The 9 Best Fisherman Sweaters for Women of 2022

The L.L. Bean Heritage Soft Cotton Fisherman Sweater took the top spot.

In This Article

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 Best Fisherman Sweaters for Women in 2022

LL Bean / ShopBop

Nothing beats snuggling up in a fisherman sweater when the weather cools down. These cozy staple pieces originated in Ireland but, thanks to beautiful eye-catching patterns, they quickly rose in popularity around the globe. Aran sweaters, as they are also known, are traditionally made with Merino wool, which renders them incredibly warm and comfortable.

If you are in the market for a new, go-to fall or winter sweater, we researched dozens of options for this style. We considered factors such as cut, material, and stitching pattern before naming L.L. Bean's Heritage Soft Cotton Fisherman Sweater the best overall. This classic bestseller has all the features of traditional fisherman sweaters — a crew neckline, straight cut, and beautiful pattern — and can be styled with a variety of outfits, too.

Here’s our complete list of the best fisherman sweaters for women.

Best Overall: L.L. Bean Women's Bean's Heritage Soft Cotton Fisherman Sweater

L.L. Bean Women's Bean's Heritage Soft Cotton Fisherman Sweater

L.L. Bean

Why We Love It: It’s made from soft, organic cotton and is slightly fitted at the waist for a more structured look.

What to Consider: If you want something to wear in freezing temperatures, this one may be too lightweight.

L.L. Bean's classic fisherman sweaters are the perfect layering pieces no matter the season as they’re breathable and lightweight (travelers, take note). Knitted from soft organic cotton, they are available in many sizes including petite and plus options. Feel free to adapt the fit to your needs and styling preferences — size up if you want to wear it in the winter with a shirt underneath, or opt for your usual size if you'd like a more close-fitting top. This sweater has a traditional overall silhouette, but narrows slightly at the waist, adding an elegant vibe.

But what we love the most about this piece is the beautiful, eye-catching combination of cable stitches. The sweater has a crew neck finished with a rib trim that embellishes the cuffs and hem and gives them a bit of a stretch, which helps with the fit. It is available in five shades, including red, navy, and gray, which are not entirely monochrome. These color choices feature tiny speckled motifs that make each sweater unique.

Price at time of publish: $89

Sizes: XS-XL in regular, petite, and plus | Material: Organic cotton

Best Oversized: Free People Isla Cable Knit Sweater

Free People Isla Cable Knit Sweater

Saks Fifth Avenue

Why We Love It: The oversized silhouette includes extra-long sleeves and hemline.

What to Consider: The knit pattern is loose, making the sweater a bit see-through.

Oversized fisherman sweaters are the definition of coziness. The effortlessly chic style is the perfect layer on a chilly day and pairs well with boots and jeans.

This one by Free People stands out with its chevron design — a beautiful twist on the classic cable pattern. The dropped shoulders, ribbed trims, and longer sleeves add to the coolness factor of this relaxed, chunky-knit piece. Made of a breathable blend of cotton and acrylic to keep you cool and comfortable, the sweater is available in three classic shades plus a striking marine blue.

Price at time of publish: $148

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Cotton, acrylic

Best Turtleneck: Amazon Essentials Women's Fisherman Cable Turtleneck Sweater

Amazon Essentials Women's Fisherman Cable Turtleneck Sweater

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s a medium-weight sweater you can take from work to dinner.  

What to Consider: It fits close to the body, so you likely won’t be able to wear something underneath (unless you size up).

Turtlenecks are some of the hardest-working multitaskers in our closets come fall and winter, thanks to the extra neck coverage. We love this beautiful style by Amazon because it is made from breezy midweight cotton that keeps you warm without the bulkiness of a heavier knit.

The ribbed neckline adds a bit of elasticity and ensures a comfortable fit. And, speaking of the fit, this one has a flattering slim cut that looks incredibly stylish whether you pair it with a skirt or jeans. Finally, Amazon's turtleneck is available in a wide range of sizes and comes in so many colors you may end up ordering a few.

