Though spring is arguably one of our favorite seasons, the unpredictable weather linked with this time of year can propose quite a conundrum in the wardrobe department. In cases when temperatures aren't cold enough for heavy-duty outerwear yet still not warm enough for breezy sundresses, we find having lightweight sweaters--particularly of the open-knit variety--on hand is key to constructing a myriad of smart transitional looks! To ensure your wardrobe is stocked with a range of chic and on-trend options, we've culled five standout styles for you to try. And you'll be happy to know all of today's must-have selects are Under $100, so finding a spring sweater that fits into your budget has never been easier!
Keeping in mind the specific theme (read: open knits) of today's sweater-filled story, we turned to Rebecca Taylor's S/S 12 show for guidance, as the designer showed more than a few lust-worthy sweaters. Featuring beautiful patchwork pieces, modern proportions, and an interesting mix of textures, Taylor's spring collection is chock-full of easy wardrobe essentials, like the Cross-Back Mesh Sweater ($250). The basic crewneck knit--paired here with the Runway Skirt ($275)--appears sporty in contrast with the skirt's festive metallic design, resulting in a cool, fashion-forward look you need in your repertoire.
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Forever 21 Open Knit Sweater ($20) in Mint
Come spring, Forever 21 transforms into sweater heaven, offering a variety of essential styles that simply cannot be missed. Of the retailer's many notable options this year, this scoop-neck knit was an immediate standout for your WWW editors, thanks in large part to its pretty mint green hue! Additionally, the top's relaxed fit lends itself to a number of styling options; layer it with a collared shirt in a solid neutral color for a sophisticated office look, or style it with a white fitted tank, statement necklace, and flirtatious mini skirt for a casual after-hours event.
Gap Open Knit Textured Sweater ($50) in White
As our go-to retailer for quality wardrobe basics, it makes sense that Gap was an essential stop on our search for the best spring sweaters. We were immediately drawn to the brand's textured knit option shown above; the intricate open-weave detailing on the bodice is perfect for showcasing a bevy of contrasting bright colors. Layer the sweater over a neon tank-we like hot pink or fluorescent yellow-to add a cool burst of color to an understated ensemble.
Kimchi Blue Thick and Thin Sweater ($59)
While we love the comfortable, stretchy fit and ribbed knit hem and neckline of this Kimchi Blue sweater, we're especially fond of its wear-with-anything oatmeal hue. Versatile indeed, this is the kind of knit you can wear now with skinny jeans and ankle boots, then come summer, over a bathing suit at the beach.
Madewell Wellspring Tank ($58) in Faded Coral
On days when temperatures reach 80 degrees and above, a long-sleeve sweater is just not practical, which is why we highly recommend picking up this tank top version from Madewell right away. Available in this brilliant shade of pink, as well as ivory, the sleeveless knit is ideal for weekend jaunts and warm-weather vacays, and would look quite noteworthy worn with khaki shorts and espadrille wedges.
BCBGeneration Mixed-Stitch Sweater ($98) in Citron
If you find that an all-over open-knit design is a bit too revealing for your tastes, we have a feeling you'll be smitten with BCBGeneration's Mixed-Stitch Sweater. Though a more conservative take on the trend, this sprightly knit is in no way less stylish than the others. In fact, its lovely macaroon yellow color perfectly references one of spring's biggest trends and would complement a slew of floral prints too! Our advice: pair it with a maxi skirt and flat sandals for a cozy and fuss-free afternoon look.--Jessica Baker