You know what’s kind of unfortunate? A lot of people, upon hearing the word “sweater,” immediately think of ugly Christmas sweaters (or hoodies, depending on where you live). That’s not fair to sweaters. A hand-knit wool sweater, while not ideal for some outings, is still a lovely thing to have in one’s wardrobe. A family friend once knitted my parents a blanket made of this special wool, and it was so soft and squishy and comfortable, that if I could wear that thing as a sweater, I know I would never take it off.

A sweater’s geometric patterns always look lovely on a cold evening, especially against a backdrop of a fireplace and a frosted window. They’re form fitting, too, so you still get plenty of upper body warmth without looking like a dork in a huge winter coat. In a word, a sweater says “cozy.”