The ribbed half-zip has returned.

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The Sweater Your Crush Wore in Middle School Is Cool Again
Credit: Getty Images

Ugg boots, gray jeans, trucker hats — sometimes, it's hard to tell if I'm describing today's must-try fashion trends or an outfit I wore in 2004. Stuff that I once considered "out" and gone forever (and for good reason, I swear!) has somehow managed to resurface on the bodies of top models and celebrities. And, while part of me cringes at the thought of layering a dress layered over jeans, there's one item I will gladly welcome back into my life: half-zip sweaters.

Sure, to some it may qualify as a classic closet staple — something that simply stayed in the rotation, in between cozy hoodies and knit turtlenecks. However, recently I've been seeing more ribbed versions in a certain shade of cream or gray that remind me of the sweater everyone — especially my middle school crush — owned, and typically wore to awkward school dances. It was considered kind of dressy, especially when paired with khakis, and I'm sure a whiff of Axe body spray and a snippet of the perfect '00s slow song (O-Town's "All or Nothing," perhaps?) would bring me right back.

But, I digress. What I'm saying is that this sweater style is currently cool again, popping up everywhere as the temperature takes a dip. Fuzzy, cropped, ribbed — there are plenty of options to choose from and so many ways to style them. Thankfully, the metallic lip gloss is optional.


A neutral beige or cream half-zip sweater will look great with almost any type of bottom, from plaid skirts to jeans. However, if you really want to make a statement, wear it with something that's similar in color, creating a monochromatic look.

Shop Similar: Reformation Marla Zip Sweatshirt ($78;


If you're currently on a loungewear kick, invest in a fleece or teddy style sweater, which will look and feel super cozy with a pair of leggings.

Shop Similar: Summersalt The Cozy High Pile Eco Fleece Half-Zip ($95;


Yes, this trend can be slightly sexy, too, especially if you opt for something that's tight, cropped, or includes cutouts.

Shop Similar: ASOS Bershka Fluffy Half Zip Sweat Lilac ($27;


Remember when I said these sweater can be considered dressy? A simple black half-zip is elevated and can easily be amped up with a bold pair of pants and a handful of accessories.

Shop Similar: 525 Half Zip Pullover ($98;


You don't have to stick with a solid. I've also seen striped, leopard, and other patterns, which will give even simple outfits a boost.

Shop Similar: La Ligne Stripe Half Zip Merino Wool Sweater ($295;


Large, oversized collars are having a moment, and choosing a half-zip sweater with this detail is a more modern take on an old school trend.

Shop Similar: Ann Taylor Zip Collar Sweater ($80;