With the advent of November, fall usually transforms itself. From bright leaves and crisp sunny mornings. Sweater weather. To bare branches and cold, damp days. Weather my step-father used to call raw. “Boys, it’s raw out there this morning, Snooze,” he used to say. Yes, he called me Snooze. And so did my brother Terry. Remembering that always makes me smile.

November usually marks the end of sweater weather. Not the end of wearing sweaters, of course. But the end of wearing them as outerwear. Once November hits, I have to layer a tweed jacket on top and throw a scarf around my neck. I can add my Moncler anorak when it rains. Or go whole hog and pull out a winter coat. After my coat closet review, I now know I have six from which to choose. So I’m not complaining. I have plenty of options. But still, sweater weather is such a very short season, and winter coat season is so very, very long, that I always mourn the passing into November. But only in a sartorial way, you understand.

So, what made me smile earlier this week was the arrival of a few days of very un-November-like weather. With highs of 16°C, and even a couple of days of 21. It was downright balmy. Hubby golfed like a crazy man. I ate my lunch on the deck, and walked in a tee shirt and light hoodie. And even then I was too hot. For both of the forays I made into town, when non-walking gear was required, I decided to give my light-weight Banjo and Matilda cardigan an outing.

Tee shirt and bare ankles, and a cardigan.

I like this old red sweater. I love the length. And the colour, and the buttons. It has held its shape really well, given that it was purchased in 2012. But it’s very light, and is usually strictly an indoor sweater this time of year. But for a run to the post office early in the week, I wore it with a black short-sleeved Vince tee shirt, my Liverpool Glider skinny jeans, my ancient Holt Renfrew messenger bag, and my Paul Green loafers (similar here.) And bare ankles. In November.

I know this outfit is not cutting edge style. But it’s stylish enough. And polished enough to pass my “does this make me feel like me?” test. The chunky loafers and big bag make it a little less “prissy” than it might otherwise look. And it’s really comfortable. So off I went. And after my errand, I decided to stretch my outing by purchasing a take-out latté, which I drank sitting in the sunshine on the dam behind Watson’s Mill.

Sweater weather in November. Red cardigan sweater, black jeans and tee, and red loafers.
Vince tee, Liverpool jeans, Paul Green loafers, HR bag, earrings Magpie Jewellry.

The wonderful warmth only lasted a few days. But even when the temperatures went down later in the week, the sun shone, and it was still sweater weather. Albeit with heavier layers. And socks.

tea on the deck in my red cardi
Finishing my tea on the deck before I head out.

I had one more outing planned. Just a trip to the drugstore. Nothing exciting. But still, outfit planning was required. So I changed up the tee shirt for my charcoal, cashmere turtleneck from Theory, bought unexpectedly at the Nordstrom Black Friday sale a couple of years ago. I didn’t intend to shop the Black Friday sales. I usually avoid them like the plague. But the day before the sale began, I had to go to Nordstrom to pick up a pair of pants that were being altered, and I stayed to have a coffee with Liz, and Nordstrom already had their sale merchandise out on the floor. And well… it’s hard to pass up a closet basic like a cashmere turtleneck when it’s 40% off.

Theory doesn’t seem to be offering my sweater anymore. But here’s one from Cuyana, which is just as nice, less expensive, and from a sustainable brand.

Anyway, on Thursday, I pulled my Theory sweater on with my Banjo and Matilda cardigan, my leather pants, and my black Stuart Weitzman ankle boots. This outfit feels more me. But then again, most outfits that include a turtleneck feel like me.

Sweater weather outfit. Boots, leather pants, cashmere turtleneck, and a red cardi.
Turtleneck and boots, and a cardigan.

Then suitable attired, I was off. In Hubby’s red truck. He had my car, and I was left with his truck which, funnily enough, matched my outfit. Now that’s what I call a pulled together look. Ha.

Perfect outfit for sweater weather. Cashmere turtleneck and a red cardi.
Off I go in my matching truck.

Cardigans are big this year, it seems. Especially sweaters with a relaxed fit. And cropped ones, that can be worn alone, tucked into high-waisted jeans, or hanging loose. I had some fun today, searching for cardigans on-line. Sweaters that I’d wear, like the ones below. That I’d buy myself. And may buy. I’m very partial to that chunky, cropped ‘And Other Stories’ sweater.

