While some people refer to the months between November and March as “cuffing season,” I prefer to call it “the season in which I refuse to take my sweatpants off no matter what.” But as a professional woman who is also in the process of trying to find a boyfriend (if you know anyone, HMU), I can’t exactly walk around New York City looking like a schlub… which is why I’ve made it my recent life’s mission to figure out how to wear the comfiest clothes possible without having to sacrifice style. Enter: the sweater suit set.
These matching cozy sets have all the benefits of their faithful cousin, the sweatsuit, but instead of being made of ratty sweatshirt material these babies are made of sumptuous fabrics like cashmere and wool. They give off chic grandmother vibes (versus the “it’s 1986 and I’m leaving the gym” ones that sweatsuits often do), and make you feel like you should be curled up on a white couch in front of bay windows at Grace & Frankie’s beach house. You can dress these suits up with chunky jewelry and a pair of slides, or way, way down with a blanket and some slippers. When I say you can wear them everywhere, I really do mean it…. and you can trust me on this, because I’ve personally tested the theory.
The only issue with these dreamy cashmere sweater suits is that they’re kind of a pain to take care of. Which is fair, considering these fabrics are either hand wash or dry clean only. But given how comfortable they are, I will fight to the death over the fact that they are absolutely worth the effort… especially considering I’ll surely only wash mine like, once every five wears.
In case you aren’t convinced that the juice is worth the squeeze (or, more specifically, that the dry clean price of a cashmere sweater suit is worth the investment), see below for the definitive ranking of sweater suit sets from lowest to highest maintenance (or from chill-girl Frankie to full-glammed Grace Hanson).
&Other Stories Ribbed Wool Stretch Soft Trousers ($89)
A lazy girl’s dream, this mix-and-match sweater and pants sitch is completely machine washable. Throw it on with a pair of combat boots, a knit beanie, and some chunky accessories and you’re good to wear it everywhere this season. Including your bed (take off the accessories first, though).
The award for “easiest to deal with”—and also by far the most affordable—sweater suit goes to this Uniqlo number, which looks like a fancy knit but is actually made of jersey. Toss it in the wash, watch an episode of The Great British Bakeoff, and you’ll be back in your favorite outfit in no time at all.
Zara Oversized Sweater and Palazzo Pants ($70)
I know you’re probably thinking, “there is no way I would ever dare wear a white sweater suit without a live-in laundress,” but this set is surprisingly low-maintenance. Since it’s knit, not cashmere, you can hand wash it and hang dry. I wore this the other day with slip on sneakers and a statement necklace, and even strangers on the street told me I looked cool.
Naked Cashmere Kaia Crew Sweater ($235) and Uri Pants ($250)
At 100-percent cashmere, this set qualifies as dry clean only loungewear. But since it comes in dark colors like navy and black, you can put off that dry cleaning for weeks without anyone knowing, which feels like a win-win.
Poetry Recycled Cashmere V-Neck Sweater ($269) and Trousers ($269)
This one’s a hand-wash cashmere sweatsuit, but one you can feel really good about considering it’s made from mostly recycled fabric. Plus, the cropped pants are the perfect length—you won’t have to worry about them dragging in the snow and slush when you wear them to traipse all over town this winter.
Nadaam Cashmere Tracksuit Hoodie ($175) and Jogger ($175)
Hand washing your cashmere sweatsuit may not be your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon (unless you’re Monica Gellar, I guess), but it’s definitely more affordable than dry cleaning it. This set is the dreamiest travel outfit you could possibly imagine, and looks equally as adorable with sneakers and slides as it does with your living room slippers.
I have been arguing that sweater suits are legit outfits for weeks now, but this look gives me even more legitimacy than the usual, “Whatever mom, they’re chic” excuse that I usually use to win the debate. I mean, it’s a sweater skirt! Can you imagine anything cuter ever?! Yes, it is cream and dry clean only, making it basically the Blair Waldorf of high maintenance outfits, but based on the number of compliments you’ll get every time you wear it I’d say it’s well worth the laundry bill.
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