Sézane Is Famous for Its Sweater Bar. Here Are My Top 5 Picks

The coziest French knitwear that ever there was

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sezane sweater bar universal

Whenever I go to Paris, Sézane is a must-stop. Their Grande Appartement on Rue Saint Fiacre is a sight to be seen for two reasons: First, the local shoppers. (As popular as Sézane is with Americans, it’s equally beloved by the French.) Second, the sweater bar. (There’s one in Paris, but also at their NYC boutique, which I visited for the purpose of this piece.)

The iconic piece of architecture actually began as a way to showcase the elegant range of colors inherent in Sézane’s collections when the brand opened its very first brick-and-mortar location in Paris in 2015. Morgane Sézalory—Sézane’s founder—originally launched the label as an online-only shopping experience in 2013, but interest grew and now there are boutiques in locations around the world. (The brand also officially marked ten years in 2023.)

Back to the sweater bar: When shopping at the store, it’s an experience—and usually one that comes with a bit of a wait. (There was a line in Paris the last time I visited and one on my recent shopping trip in NYC as well.) But it’s also decidedly unique, mainly due to the service. Rather than sift through sweater after sweater to find your size and perfect fit, a member of the Sézane team is assigned to guide you through your sweater-wearing decisions and climb to the tippy top of a moveable ladder to pluck the size you need. (Sézane’s sweater collection is a mix of seasonal staples and new arrivals, but even the classics are often refreshed with a brand-new color palette. Oh la la.)

Bottom line: The sweater bar is each store’s pièce de resistance. It’s also so eye-catching that it makes me want to try on each and every style the minute I step inside the boutique.

A few weeks ago, that’s exactly what I did.

A Couple Things to Know About Sézane Sweaters Before You Buy

First, keep in mind: French sizing tends to run a bit smaller than it does in the U.S. This means that if you’d like a roomier feel to your sweater, you might want to consider sizing up. (It is quite easy to manage returns by mail with Sézane, so if you’d prefer to order a couple of sizes to try, then send the one that doesn’t work back, the policy is quite user-friendly.)

Second, the way you wash your Sézane sweaters matters. When I asked in-store, the recommendation was hand-wash only in cold water, then let them dry on a flat surface after rolling them in a towel to squeeze as much of the remaining moisture out. (You can dry clean, too, but save that for when you really need to tackle a tough stain.)

My 5 Favorite Sézane Sweaters

sezane gaspard cardigan
Dasha Burobina/Rachel Bowie

This style—in rosewood—was an immediate favorite for a single reason: It’s reversible! Yes, it’s primary purpose is to be worn as a cardigan, but rotate it and it also works as a lovely and relaxed crewneck. I went with a small and still found the style roomy enough to blouse. The vibe is so feminine, especially in this particular hue, and I love how delicate the mother-of-pearl buttons are down the front.

sezane trudy jumper
Dasha Burobina/Rachel Bowie

Spoiler alert: Cherry red is trending, which means Sézane is having a hard time keeping this particular hue in stock. Still, the Trudy jumper is in regular rotation within Sézane’s sweater collection, which means there’s a full range of colorways to choose from if you like the fit. (Pro tip: The stores seem to have more sizes available if you’re set on finding this same red.) A few of my favorite details about this style: The softness. It’s made from a blend of mohair and wool, which is luxe, but also so cozy and warm. The Trudy also features a placket of beautiful gold buttons along one shoulder, which gives it an extra flare. With a French tuck, the pop of color in this style felt bright and cheery.

OK, so hear me out on the Betty: This cardigan is destined to be a closet staple and one you’ll want in every color, from neutral to bright. The ultra violet purple was an immediate favorite—jewel tones are always universally flattering—but I was equally impressed by the ecru hue and how seamlessly that color would mix and match with so many pieces I already own. Still, it’s the details that make the style sing—the crisp collar, the front pockets, even the style of buttons. In merino wool, it holds its shape. Also, you know it’s a fave when the staffer at the sweater bar has one on. (This fit runs true to size so I stuck with the small.)

Another favorite in the Sézane lineup—and a classic that’s always in rotation in a range of colors—is the Basile. For this, I sized down and went with the XS. (It runs a bit oversize and I found that sizing down gave me the relaxed fit that I wanted—the person in charge of the sweater bar made a similar recommendation with this style.) Made from Alpaca and wool, this cardigan is drapey and romantic. I especially love the balloon sleeves and ease at which I could tuck it in without adding a ton of bulk. It’s available as a crewneck, too, but the V-neck felt sexier somehow. It’s my new favorite date night look.

When I waited in line at the sweater bar in New York, this was the style most shoppers were coveting. I tried it in navy—with the Breton stripe pattern in white—but it’s also available in the reverse (ecru with navy stripes), which is a fun way to switch things up. This knit is made from cotton and incredibly lightweight. As much as I can envision wearing this in the winter months, it also feels like a classic for a chillier summer night. I chose a size small and undid some of the buttons for a more effortless feel. The sleeves are also ever-so-slightly puffed, which like the Basile, adds a romantic air. I’d say this is the most universal of the Sézane sweaters I tried.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...