The most noticeable feature of women's sweaters in the 1980's was how BIG they were. In the main, sweaters and cardigans were long, and spacious, and 'sloppy'. There was plenty of room to move around in them, and hide inside them too, if you felt you needed to! The 1980's was also the era of big, often padded shoulders, which contributed to the bulky look.
Mohair, as a yarn for women's sweaters, was very popular back then. It is not hard now, to see why it is no longer used as much, given mohair's tendency to shed fine hairs which are particularly noticeable on dark clothing.
Another feature of 1980's sweaters and cardigans for women was the patterning. Geometric patterns were very popular especially bright and bold triangles. But not just triangles … there was also a mixture of broad, colorful stripes and diamond shapes intermingled and coming together to make a bold and confident statement. Dramatic picture knits were popular too, using mainly birds and flowers as motifs.
Women's sweaters now are rather more subdued. Bold patterns are much less evident and plain colors are more the order of the day. There are plenty of classic styles to be seen such as long sleeve polo necks, round neck sweaters and v-necks. These are available in a wide range of plain colors, using wool, wool-mix yarns, or cashmere and machine knitted in stocking stitch.
Today's fashion sweaters are characterized by being closer fitting than twenty years ago and the cardigans have large buttons … sometimes just one. A style of knitting much in evidence at present is the use of cable stitches of different sizes and shapes and also ribbed knitting. Where sweaters are concerned, many examples of loose, cowl necklines can be seen and there are also a few hooded, knitted sweaters and cardigans available.