Price at time of publish: $34

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Cotton

Most Stylish: & Other Stories Cable Knit Wool Sweater

& Other Stories Cable Knit Wool Sweater

& Other Stories

Why We Love It: The contrast stitching transforms this fisherman sweater into an eye-catching piece.

What to Consider: It’s only available in white.

Finding a stylish sweater that won't look outdated in a year is difficult, but this one hits the sweet spot between timeless and trendy. The reason, of course, is the contrasting stitching — a cool and unique twist on classic black and white.

The puffy, extra-long sleeves and wider hemline add another cool layer to the silhouette. We also love that this piece is knitted from sustainable wool that will keep you warm when temperatures drop. And, last but not least, while a lot of bold styles are not super versatile when it comes to styling, this one is the exception. Wear it with dress pants, over a silk slip, or with a skirt, and you'll look equally chic.

Price at time of publish: $149

Sizes: XS-L | Material: Wool

Best for Warmth: Quince Mongolian Cashmere Fisherman Crewneck Sweater

Quince Mongolian Cashmere Fisherman Crewneck Sweater

Quince

Why We Love It: It's made from premium Mongolian cashmere.

What to Consider: Cashmere is not machine washable, so you will have to hand wash the sweater or dry clean it.

Cashmere is not just one of the warmest yarns in the world, it is also one of the most luxurious. This Quince sweater is spun with fine Mongolian cashmere and is as soft as a cloud. The classic silhouette features a crew neckline, a plain cable knit pattern, and extra-long sleeves for maximum warmth. The sweater is available in multiple neutral shades, making it the ultimate closet staple you’ll reach for again and again.

It fits true to size, so we'd size up if you'd like to achieve an effortlessly chic (and super comfy) relaxed fit.

Price at time of publish: $90

Sizes: XS-XL | Material: Cashmere

Best Budget: Amazon Essentials Women's Fisherman Cable Long-Sleeve Crewneck Sweater

Amazon Essentials Women's Fisherman Cable Long-sleeve Crewneck Sweater in Dark Red

Amazon

Why We Love It: This is a classic mid-weight cotton fisherman sweater that can be worn year-round.

What to Consider: It may shrink slightly since it's pure cotton.

You don't have to spend a fortune to own a beautiful, good-quality fisherman sweater. This one from Amazon checks all the boxes — it's soft, warm, stylish, and costs a fraction of a designer piece.

Similarly priced sweaters are usually made from a blend of synthetic fibers that tend to overheat the body, but not this one. It's breathable thanks to its 100 percent cotton construction, yet still cozy. It has a straight silhouette, a crew neckline, and is about hip-length. Sizing goes up to 6XL and the sweater is available in 20 monochrome colors and two prints.

Price at time of publish: $34

Sizes: S-6XL | Material: Cotton

Best Splurge: Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cashmere Turtleneck

Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater

Bloomingdale's

Why We Love It: The higher neckline and cashmere construction are both perfect for extra warmth.

What to Consider: It is only available in white and brown.

The right fisherman sweater will last you for years and keep you warm and elegant no matter how you style it. This beautiful piece by Ralph Lauren is made from the softest Italian cashmere and has a stylish cable-knit pattern with a ribbed turtleneck.

The straight fit means you can easily wear it over another shirt or under a blazer for an elevated look. And, because it hits at the hip, you can tuck it inside a pair of high-waisted jeans or a leather pencil skirt, too.

The only downside? This style is available in just two colors: white and dark brown.

Price at time of publish: $598

Sizes: XXS-XXL | Material: Cashmere

Best Traditional: The Irish Store Women's Traditional Aran Sweater

The Irish Store Women's Traditional Aran Sweater

The Irish Store

Why We Love It: The honeybee stitch pattern is absolutely gorgeous.

What to Consider: It is see-through.