I guess this past week was truly the last of the sweater weather. We’re back to normal November temperatures now. My step-father would say that it’s pretty raw out today. In fact I did say it when I attempted to hang laundry on the clothesline this afternoon, and changed my mind. “It’s raw out. Not good drying weather,” I said to Hubby. And you know, until I started writing this post, it didn’t dawn on me that describing the weather as “raw” might sound a little weird to you. Hubby and I discussed it this morning. I’ve never heard anyone else use the word in this context except me, Hubby, and people in my family. And I assumed he picked it up from me. So I looked it up, and it’s in the Oxford English dictionary, and means just what I thought it did: “bleak, cold, damp.” And has lots of historical use in literature. And is not so very uncommon after all, I guess.

So yeah. The raw days of November are with us again. I will have to haul on my light down jacket and my hiking boots for walking. And soon, probably very soon, when the snow comes, my new, recently purchased winter boots. My first pair of real (non-skiing) winter boots since I was sixteen.


But that’s another story that I’ll leave for another day. When we can have a fulsome chat about boots. Okay?

Now it’s your turn, my friends. How’s November been treating you? I know some are going to say it’s your new favourite month. But I won’t go there. Any sweaters in your closet that might get one more outing before sweater weather ends where you are?

P.S. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

P.P.S. You might notice that under the brand and price on that little sweater graphic is a small heart. If you click that, you can ask to be notified when the item goes on sale. That’s kind of cool, I think.

Linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lab at her #IWillWearWhatILike.


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59 thoughts on “Last of the Sweater Weather”

  1. Isn’t it wonderful how simple well-made styles in solids elevate our look?! Comfort while wearing timeless looks shows in our countenance. Imagine how Mrs. Bennett’s nerves might have been soothed if only she wasn’t corseted, laden with the underpinnings, curls, long gowns! We’ve come a long way in fashion. You look tres` chic, Sue!

    1. Thanks, Nan. I can’t stand not being comfortable now. And I can imagine that the lack of corsets would have made Mrs. Bennet’s life better. Not to mention, Mr. Bennet’s. Ha.

  2. Yes, it was almost too warm last week to even have that sweater on. I am still wearing my heavier long cardigans, but after tomorrow I think the coats will replace them. My family always used the term raw when describing a cold damp wind. So raw it would cut right through you. Funny how certain sayings stay with you. Your red sweater is quite lovely on you and with the turtleneck, it looks cosy enough to work in rotation for a few more weeks I hope. Or just curled up with a book and tea. That sounds like a plan for tomorrow with threats of power outages.

  3. Love that red sweater on you. It goes so well with your hair. I’m going to try that combo since I’ve gone gray too. I live in Southern California so my entire winter is sweater weather except for a few weeks of cold weather but it does get chilly st night. I remember about eight years ago it was so mild that you could barely even wear a sweater during the day. Anyway, I’m in the middle of reading The Thursday Murder Club and enjoying it very much.

  4. Raw is extremely common as a weather term in Scotland – perhaps we exported it to you? We could do with more raw this autumn – all of October and all November so far and no frost. Very disconcerting. I’m enjoying seeing your styling as an antidote to what has been my uniform for a year now as we trudge through our house renovation – ancient trousers, thermals and jumpers (sweaters)/fleeces that don’t mind stone dust, plasterboard dust, sawdust, plaster dust and paint.

    1. We’ve always used raw down here in the South of England as well. We’ve had two bouts of frost in October. It is raw today and very grey and gloomy. We’re on the South Coast and have had awful rain and gales for the last two days. Bad weather expected from Wednesday and I see Scotland is forecast to have snow by the end of the week as well!

  5. My father used to call cold damp days raw. So, I do too. My father immigrated from England as a child. I expect the use comes from Britain. After all, living there one would need to describe such weather!

  6. We refer to weather being raw down here, when it’s bitterly cold. We also had the same burst of unseasonably warm weather- hiked in jeans and a short sleeved t-shirt last weekend! Wore a turtleneck, alpaca sweater and down jacket to an outdoor gathering last night, though. Enjoy those coats, Snooze!

