Fisherman Cable Sweater – So Cute, So Classic, So….Unflattering?


I have been stalking these for over a year now.  This Fall, THIS Fall, was the time I was going to Make. My. Move.  Fisherman sweater….you will be mine.  

Specifically, I've been drooling over both Haute Hippie's and Michael Kors' versions:

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I love the styling here.  Cozy sweater + gorgeous flowy maxi….or cozy sweater + skinny pants and lace ups? Oooo…so fun.  And these sweaters are classics, right?

But then….I tried them on. Correction:  I tried on eight.  Eight.  EIGHT, people!! Eight flippin' fisherman sweaters.  And YES – they were bulky enough to hide the pooch (mostly).  But that was kinda the problem….the bulk.

These sweaters gave me bulky shoulders, bulky arms, a large, bulky bosom (I hate this word, but really?  It fits the situation.)  Actually, that last statement summarizes the problem quite nicely:  Fisherman sweaters turned my hot-mama boobs into a bosom.  A large, mature, bosom.  


So then I thought…would a turtleneck help?

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Despite my love for them….these sweaters just make you look a bit….awkward, right?  Bulked up?  Like you could take someone down.  

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I feel like I've rained on my own parade.  Is it just me?  Am I too busty?  Suddenly too old?

But….compare the bulky fisherman sweaters to this drapy gorgeousness:

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Still cozy, yet much more flattering to the shoulders, arms, bust.  And they come in cream/camel…could either of these sweaters work in lieu of the fisherman sweater?  Here's hopin':








Yes/No?  Let me hear it, Mamas.  Let me hear it.



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  1. Too much bulk. I love these too, but every time I put them on it’s all frump and dump. Maybe we weren’t blessed with torsos long enough for such a heavy knit?

  2. Oh mama, I hear you on this. I share the love, and I actually had a *maternity* version. What was I thinking? Talk about hiding–nay drowning–a pooch! At 8 months pregnant, I didn’t look with-child, I looked fat when I wore it. Donated (hopefully to a tall, long-torsoed prego with no chest : ).

  3. If you really want cables, a chunky cable cardigan can be flattering over a slim fitting top. I could see it being cute with a tank and maxi skirt, or over a dress. It works more like a jacket, but still has that cable look.

  4. Totally agree, it’s an awful look. Here’s what I figure if it makes a 100 pound model look, um, developed, well it’s not gonna work for this momma of 4 who’s, um, more developed.
    Isn’t real style about knowing what works for you and having the courage to just say no to the rejects? (look at me, I sound like a motivational poster!)

  5. On a recent trip to Ireland I made it my mission to find the perfect fisherman’s sweater. I tried every store I could find and every style I saw from Dublin to Cork and NO LUCK. Fisherman’s sweaters are the most unflattering knits I’ve encountered. I swear all the models must have them cliped and pinned in the back to make them look good. Not about to leave empty handed, I found an amazing cable wrap that I thought embodied the look I was going for. My advice is to look for cable knit accessories and stick to flattering sweater shapes and styles.

  6. I have one my grandma knit about 25 years ago. It’s my favorite piece of clothing ever. It makes me look about 200 lbs. heavier than I actually am. I usually don’t care because I’m just so happy to be warm!

  7. I can’t do it — and I’ve tried. I appreciate a thinner fabric…it’s more flattering and shows I have a figure, plus MUCH more comfortable. I actually don’t even think they look good on models, its just an awkward piece. I think Tina was right when she said to invest in cable accessories – scarves! – to work the look without actually having to wear an afghan with sleeves.

  8. I’m with you. These things look so nice on the models, but make me look at least 20 lbs heavier!
    PS-I just ordered those Clarks you have pictured above. Sure hope they are super comfy!

  9. Horrifying. When I was 5’9 and 110 lbs they still didn’t look great. Chunky knits don’t do much for anyone.
    I heart cable anything but not in chunky cotton blends. 😉

  10. I’m so with you! Although I did see a sweet little sandy-haired two-year old boy wearing a cream fisherman knit sweater at school drop-off today, and he looked adorable. Maybe I’ll just buy one for the baby and satisfy my urge that way.

  11. @M – Right. Because there are lots of tall, long-torso’d preggos with no chest. Lots.
    @Ann – I think I’d need one that didn’t have cabled arms….hunh. This might work.
    @Kristen – I’d buy that motivational poster. Right on, sister.
    @Tina – Not even at the source? That’s it for me, then. There’s truly no hope. And your idea of finding accessories is SPOT ON. Thank you!!
    @Joy O – If I had one hand-knit by my grandmother, I’d wear it too, to you lucky girl. 🙂
    @Megan, @Seanna – Thanks for commenting. Glad I’m not the only one.
    @Christy – I have them in suede. They ARE comfy – promise!!
    @Kay – You and Tina have come up with the best ways to rock cable, LOL!

  12. In my decidedly unprofessional opinion, I’d go for the thinner drapey versions of the sweater. Save the fisherman sweater for the men–I don’t know very many women that can really pull it off because of the bulk. Plus, when you are baby wearing, they are super hot!!
    Those thinner sweaters look great, though. I love shawl collars, they are so flattering.

  13. I have a gray fisherman cardi from the Proenza Schouler for Target line a few years ago. It has a shawl collar, tortoise shell buttons and is cropped at the waist. Its one of my favs and I have worn it with just about everything.

  14. Too much bulk for me. As a “fluffy” mama with big boobies, I’ve got enough bulk of my own. I think the suggestion of a cable knit cardigan is good, though.

  15. I’m with ya.
    Like your drapey suggestions, but can you suggest anything with a less open neckline, or that can be layered with something under it? Living in Chicago, I’m always just downright cold if I wear a low scooping neckline in the winter.

  16. Kate – I often layer a thin flannel under the shawl front sweaters. I’m in LOVE with Madewell’s Boiler shirt…it’s a super-thin (but warm) tunic/boyshirt. Or….J. Crew makes a few sweatshirt styles in both cashmere and merino that have higher necklines:
    or this striped one:

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