Heirloom jewels, beloved decades-old recipes and a caring disposition are some of the things we can only hope to inherit from grandmothers. Sometimes, though, you can get sartorially lucky and acquire some prized possessions like a really timeless camel coat or a worn-with-love handbag. Other times, grandmothers’ closets may just serve as pure inspiration. Exhibit A: the “grandma” sweater style.
Since we seem to be in the peak of all things knit and inherently unsexy—just look to the cardigan’s resurfaced popularity—it only makes sense for this trend to feel right at home. While it doesn’t have a formula, the so-called grandma sweater blends a slightly oversized shape with soft colors (often pastels) and saccharine embroidery or embellishments. Yup, that means plenty of itty-bitty rosebuds, splashy knit florals, or craftsy embellishments. Appliqués, swirls of beads and even tiny touches like flecks of woven color all hark back to the sweaters of decades past.
Just take a look at Alessandra Rich and LoveShackFancy for inspiration. Their candy shades and dainty embellishments keep from feeling too sweet (or dated) thanks to small upgrades like cropped cuts or slouchy fits. And even Kendall Jenner happens to be a fan. A major benefit of today’s granny knits? In place of itchy acrylic, polyester and other rough fabrics, today’s versions have a plush upgrade in significantly more comfortable material like alpaca, wool and mohair—and, yes, even synthetic fabrications made with modernized techniques for softer wear.
Throw on with a pair of straight-cut jeans or tie around the shoulders for a look grandma can likely get behind.