  7. I Googled Watson’s Mill which looks well worth a visit. I see it has a weekend secondhand bookshop. Bliss, or is it shut at the moment because of Covid? Bet you’ve been there.

    Great looking red cardi.

  8. Seeing your red cardigan is just what I needed to get out a more cropped style beautiful red boiled wool jacket from several years ago. Yours looks great styled atop black/gray. I’ll try it with a favorite pair of Eileen Fisher black jeans and similar dark top. Might even add a complimentary scarf.
    We had a similar last hurrah of sweater weather here in Minnesota, ate curbside takeout dinner on the patio last Saturday before rushing back inside to hear President-elect Biden speak. Yes, a bit bored but grateful for health and comforts. I have several books waiting for me over the next few weeks. Holidays will be totally different so that we can enjoy them more normally next year (I hope!). Wishing you good health, enjoy each day as best you can. Your posts always brighten my day!

  9. I’m from Nova Scotia, as were all my people before me. We saw raw in reference to the weather, too. Living by the ocean, it’s often raw. And if the roads are icy or snowy, they are greasy. As in, Be careful driving. The roads are really Grady!

  10. Love the look and really like that length of sweater. It is slimming. I notice you are wearing a poppy. When I was a girl I believe some nonprofits may have sold them for Veterans Day / your Remembrance Day. I don’t believe they are sold much anymore in the Midwest USA. Too bad it was a great tradition.

    1. The length of my red sweater is one of the things I like best about it, too. We still see members of the Canadian Legion selling poppies everywhere. Although not as much this year since many of them are elderly.

  11. Yes , raw is a well used weather word here in Yorkshire . Not today though , it’s mild & sunny & we still have some roses in flower . The soft red of your Cardy is lovely – my kind of red & perfect with those red loafers .

    1. I remember the first day Stu and I arrived in Yorkshire in 2005 was pretty raw. Ha. The picture of me at windy Top Withens outside of Haworth is … well… a picture. Ha.

  12. I just love your new look since you have gone gray. Gee whiz! Even your complexion seems more bright, dewy, and clear…NOT that those were issues before! Also, love the looseness of your hairstyle. It falls well. Inspiration for all of us to embrace and enjoy our Autumn season of life! ❤️

  13. That color combo is my favorite on you and me – always have had red in my closet. You look great. I’m 5’1” and shrinking so it’s hard to get that long and lean look that I’d love and you have! Love your columns even though you have a much different climate than what we have here in Georgia! I lived in Utica, NY for a few years in the 70’s so I did get to experience a snowy winter!

  14. We had a lovely warm stretch, too, and my DH was also golfing like there is no tomorrow. 🙂

    That sweater is great, and I have to say I’m loving your new look with the so, so enviable hair color.

  15. Oh la la,bare ankles! Canadian weather is still mystery to me
    Though,cardigan is lovely,very nice colour
    We’ve had a couple of sunny days but I’m wearing my (lighter ) coat and Uniqlo light down coat for more than three weeks (ok,I could maybe do some , more like drive-in ,outings with a cardi,but not with bare ankles)
    So,give me a turtleneck and I’m very happy woman
    The & other stories cardigan is very nice,I’ve noticed it …..:-)

  16. Hello Sue,
    I’m a long time reader who can finally comment.
    You look great, as ever, and matching your car to your sweater is the way to go 😉
    Funnily enough, the French speaking Swiss say “cru” for the same weather.

    1. Welcome! So happy you can finally comment. Isn’t that interesting… that they use the French Swiss use that word. I wonder if it’s commonly used in France, or here in French-speaking Canada.

      1. In response if French Canadian uses “cru”, mais oui! I’m from Montreal South shore and we use to say “c’est cru ce matin”, mainly to qualify those cold, damp autumnal mornings! Love your blog and your style, always so interesting!

  17. Hello Sue,
    The red sweater looks wonderful with your gray hair. I like red myself and always have red sweaters and jackets in my wardrobe. I envy you your red loafers.
    It’s past sweater weather here in Alberta, as the snow hit us with a vengeance more than a week ago. I’m enjoying bundling up in my wool scarf, parka, snow boots and warm mitts as I venture outdoors every day. Even on raw days.

