fall fashion issue 2023

Why Are They Doing That to Their Sweaters?

Photo-Illustration: The Cut; Photos, clockwise from bottom left: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images; Raymond Hall/GC Images via Getty Images; MEGA/GC Images via Getty Images; TheImageDirect.com; Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images via Getty Images; BG029/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images; Gotham/GC Images via Getty Images

For a long time, tying a sweater around the shoulders was reserved for the preppy elite, or for those panicky moments when breezy weather takes one by surprise. But recently, I’ve noticed well-dressed people all over the globe doing it — not out of desperation, as far as I can tell, but by choice. I’ve spotted hip Brooklyn moms wheeling strollers in the park with the sleeves of their pastel pullovers woven together on their clavicles. Dickies-wearing design guys have tossed their vintage cable knits across their shoulders with the masculine savoir faire of a Greek fisherman. During a recent walk through Tribeca, I saw a handful of gallery girls decked out in The Row who had topped off their well-tailored pants and blazers with neat little sweater capes. I’ve even noticed streetwear heads knotting $300 sweatshirts across their bodies on sneakily cold spring days. But though we’re all now united by a common goal of using our torsos as walking coatracks, how you choose to half-wear your sweater may vary. Which method are you?


Casual Waist Knot

Flannels, jean jackets, and hoodies belong here. It’s reliable, vaguely athletic-looking, and maybe even gives your waist a cinch.

Photo: MEGA/GC Images



This multifunctional style is for “It” girls who can get away with looking a bit messy, such as a French influencer or an Olsen twin.

Photo: Gotham/GC Images


Sweater-As-Fanny Pack

The transitional-weather equivalent of wearing a fanny pack across your chest and the preferred tying method of anyone you may see on line at the Soho Supreme store.

Photo: Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images



A somewhat pointless technique: Are you going to take off your coat, put on the sweater, then put your coat back on? Are you simply running out of closet space?

Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images


Classic Knot

You are a young urbanite with a fashion- or art-adjacent job. When you need to free your hands to carry a farmers’-market bouquet, you drape your cardigan over your shoulders like a millennial shawl.

Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images


Bella’s Signature

Named for Bella Hadid, who appears to have gotten halfway through putting on her sweater and then changed her mind.

Photo: TheImageDirect.com/TheImageDirect.com


About to Fall Off

Those dangling sleeves lend you the flair of a gently disheveled but lovable ’90s rom-com star who swears her life is in shambles.

Photo: BG029/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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Why Are They Doing That to Their Sweaters?