Lyle & Scott’s cropped number, which takes a basic design to the next level with the help of a textured boucle fabric. Shrimps and Whistles, meanwhile, take an alternative approach, elevating its classic crew-neck sweaters via pretty detailing and cheerful hues guaranteed to brighten up even the greyest of days.

The best cable-knit jumpers

Clockwise from left: Alexander Wang cable knit sweater, £550, net-a-porter.com; Iris & Ink Eléonore cable knit jumper, £255, theoutnet.com; Valentino gold cable-knit jumper, £1,790, harveynichols.com; Rixo Darlene cable knit wool-blend jumper, £185, net-a-porter.com

They don’t come much more classic than a cable knit and, accordingly, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re in the market for one this season. Woven from a blend of alpaca and recycled wool and nylon, Iris & Ink’s cream Eléonore sweater is hugely versatile, while Alexander Wang imbues its fire-engine-red cotton-and-cashmere version with a signature sporty sensibility.

If you’re already looking ahead to the festive season, Rixo’s pine-green cropped number sports the perfect hue for wrapping (or unwrapping) gifts. At the other end of the spectrum, Valentino’s unabashedly glamorous gold sweater combines comfort and style in the ultimate party piece.

Read more: The best winter coats for 2021