    1. I love those red loafers. They were left over from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and marked down again. Liz called me and told me about then and we both bought a pair, mine are burgundy and hers are black. Such a great pair of shoes.

  18. Grew up in UK. I can say that many a winter’s day was called raw in my house (no central heating). The dictionary definition covered it well. Up until now, our November weather (mid-Atlantic by the ChesBay) has been unusually mild–in the 20s(c), but expecting a thunderstorm to blast through this evening along with a drop to more seasonal temps. Perhaps a freeze warning midweek. That’ll be a first here for this autumn.

  19. There’s been no sweater weather here this November (started with sunshine and frost, but moved quickly to rain, grey, highs limited to 8, max), so I guess it’s gone for the year. . . and now, if we get a sunny day (or even a sunny hour, please?) it will be too chilly for sweaters as outerwear. . Umbrellas, now, and waterproof boots, and water-repellent coats and hats. . . I haven’t heard “raw” used out on this Coast, although we have the weather for it. Never heard my dad use it either, although he’s from the north coast of Yorkshire. Language is so interesting!

    1. I love all the differences between regions, words used, pronunciation etc. I remember reading Edith Wharton for a course, and finding out what the expression “the 400” meant. My mum used that expression all the time, to describe people who were social climbers, i.e. who wanted to be in the 400 class. I thought that was very cool that the expression still existed and had migrated north.

  20. Just like Lynn, I am also from Nova Scotia but living in Ontario now. I am very familiar with the term “raw” to describe weather that just seems to cut right through you. Perhaps it’s an east coast term Sue or should I say “Snooze”? I just love your step-fathers pet name for you!

    The red colour of the cardigan is very becoming with your new hair colour and driving around in the matching red truck would have been such fun!

  21. Love your red sweater – those buttons!
    Here in SoCal we’re just getting into sweater weather, and today, not even that, as we’re having a little blast of heat (80 F / 26 C), so I’m in shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt for what may be the last time this year. Or not. Our weather can be unpredictable.
    I’ve used the term raw, even though I’m a SoCal girl – I expect it’s from having my nose in a book my entire life and being a bit of an Anglophile. And having a Maritimer husband. 😉

  22. Love talk of sweaters. I am wearing one of my gray cardigans right now. Going through my sweaters I realized that I have two gray cardigans. I should decide which one I like best and donate the other. You are certainly finding opportunities to wear your lovely red cardigan. When I was a teenager I knit a red wool cardigan and wore it for many years.

    We also use the term “raw” for cold damp weather. Since moving to Nebraska, US, I use that word a lot in the late fall and winter. There is nothing more raw than a cold windy day in Nebraska.

  23. Haha – Austin Texas here where it was 88 F yesterday. “Only” 74 F today as a front blew in last night. We had windows open as s the blinds clattered in the breeze, the dog was frightened and woke me up shaking around 4 am. Weather is so changing everywhere and I wonder about this being sustainable for my remaining foreseeable lifetime (I am 56.). Otherwise I realized today I am quite content in my home and community. Earlier this year I was so anxious to move, but I couldn’t tell you where. I just knew I was frightened – guess I am getting used to COVID constraints and able to see my resources and blessings better. Surely the recent election helped, although I’m sure that’s not the last of our troubles.
    At any rate, thank you Sue for keeping this conversation going.

  24. I have always said that whoever dreamt up that no socks bare ankles look had to be from California…..they sure as he{{ are not from Canada where your ankles will freeze from December to April. I sometimes see the odd sweet young thing who has not figured out that blue ankles is just not a gorgeous look LOL

  25. Still no need for sweaters here in the tropics. I adore cardigans and miss wearing them to work and to church and all the other things I’m not doing these days.

    This is the time of year when I look at all the winter clothes with a touch of envy. But then I remember that I don’t really like being bundled up and coping with dry skin and driving on the ice (I spent three years in Maryland). So I count my blessings and wait for the spring clothing lines.

    1. I would like to spend a few months in the tropics at least once in my life. Just to see how I would adjust to the continued heat. And to miss all the raw weather. 🙂

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