What’s the first image that comes to mind when you think of knits? Cozy, comfy sweaters? Keeping warm by a fireplace in a wool turtleneck? Sure, knits may seem like something to save for those brisk winter months, but the stretchy fabric has a lot more to offer than just warmth during colder weather.
In fact, thanks to the wide variety of weights, gauges, colors, and new styles, there is a nearly endless variety of appealing summer knits, too. Think: loose, open-weave pull-overs; whisper-thin, nearly-sheer cardigans; sleeveless, drapey tops; and more. All make surprisingly chic additions to your warm-weather wardrobe.
Here, a few gorgeous summer knit options and ideas you may not have thought to try—perfect for when you’re headed to the office, a casual backyard barbecue, or anything in between.
1. The Sleek Shell
A sleeveless tank with a subtle, metallic sheen is the kind of piece that seems like a small risk—until you put it on. Suddenly you’re wondering how you ever lived without it. It’s ridiculously versatile: slip a silvery one on under a white blazer for a breezy, polished work look, or pair it with dark jeans for date night. A cowl neck version is extra elegant, but a more streamlined style would be just as chic and easy to wear.
2. The Belted Cover-Up
Who doesn’t love a piece that pulls double duty? Thanks to its longer length, pretty button details, and belted waist, a thin, gauzy cardigan sweater can be worn as a dress—just be sure to layer pieces underneath to avoid a risqué, peek-a-boo effect. We love this summer knits look because it’s super breezy but will also keep you warm when the air conditioning at work is blasting full force. Speaking of which, this piece also looks gorgeous worn open and draped over a pretty camisole and pants; try an all-white look for added summer vibes, or pair with brights for added cheer. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
3. The Romantic Top
Why not show a little skin? An off-the-shoulder top is an unexpected way to add appeal to any ensemble, making it perfect for romantic cocktails or a night on the town. This season’s best versions come in body con ribbed knits, which are extra curve-flattering. Look for a style with structural details like a wide, fold-over collar or a knotted tie at the waist—they help balance the proportions and provide coverage, helping to keep the overall vibe pulled-together and polished. Try pairing it with slim jeans or a knee-length pencil skirt and heels. Skip the necklace and try statement earrings instead—they’ll draw the eye upwards and let your gorgeous collarbones steal the show.