Layered Looks for Sweater Weather: A Guide to Timeless Fall Fashion on Campus

Natalie Doyle | The PhoenixAs the weather starts dropping, students are rolling out their fall finest with a plethora of sweaters.

Autumn has officially arrived, and so has fall fashion. Arguably the most stylish season of the year (and hallmarked by Christian Girl Autumn™), fall staples include plaid patterns, denim jackets, blazers, boots, and one of the most timeless pieces: sweaters.

“Sweaters are so versatile,” Hannah Knieriemen, a first-year elementary education major wearing a simple yet stylish ivory sweater with two-toned jeans and platform converse, said.

Perhaps one of the most adaptable clothing items, sweaters can be dressed down for a cozy, casual look or elevated to be high-fashion and formal. Extra dimension can easily be added to sweaters through layering. 

“I love to layer sweaters because I think you could wear it alone, but it definitely adds to your outfit when you layer it,” Annie Slania, a junior Advertising and Public Relations major said. “I love to layer them with blazers, or I will put like a thinner turtleneck under a bigger sweater.”

Whether layered or worn alone, here are some of the best sweater staples for fall 2021.

Natalie Doyle | The Phoenix Senior Nicki Quijano is a fan of the current sweater vest trend.

Sweater Vests

The trend that took over fall 2020 is here to stay in 2021. Sweater vests are the perfect way to ease into sweater weather on days when it’s still too hot for long-sleeved sweaters, but too cold for just a t-shirt.

Nicki Quijano, a senior information systems major sported an elevated casual look complete with a houndstooth check sweater vest, black Iets Frans sweatpants and chunky sneakers, is delighted this trend is here to stay. 

“I love the sweater vest trend. I’ll wear it by itself, I’ll wear it layered over turtlenecks, too,” Quijano said.

The sweater vest just might be the ultimate layering piece. Worn over a thinner long or short sleeve shirt and then under a blazer or jacket, a sweater vest is an excellent way to add extra depth to a look and provide warmth as the temperature gets colder — extra points if the sweater vest has a fun pattern. 

Natalie Doyle | The Phoenix Loyola first-year Hannah Knieriemen rocked an ivory sweater well-suited for Chicago fall.

Oversized and Slouchy

Is there a better way to channel the Pinterest fall aesthetic than by building a look around a chunky, oversized sweater?

Ideal for those colder Autumn days, an oversized sweater is great worn over white collared button-down shirt for a more tailored effect. Paired with an oversized trench, sleek hair and sunglasses, it’s also perfect for that model-off-duty look. 

Knit and Crochet

A great way to create a more compelling look is to choose a sweater with an interesting texture. While there’s always the trusty and timeless cable knit, crochet has become a bigger trend recently.

“I worked at Anthropologie over the summer and I bought this crochet sweater cardigan and it has so many fun colors in it,” Slania said. “I just love the pattern because crochet has been super trendy lately and very in.”

A sweater like this deserves to be the center of attention more so than layered under something else. Slania paired the boho cardigan with a ‘70s style blouse and colorful beaded necklace to match.

Where to buy

There are plenty of places that sell sweaters, but looking for long-lasting, quality ones can sometimes be tricky. 

Natalie Doyle | The Phoenix

“I like to buy my sweaters from Uniqlo, I thrift a lot too,” Quijano said. “I also like shopping online at places like Oak + Fort [and] Aritzia… Abercrombie has really upped their game so it’s like super underrated, but they actually have a lot of cute stuff. Amazon too. I got this from Amazon.”

Nicki Quijano, senior information systems major
Natalie Doyle | The Phoenix

“I like to go to Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville. Those are like the two main stores I go to for sweaters.”

Hannah Knieriemen, first-year elementary education major

Natalie Doyle | The Phoenix

“I like Ralph Lauren’s sweaters. They’re definitely on the more expensive side but I was able to thrift one. They’re really a classic.”

Annie Slania, junior AD/PR Major
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