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ESC: Naomi Watts, Sweater

Jose Perez/startraksphoto.com

There's a reason you don't love sweaters like Naomi Watts loves sweaters.

You wear them because they're a necessary piece of outerwear when it comes to battling colder climates, but do you love them? Probably not. And there are many (read: seven) reasons why.

It's a pretty basic top that comes in various styles and silhouettes, tons of different colors and knits and goes with everything. But believe it or not, there is a "perfect fit" for you, you just have to know how to find it. And that's exactly what you're about to do.

The perfect sweater awaits you—once you've read the below tips and tricks on how to shop for it.

ESC: Anatomy of a Sweater

Fabrication

If you want the coziest texture possible, cashmere is king. But because cashmere can sometimes cost you your whole paycheck (and is probably the hardest of sweater fabrics to care for), another just-as-suitable option is as follows. When it comes to soft wools, Merino Wool is what you should be reading content labels for. It's made from the finest of sheep's wool (the Merino breed) and it'll keep you warm and cozy all winter long—because of natural properties like temperature regulation, water resistance and odor management.

Budget-Friendly Hack

If a sweater has ever felt itchy (anyone who's ever purchased one at a Forever 21-type store knows what we're talking about), it's because it's made of too many synthetic fibers, like acrylic and rayon (which you probably love because they're easy to throw in the washing machine unlike expensive cashmere). You can still get a good, cheap sweater, but the best rule of thumb is to look for ones made of at least 30 percent wool—that's the magic percentage that'll make sure you're still getting some of the textile's natural benefits.

ESC: Anatomy of a Sweater Market

Le Kasha Veribier Cashmere Jumper, $815

Overall Fit

Equally as important as knowing the fabrication of your new sweater is to examine the make and fit before you buy it—look at the piece closely and make sure you try it on (because what feels cozy on someone else might not feel cozy to you). You want a sweater that keeps its shape and is flattering on your body, specifically!

Knit Type

This part of the sweater is mainly based on your own body temperature and the weather conditions you live in. If you're looking for it to be on the warmer side, choose a fairly densely knitted top (meaning: There shouldn't be any holes). A looser knit means wind can blow through and it'll be a lot more breathable for those looking for something on the lighter side.

ESC: Anatomy of a Sweater Market

Michael Michael Kors V-Neck Sweater, $80

Neckline

There are a bunch of different types of necklines: mainly crew necks, turtlenecks and V-necks. Choosing the right one for you is all about preference. Not a fan of scarves? Choosing a sweater with a turtleneck can eliminate the need for one. Crew necks are great with any outfit whereas v-necks are definitely more of an acquired taste.

Shoulder Seams

For the perfect fitted fit (some sweaters were made to be a bit more oversized, so if that's what you prefer ignore this note), the seam should meet at the corner of your shoulder bone.

ESC: Anatomy of a Sweater Market

Zara Merino Cardigan, $40

Hemline

If the hemline of your sweater's too tight, fabric will bunch around your middle and it'll be less than flattering. Make sure the top hits you where you want it to (if it's cropped, it should meet your high-waisted pants or if it's full-length, it should be as long as you need it to be)!

Sleeve Length

A little bit of a longer sleeve is often a good thing (think: It allows you the option to roll them up or roll them down over your hands for a cozy feel). Too short of a sleeve will leave your showing skin to get chilly!

Before your next trip to the mall, jot down some of these bad boys.