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Growing up in Hawaii, winter was less of a season and more of a state of mind. The weather was often so balmy that it would be rare to not go to the beach or pool come December or January. Because the most I ever had to bundle up as a kid was putting on a hoodie in the morning, my winter wear game when I moved to Georgia and, eventually, New York was pretty weak. I remember feeling like coats were way too bulky and hating the itchiness of wool and clunkiness of boots.

Now having lived in New York for some years, I’ve not only found myself adjusting to the seasonal changes but also dressing accordingly. I have developed a fondness for the season where I break out the leggings and fuzzy socks– but, perhaps most of all, I have learned to appreciate and love having a good sweater in my closet at all times. In fact, almost every year I have one sweater in my closet that is the crown jewel of my wardrobe, the one feel-good piece to keep me warm when the temperatures drop. Last year it was a red number with a bulldog puppy embroidered on it. This year it is a soft grey crew neck with a pineapple stitched in front.

Thinking about the sweaters I love most, I was curious about what sweaters other people look forward to wearing and why it’s their go-to. So, I put out a call for people to send me a photo of their favorite sweater and a short bit explaining why. Here are some of the responses I received:

“When it gets cold and grey, I like to break out my festive parrot sweater by Lauren Moffatt. I googled the sweater just now, and it looks like it’s sold out at Steven Alan, but I also discovered that it was worn by a young Carrie Bradshaw in The Carrie Diaries, which I think takes place in the 80s. I will be donning this time-traveling, tropical sweater as soon as it dips below 60 degrees.”

“It’s a holiday sweater!! (And is self-made)”

“I’m not sure how the best fashion decision of my life happened at age 13, but this sweater, purchased with babysitting money, is still my favorite thing to wear, 15 years on.”

“This is the most comfortable sweater I have, but it’s more form fitting than I would have liked and it’s more winter than fall. However, I do like that it’s shimmery and goes well with most types of boots.”

“Last fall I was looking around for a caramel colored cardigan after (admittedly) wanting to duplicate a look I saw on ASOS. I talked myself out of getting one after trying a few on though. But this past August I was perusing the Gap’s website. They were having a sale (as they’re want to do), and so I went for it. I ordered their Shaker-stitch long cardigan in cream caramel. When I got it in the mail it was a little more professorial and less fashion-week than I was originally looking for, but it’s grown on me. It’s nice and thick and has deep pockets and is long without being too long, which I love. I think if I pair it with all black, it looks pretty good. And even if it doesn’t, I decided I don’t care.”

“C’mon. A poplin sweater? Who wouldn’t want that! Also I’m a ginger, so navy is my friend all year long.”

“I got this sweater at Target for about $15. I mostly like it because [my boyfriend] says it makes me look like Skye from Agents of SHIELD, which inadvertently makes me feel like a badass.”

“SWEATER WEATHER IS MY FAVORITE! This is the softest and coziest sweater I own— and I love stripes. It also isn’t too chunky, so I can layer it with other things as well!”

“I was just taking my winter clothes out from under my bed and found this sweater, which is pretty much my favorite but I’d TOTALLY forgotten about it over the summer.. It’s the best for the dead of winter, it’s basically like wearing a blanket with sleeves… a stylish Snuggie, if you will.”

“It reminds me of overcoming a pretty challenging year, financially and emotionally. Wearing this sweater is a constant reminder of having made it through and to trust myself.”

“I love this cardigan because it goes with anything. You can dress it up, or dress it down.”

“It’s a little too early for a sweater of this caliber, thickness, and style, but this is the ultimate sweater in my collection. It was a very thoughtful Christmas gift from my boyfriend during a cold New York winter. And just look at the dang thing. It’s sweater PERFECTION.”

(Images courtesy author, Steven Alan, & Anthropologie)