How to wear a sweater in the summer

Date: June 30, 2024

Sure, the words “sweater” and “summer” don’t typically go together like the proverbial birds of a feather, but there is a sweater for every season, and once you’ve found your perfect lightweight pullover, you’ll never style a summer look or pack for a trip without it.

A woman lounging in a chair wearing a black and white striped shirt dress, paired with sneakers and holding a baseball cap, perfect for a relaxed summer day.

There are so many reasons you might need light sweaters for summer. The office air conditioning is probably running on full blast during the day, so it’s a necessary layer for those in-office days. If you’re running from work to happy hour to your child’s soccer game, a lightweight sweater will keep you cozy after the sun sets and make your work clothes look more casual. It’s great when you need to cover up a bit, like at a baby shower, church or a visit to Grandma’s house, but still want to look on-trend. We love a multitasker!

No matter how you style it, the open-stitch sweater gives every outfit an extra dose of coolness, and your sweatshirts will be jealous.

Our top sweater trend for 2024: the crochet sweater

Crochet and open-stitch knits, which were popular in the ‘70s, have made a comeback, and there’s no better time to give this trend a try than in the summer season. As the name suggests, their breezy, open stitching allows the breeze to flow through, making them ideal for layering. A cardigan is an obvious choice, whether you’re pulling it over a sundress for dinner or stashing it at your desk to battle the office AC.

An open-stitch tank, particularly one cut in a muscle tee style, has a cool, tomboyish vibe that pairs well with boyfriend jeans or cutoffs. It can also help dress down more formal pieces if your outfit needs a touch of toughness. For a preppy, sporty look, try a crochet sweater with a zip-up or polo neckline or pair a classic crochet crewneck with your favorite athleisure-inspired shorts and skorts. A longer-length cardigan gives any outfit a feminine, beachy touch similar to the “Coastal Grandmother” or “Coastal Cowgirl” aesthetics that were recently trending on TikTok, especially when styled with loose-fitting white shorts or pants

A woman wearing a black crochet sleeveless top paired with light denim shorts, showcasing a stylish light sweater look for summer.

How to style a summer sweater

Think of the summer sweater as a layering piece similar to your favorite sweatshirt or jean jacket. Typically, it shouldn’t be the centerpiece of your outfit; it should be something you can either throw on when it gets chilly or take off as the weather warms up throughout the day, so stick to simple, basic colors like black, beige and cream, and minimal prints.

You’ll want your summer sweater to be slightly slouchy — not necessarily oversized, but with a little give to keep it breathable on a warm day, as well as to make it comfortable for layering. Styling-wise, don’t overthink it! Toss it on over a sundress for added interest and texture. Play with proportion and wear a short-sleeved sweater with longer-length denim shorts. Pull a cardigan over a simple slip or tank dress or wear a long-sleeved sweater tied over your shoulders; we like it worn slightly off the shoulder over a fitted tank for a breezy, preppy look.

A woman wearing light blue denim pants paired with a white tank top and a light sweater, ideal for a stylish and comfortable summer look.

And don’t forget your summer styling essentials: sunglasses, a hat, a tote or cross-body bag and SPF!

If you’re concerned about showing too much skin with an open-stitch style, layer a camisole or cotton tank underneath for more coverage. Otherwise, toss it on over a bralette or even a swimsuit — ’tis the season, after al!

Worried you’ll overheat? If possible, stick to mostly natural fibers like cotton or linen, which are known to be breathable and cooling, even when it’s sticky and humid outside. Of course, if you have any questions about the perks of light sweaters for summer, ask your Trendsend stylist! Chances are they’re probably wearing one right now.