Stay comfortable on cool summer nights or in air-conditioned environments with lightweight sweaters. We’ve put together our picks for the best types of sweaters for summer—including half-sleeve, short-sleeved, and sleeveless styles for casual and semi-dressy occasions.
A cotton-modal blend is an excellent fabric choice for summer sweaters because it’s lightweight yet provides light warmth. To keep your arms warm and add a stylish touch to your look, consider wearing a cotton-modal sweater with half-sleeves, which come down to the elbow. You’ll find crewneck and boatneck sweaters in this style—they come in an array of colors ranging from neutral to bright and summery.
Wear one of these summer sweaters with capri pants and wedge sandals for an outfit that can go from the office to dinner and a movie. You can layer one over a cotton tank top or wear it on its own. This type of sweater also goes well with any type of skirt, including a jersey knit midi skirt or denim skirt.
Another sleeve style to consider in a cotton-modal blend is the cap sleeve. This short-sleeved sweater style has a dressier look than the elbow-length style so that you can wear it to work or an upscale dining establishment. For maximum versatility, choose a cap-sleeve cotton-modal sweater in a neutral, goes-with-everything color such as black or pewter. If you prefer a touch of color, opt for a bold hue like cobalt blue.
Dress up a cap-sleeve summer sweater even more by layering on a women’s blazer. You can also pair it with a pencil skirt for a work-appropriate outfit that’s also great for other occasions. Combine casual and dressy elements by pairing one of these sweaters with your favorite jeans.
If you want a summer sweater that’s light and machine washable, consider a short-sleeved sweater made from performance fabric. An acrylic/nylon blend is an excellent option because it can withstand plenty of wear and multiple trips through your washer without fading or losing its structure. Despite the easy-care fabric, this type of sweater has a dressy appearance thanks to the fine-gauge knit.
You can wear one of these sweaters with almost any type of bottom, especially if you choose one with a mid-hip length. Leggings impart casual flair to a performance sweater, while a skirt or slacks will make it dressier. If you want a look that’s made for a warm summer evening, pair women's Bermuda shorts with a short-sleeved acrylic/nylon sweater.
For a luxe look and feel, there’s cashmere. A short-sleeved cashmere crewneck sweater falls between casual and dressy so that it can be worn with jeans, jeggings, slacks, or skirts. When choosing a cashmere sweater for summer, there are some features to look for. Grade A Mongolian cashmere wool is a must-have for enduring quality; you might also want a sweater with ribbing around the cuffs and hem for a polished look.
Cashmere goes with virtually everything. You can dress it down with denim or dress it up with a flowing maxi skirt. Mid-length skirts go well with short-sleeved cashmere sweaters. You can also wear this sweater style over fit-and-flare dresses.
Wear a half-sleeved V-neck cardigan over any tee or blouse for lightweight warmth and an on-trend layered look. The V-neck style flatters every figure and goes with almost any other top style. This cardigan can dress up a pair of skinny jeans or add a semi-casual touch to a knit skirt.
There are cotton-modal cardigans in this style, which have all the advantages of this fabric blend. Cotton-modal sweaters are smooth and resist pilling, plus they’re also shrink-resistant. In addition, some cardigans are equipped with pockets for carrying small essentials and keeping your hands warm, and some have ribbed trim for a touch of tailored style.
Wrap up in an open long cardigan crafted from cotton on those especially chilly summer nights. Supima cotton is one option—its long-staple fiber makes it more durable and colorfast than regular cotton. It comprises only a small fraction of cotton grown in the U.S. Long cotton cardigan sweaters come in a rainbow of colors, and they’re remarkably versatile.
Layer a long cardigan over a midi dress for warmth and style, or wear one over a fitted knit top with your favorite jeans or slacks. This cardigan style is so versatile that you can keep it in your closet for fall, winter, and spring, too.
These are just some of the summer sweater options to consider. Shop around to discover the sweater fabrics, colors, and styles you like best.