As you may have guessed by now, there's a preppy undercurrent running through this season's Fall Shopping Guide. This is kind of a full-circle situation for me: the suburban Chicago area where I grew up was incredibly preppy, and while I rebelled against it in my youth, I've found myself gravitating toward the classics as I age. Appropriately, preppy influences turned up all over the fall runways, but often in interesting ways. Isabel Marant, for example, took the preppy-classic fisherman sweater and paired it with more fashion-forward elements like tribal-patterned jeans. Marant's version is the primary inspiration for this post, although, as you'll see, there are more fashion-forward versions out there, as well as very similar classics for a lot less.
Show me a woman who does not love Isabel Marant and I will show you a liar. Okay, maybe not quite, but, really, I don't know anyone who doesn't love her effortless cool-bohemian separates. I say effortless, because you can even wear a head-to-toe look by her and not look like you're trying too hard (or trying at all). Everything that she sends down the runway, I want instantly, hence this post. I probably have not worn a fisherman sweater since I was seven, and yet now I want this one so badly. It's not too bulky or boxy or literal; it's just right.
Joseph Altuzarra is one of the most-watched up-and-coming New York designers; the fact that he took a fisherman sweater—and a turtleneck version at that—and made it undeniably sexy proves he's worthy of the hype.
Brooks Brothers, a preppy staple, seems a pretty obvious place to find a fisherman sweater, but this one by their Thom Browne-designed Black Fleece line takes it to another level with mother-of-pearl buttons and grosgrain trim.
The Brits tend to call fisherman sweater aran knits; this style from, yes, Burberry's Brit line, is a sleeker, streamlined version, with a hint of cashmere for extra luxe.
Haute Hippie's fisherman sweater refines the classic with feminine pointelle stitching along the sleeves and in merino wool, which will likely be quite a bit softer than the usual lambswool.
Cut25's version makes it a bit more fashion-forward with chic dolman sleeves and leather trim at the neckline. This is a great option for those who don't want to look too traditional; it's younger and more fun.
J.Crew seems like a pretty obvious place to find a fisherman sweater; ironically, I found this one not on their own site but on Net-A-Porter. Still, it's probably the most similar to the Isabel Marant style above, and at $98, it's a pretty smart buy.
Even more wallet-friendly is Topshop's aran cable sweater, now on sale for just $50. According to the reviews, it has a rather boxy cut, but I'd be more concerned about its nearly all-acrylic fabric content than anything else.
Confession: I love the Land's End Canvas catalogue. When I saw this sweater in the most recent version, I ripped out the page so I wouldn't forget to order it. I love how traditional and boyish it looks, but a word to the wise: this line runs huge, so size down at least once. Still, there is something incredibly comforting about a slouchy, cozy fit.