Inspired by traditional Aran knitwear from Ireland, this chunky fisherman sweater comes in a beautiful honeycomb-stitch pattern that symbolizes hard work and good fortune. The slightly oversized silhouette has dropped shoulders, a crew neckline, and a longer hemline for the ultimate cozy piece. Made from pure Merino wool (known for its warmth, softness, and moisture-wicking qualities), this piece is just as practical as it is good-looking.

It is available in 15 colors inspired by the landscapes of Ireland, including a field green and deep Atlantic blue.

Price at time of publish: $140

Sizes: XS-XXL | Material: Merino wool

Best Sweater Dress: Anrabess Women's Crewneck Cable Knit Sweater Dress

ANRABESS Women's Crewneck Long Sleeve Cable Knit Sweater Dress

Amazon

Why We Love It: It does double duty as a dress or long sweater. 

What to Consider: It’s not very breathable and may pill.

Whether you wear it as a dress or as an oversized sweater, this fisherman sweater is easy to style and will be your go-to piece for a variety of occasions. It is made from acrylic knitted with a chunky cable pattern at the front and honeybee stitching at the back. The slouchy, oversized shape is cozy and cool, and you can easily layer it over a silk dress or a shirt — no need to size up. The ribbed hemline, cuffs, and neckline ensure a comfortable fit, while the extra-long sleeves keep your hands warm in the winter. And, with over 20 shades to choose from, you may find it challenging to pick just one. (But do note the style in white could be a bit see-through.)

Price at time of publish: $60

Sizes: S-XL | Material: Acrylic

Tips for Buying a Fisherman Sweater

Choose the best fit

Fisherman sweaters come in different silhouettes, so you have plenty of choices. Classic Aran sweaters have a straight fit that allows you to wear another layer underneath or a coat over them. For something a little cozier, consider an oversized fisherman sweater but remember that you may not be able to wear a jacket since these can be quite chunky. And, finally, a chic turtleneck that fits close to the body looks sophisticated and is a great choice for a day in the office when paired with a blazer.

Understand the features of a fisherman sweaters

You’ll instantly recognize an Aran sweater by its elaborate pattern, which, in most cases, runs vertically. But, what differentiates a fisherman sweater from a regular cable-knit sweater is its weight. Because this style was meant to keep a person warm, they tend to be a heavy choice suitable for frigid fall or winter days. Wool and cashmere are always the best materials, but if you'd like something airier to wear on a warm autumn evening, you can opt for a fisherman sweater in cotton instead.

Opt for comfort

Fisherman sweaters are as timeless as little black dresses or a pair of Levi's, so don't think so much about the style when shopping for one. Instead, focus on comfort. The goal of an Aran sweater is to keep you warm and cozy, so make sure the fit is perfect. If you are considering a turtleneck style, opt for one that doesn't fit too snugly at the neck.

Certain types of wool can be more coarse and, as a result, itchy. If you plan on wearing your sweater over a T-shirt or a tank top, go for one in cashmere, merino, or alpaca wool — they are super soft and typically less scratchy.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is a fisherman sweater?

    Fisherman sweaters originated in the Aran Islands of Ireland, which is why they are also known as Aran sweaters. Knitted from sheep’s wool that is warm and moisture-wicking, they were primarily worn by farmers and fishermen in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since no dyes were used, classic fisherman sweaters were usually cream-colored, just like shearling. Style-wise, they stand out with their elaborate cable knit and Celtic knot-inspired stitchings that traditionally have different meanings.

  • What should I wear with a fisherman sweater?

    Nowadays, you don't have to be a farmer or a fisherman to wear this popular style. In fact, they have become a closet staple for men and women because they can be paired with pretty much anything, including skirts and boots, trousers, silk dresses, jeans, and even leggings.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Dobrina Zhekova used research and her own experience as a travel writer to put together the perfect list of stylish fisherman sweaters for women. 

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