Why consumers are ditching cardigans for jumpers and hoodies this winter

The temperatures have finally turned, the clocks have gone back and the pumpkin spiced lattes are being pushed by key beverage retailers, all this means that winter is here. And so, as consumers we lock away the summer dresses, and cotton things to pull out our winter clothes, or realise that the moths have eaten everything, and relish the opportunity to shop for a whole new winter wardrobe. And when it comes to winter warmers, the traditional knits are proving that they never went out of fashion. In fact, according to WGSN Instock retail data, knitwear held 10% of the new-ins over the past week and 17% over the month which was stable year on year.

“Retailers dropping knitwear over the past week placed emphasis on jumpers over cardigans as casual and menswear-inspired styling drive key items,” says WGSN Instock’s Francesca Muston. 

“Within the knitwear category jumpers held 75% of the new-in mix this week, increasing 5pp YOY. By comparison, cardigans held just 22% falling 3pp YOY. Roll neck tops help bolster the jumpers sub-cat as both a layering piece under dresses or teamed with trousers and skirts”, adds Muston.

“Topshop, Asos and River Island increased YOY new-in jumpers over the month e/22 Oct by +26%, +20%, +192%, hoodies and sweaters by +240%, +69%, 65%. River Island increased cardigans by a relatively low 20% while Topshop and Asos both reduced their new-in cardigans (-79%, -22%).” 

& other stories knitwear

& other stories knitwear

Alongside traditional knits, menswear styling and the continued focus on athleisure, is driving sweatshirts and hoodies, which hold a combined 16% of the tops mix, up from 12% LY.


And we’re going to see this fever for athlesiure continue on into the New Year, especially in January, the month when consumers are most focused on body wellbeing, transformation and exercise.

Like this? Join WGSN for Instock data, global womenswear trends, as well as business and strategy insights. 

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.