The Hunt: Sweater Sets

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Well, we were surprised when we started hunting for twinsets for this feature. To us, twinsets are a great summer basic — they’re the perfect solution for a deathly hot commute (you just wear the tank or tee and throw the sweater in your bag or over your shoulders) and then when you get to the office and the uber-airconditioning, you can be nice and warm in your cardigan.  Sure, we get a lot of use out of them as separate pieces — we wear the sweater top on top of white shirts, or we wear the cardigan by itself over dresses. Still, we like to buy the set as a whole — it’s a better addition to the closet that way; it ties your wardrobe together and extends it and gives you another option for a work-appropriate outfit.  Also: great for travel.

So we were surprised at how hard it was to find a collection of twinsets for this week’s The Hunt. Furthermore, there was a huge price gap — anything that had the least bit detailing was going for $1000 plus, with everything else just being a basic. Very interesting! Please tell us in comments — do you still wear sweater sets? Would you buy them if they were easier to find in stores?

This is a great cashmere-silk (70/30) pointelle cardigan and set, on sale at Brooks Brothers for $58 (shell) and $76 (cardigan). In white, black, and pink.

J.Crew has the cotton/lycra blended “Jackie” cardigan in a huge variety of colors. The cardigan is $62 and the shell is $42.

Ann Taylor has some fun colors available with this sweater, which has enameled buttons. Cardigan is $68, shell is $42. Full set only available in black, sea jade, and parrot (pictured).

Now this — this is absolutely gorgeous. At the higher end of the spectrum, we have this gorgeous sweater set by Agnora, available at Vivre for $1395. We wish we had a spare $1400 lying around to buy this baby (but, sigh, it’s already earmarked for our next big purse purchase.)

Also at the higher end, this one by St. John’s takes the cake — how gorgeous and sexy yet demure and businesslike. Available from Nieman Marcus for $1500. Only available in camel.


  1. I love sweater sets for exactly the reasons you listed. Most of mine are from JCrew or Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft; I think the rest are from Macy’s. I didn’t realize they were that hard to find!

  2. I love sweater sets in concept, but I don’t love the classic round collar most of them come with (a slight v-neck invariably looks better even if it’s just the cardigan that has a vneck and the shell/sweater has a round collar) — and finding a sweater set with at least some v-neck to it is even harder :(

  3. I love sweater sets but like you found out you can’t find them anymore and the ones you do find are out of my price range. I have been searching for them for the past two years and no one carries them anymore. I’m trying to find the summer sets that are made out of cotton and those you can’t find at all :(

  4. Sweater sets are the best. They, not only, keep you warm, also they simply look very elegant and classy. Remember during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were very popular. Sadly, we do not see them too much anymore. They are one of my favorites — a nice sets going very well with a pair of high heel shoes. Simply FABULOUS!

    • twinsetlover :

      I ran across this article while hoping to get extremely lucky today and run across a replacement for a favorite Brooks Brothers twinset I bought from them YEARS ago – in 2008, I believe. I haven’t gotten that lucky yet, but will leave a comment that I agree – sweater sets are the best… and when you find one you LOVE and know you will eventually wear out,, BUY 2!! I could kick myself for ignoring that exact instinct all those years ago.. Especially since it came in black on white and white on black – my staples.
      Anyhow, Brooks Brothers still remains my mainstays in twinsets – can ALWAYS find one there. Thanks for the other suggestions, too!

  5. June Jones :

    I have been searching for sweater sets for years with a hit now and then.

  6. Trying to find a cardigan alone, let alone a twinset has been almost impossible for me. I am long waisted and look for a 28 inch length. When I do find one, I usually buy several at a time. My batch is about worn out and am currently looking for more. Thank you for the clues to help me hunt them down.

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