The Best Lightweight Sweaters for Summer

A breezy and lightweight knit sweater is a summer staple.

The Best Lightweight Sweaters for Summer
A lightweight sweater is the answer to cool summer nights and frigid office AC. Annie Sheehan for Observer

When we think about summer style, warm weather staples like linen dresses, strappy sandals and crisp white tops often come to mind. Sweaters, on the other hand? Not so much.

While a sweater might seem like the last thing you want to wear during the warmest time of the year, a lightweight knit is actually one of the unsung heroes of early summer wardrobes. After all, even though temperatures are climbing during the day, a sweater is key for those cooler nights, especially for those living in coastal climates, where the dog days of summer don’t hit until far later in the year, and even then, breezy evenings often still require some form of outerwear. A jacket is usually far too heavy, but a chic lightweight pullover sweater or cardigan is an ideal solution, because light layers are always the answer!

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Summer sweaters aren’t *just* for nighttime, as they’re also quite convenient for anyone who knows what it’s like to go from the sweltering heat of a morning commute into Arctic-level blasts of AC upon arrival to your final destination, whether it’s the office, a restaurant or that one friend’s apartment who enjoys residing in an icebox.

There are plenty of stylish summer sweaters out there for every warm weather occasion, whether you’re looking for a nautical Breton stripe, a beachy open weave, a knit pullover, or an oversized cardigan. Below, see the best lightweight summer sweaters to shop now.

All products featured are independently selected by Observer editors. When you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission that supports our work.

  • Rag and Bone.

    Rag and Bone Renee Crochet-knit Cotton-blend Sweater

    A white crochet knit sweater is sure to be a staple in your summer wardrobe.

    $375, Shop Now
  • The Westside.

    The Westside Collection Roll Neck Pullover

    This red striped cotton sweater has a relaxed roll neck.

    $245, Shop Now
  • Ralph Lauren.

    Polo Ralph Lauren Flag Cotton Crewneck Sweater

    You can’t go wrong with Ralph Lauren’s classic American flag knit sweater, which also happens to be very on point for a certain holiday in July.

    $248, Shop Now
  • J. Jill.

    J. Jill Seamed Sweater With Cuffed 3/4 Sleeves

    The three quarter sleeves on this slightly oversized navy linen-blend sweater are perfect for warmer weather.

    $79, Shop Now
  • The Elder Statesman.

    The Elder Statesman Stars & Spirals Intarsia Organic Cotton Sweater

    The Elder Statesman’s statement sweaters have developed quite the dedicated following over the past few years, and while the brand is perhaps best known for their luxe cashmere, try one of the chic cotton sweaters for summer.

    $995, Shop Now
  • Karen Millen.

    Karen Millen Viscose Blend Trim Knitted Crew Neck Sweater

    Go all in on the nautical look in this sailor-worthy sweater, complete with gold button details.

    $38, Shop Now
  • Farm Rio.

    Farm Rio Fruit Dream Crochet Sweater

    Summer is the perfect time of year to try out bold shades, like this multicolor oversized knit sweater.

    $225, Shop Now
  • Aerie.

    Aerie Oversized Henley Sweater

    Keep it casual in this easy blue pullover.

    $29.97, Shop Now
  • Vince.

    Vince Crochet Cardigan Sweater

    An adorable cropped white knit cardigan is so cute for the season.

    $425, Shop Now
  • Ba&sh.

    Ba&sh Sean Sweater

    Those of us who can’t get enough of a Breton stripe will surely adore this striped sweater, for the ultimate French girl look.

    $325, Shop Now
  • Veronica Beard.

    Veronica Beard Raimi Color-Blocked Pullover

    A pretty pastel colorblocked sweater is a fun option for the warmer months.

    $298, Shop Now
  • Re/Done.

    Re/Done 50s Embroidered Cotton Blend Sweater

    The delicate floral embroidery adds a whimsical touch to this cream-colored knit sweater.

    $425, Shop Now
  • Mikoh.

    Mikoh Mehetia Top

    This scoop-neck white open-knit sweater is just as appropriate to throw on over your swimsuit at the beach as it is to wear with white jeans and chic sandals for a summery dinner.

    $189, Shop Now
  • J. Crew.

    J. Crew Relaxed Cotton-linen Beach Sweater

    J.Crew is one of my go-to spots for summer sweaters; this relaxed cotton-linen version is so versatile.

    $89.50, Shop Now
  • Michael Stars.

    Michael Stars Richie Lightweight Sweater

    Bring the sunshine no matter the weather with this cheerful yellow sweater.

    $158, Shop Now
  • Mersea.

    Mersea Amour Sweater

    Pink stripes are a fun twist on the classic Breton.

    $99, Shop Now
The Best Lightweight Sweaters for Summer