From dresses to leggings and, of course, sweaters, knits are big sellers this holiday. In a survey of better-priced vertical retailers, knit items — particularly in cashmere — consistently ranked as shopper favorites, both as gifts and self-indulgences.
Store: Club Monaco
Item: Oversize cashmere sweater
Why: "Customers were originally buying this sweater as a gift — and now we are seeing them come back because they want to buy one for themselves, too," said a spokeswoman for Club Monaco. "They love it because it is 100 percent cashmere, which makes it luxurious and cozy just in time for the cold weather. It has great details like a roll neck, oversize buttons and cuffed sleeves that make it functional and fashionable. We are seeing a lot of customers wear it with a large belt and skinny double-knit pants."
Store: J. Crew
Item: Striped cashmere leggings
Why: "We continue to be famous for our Italian cashmere," said a J. Crew spokeswoman, calling the leggings "indescribably soft and completely luxurious."
Store: Kenneth Cole New York
Item: Double Crossed crisscross knit dress
Why: "Women are definitely buying for themselves," said a Kenneth Cole spokeswoman. "Dresses have been a huge trend, especially sweater dresses. Our customer likes it because it is fitted and can be worn off the shoulder."
Store: Sigrid Olsen
Item: Space dye cardigan and patchwork cardigan
Price: $169 and $149
Why: "These items are bestsellers as gifts because they are unique and very representative of the Sigrid Olsen aesthetic and her sophisticated color palette," said Barry Zelman, president of Sigrid Olsen. "People are also buying them for themselves because they can be worn for a variety of different occasions, both casual and dressy, and are wonderful jacket alternatives."
Store: Tommy Hilfiger
Item: Cashmere cowl-neck
Why: "Sweaters are driving holiday sales," said a Tommy Hilfiger spokeswoman. "Cashmere as a fabrication continues to perform, cowl-neck silhouettes are a strength and holiday cardigan styles — trimmed with sequins, beading, bling — have strong sell-throughs."
Store: Tommy Bahama
Item: Vintage double-V dress
Why: "We're finding that women are buying this dress for themselves as it's incredibly versatile and very easy to wear," said Lynne Koplin, president of women's at Tommy Bahama Group.
Store: Banana Republic
Item: Turtleneck sweaters
Why: Banana Republic "teamed up with Goodwill on a 'Share the Warmth, Spread the Goodwill' promo," said a Banana Republic spokeswoman. "This allows customers to donate a gently worn sweater and receive a 30 percent discount on all sweaters, excluding 100 percent cashmere, through today. All donated sweaters will go to Goodwill charity to benefit their job training programs."
Item: Women's Crazy Stripe scarf
Why: "At Gap, we've brought back color in a big way for holiday, and I think our customers are drawn to the bright, optimistic colors," said a spokeswoman for Gap. "We're seeing a great response to our Crazy Stripe collection — we even striped a limited edition Vespa LX50."
Item: Swarovski croc T-shirt
Why: "The shirts are being bought as a gift item or, for those people who want a little sparkle this season, they are buying them for themselves," said a spokeswoman for Lacoste.