Despite soaring temps when we were in NY for Fashion Week, it was officially fall in New York City as far as retail was concerned. Not only were the stores offering big, cozy, chunky knits galore, but sweaters featuring quirky animal figures that seemingly barked and chirped at us for attention. And we fell in love over and over with every dog, bird, and animal face we came across, from those at high-end department stores such as Saks to smaller boutiques such as French label Comptoir des Cottoniers, Here are our top picks for adding this fun Fall trend into your wardrobe rotation.
Think this trend verges on juvenile? The piece we came across first happened to be a child-sized creation, but the sales girls at SoHo’s Comptoir de Cottoniers flagship told us that clients that could fit into the Angora-mix jumper ($97) were snatching it up for themselves, not their daughters. The sweater features a doodle-drawing of Léon, a French bulldog, wearing a bow tie. With a pair of skinny jeans and the brand’s must-have ankle boot, you’ll be ready for the slight chill in the air no matter where you’re living.
Available at www.comptoirdescottoniers.com
If you’re more of a cat person, skip the canine knit and snag the Topshop Knitted Animal Face Jumper ($84). It’s a melange of different knits, including angora, so it’s definitely going to be cozy and warm, but we don’t think anyone but your closest friends will want to snuggle with a sweater so fierce. We also think this option is a little more subtle — at first glance the colors and pattern look like a riff on cheetah, but it’s only when you stop and take a closer look that you’ll notice a big cat staring right back at you.
Available at www.topshop.com
If you love the idea of a dog sweater but want a different breed, there are plenty of brands to choose from. When it walked on the runway in London, nobody thought that something as novel as the Burberry Prorsum Cashmere Dog-Print Sweater ($1,295) would be a runaway hit. The runway show included other animal kingdom standouts, such as chickadees, owls and more — for guys and girls alike — but our favorite knit piece was definitely the dog pullover. Cheeky and fun, it’s the perfect piece to pair with some of your closet staples.
Available at www.saks.com
Another dog-lovers pick is the Boy. by Band of Outsiders Dog Print Sweater ($395). Our favorite feature on this piece is its double personality. Wear it one way and you’ll show off snow-white puppies against a black backdrop and when you flip the sweater inside-out, you’ll get black dogs on a field of white. Two looks in one piece? Sign us up! It’s doubly cute, too, since the cartoon-y canines look more like a geometric print from afar. But like any work of art, you need to get up close to really appreciate it.
Available at www.saks.com
It’s not just raining cat and dog sweaters. At Madewell, the Sheepmeadow Sweater ($88) is one way to channel Zooey Dechanel (snag a few other pieces from the store to complete quirky-girl the look). The pyramid of sheep all feature different designs on their legs and hooves, so it’s more of a cheerleading pyramid of the best sheep from your nightly sheep counting than just a scrambled pattern of dog faces. While Madewell’s stylists paired this statement-making piece with a deep jewel-tone bottom, we see this working with anything from denim to solid skirts and more. Don’t be a follower, stand out.
Available at www.madewell.com
If you need something with a double dose of whimsy, the J. Crew French hen sweater ($95) squawks loudly. It’s being offered in the brand’s famed cashmere merino blend (so soft!) and the story goes that this charming character was just a doodle in one of the design team’s notebooks. It went from cutesy sketch to become the brand’s unofficial mascot for the pre-fall collection, so if you love this beret-wearing bird, it’s also available on a scarf and a blouse.
Available at www.jcrew.com
Photos courtesy Comptoir des Cottoniers, Topshop, Saks Fifth Avenue, Madewell and J. Crew