The Free People Ottoman Tunic is about to be everyone's favorite sweater

Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored
Wed October 30, 2019

Whether you live on the East Coast or the West Coast, in Florida or Minnesota, when November rolls around, you're ready to pack away the thin tank tops and the gauzy dresses and slip into something warmer. Cozier. Bigger.

After scrolling endlessly through Instagram in recent months, we've noticed fashion influencers and bloggers have collectively latched onto a sweater that satisfies all these requirements. From Free People, the oversized pullover is dubbed the Ottoman Slouchy Tunic, and it comes in a rainbow of hues, from a soft cream to a punchy bubblegum pink, that will easily transition with you as the temperatures drop.

First unveiled in 2015, the Ottoman has been rereleased each year in a slew of new colors that devotees then clamor to buy before they sell out. What's actually so great about the sweater? Chief among its high points is its versatility. "The Ottoman Slouchy Tunic is a classic Free People piece that works with any style," Free People senior managing director of creative Ana Hartl told CNN Underscored. "The tunic can be paired in multiple ways, allowing for the customer to style it however she sees fit."

Among devotees, the Ottoman's mock neck is one of several design details worth raving about. Roomy and flattering, the cut provides more coverage than a crew neck but in a way that isn't as constraining as a standard turtleneck. Next up: It's stretchy! Made of cotton, nylon and spandex, the tunic isn't a limp noodle; instead it hugs in the right places, despite its slouchy, oversized shape. Lastly, the heavy-knit ribbing lends texture, which goes a long way to camouflage any bulges you're looking to keep under wraps, and it's a great defense mechanism against spills and stains, too.

We talked with fashion blogger (and former Ralph Lauren buyer) Kate Brennan of The Chic Series about why she loves the Ottoman, which she often recommends to her 76,000 Instagram followers. "It's suitable for any activity of my life," she told CNN Underscored, adding that she owns the tunic in six colors. "I wear it with leggings over my tank when I head to Pilates, I wear it with skinny jeans and sneakers on the sidelines of the soccer field, and if I want to dress it up I will pair it with Spanx faux leather leggings and over the knee boots. Also, I have sensitive skin and I'm allergic to wool and this is one of the few winter sweaters that I have found that is cozy, comfortable and not itchy."

Former bachelorette and HGTV "Love It or List It Vancouver" star Jillian Harris is also a mega-fan, often posting photos of herself wearing it to Instagram, where she has 1 million followers. "Well, it's that time of year ... my absolute FAVOURITE sweater from @freepeople has officially been pulled out of my closet!! You will now find me in this ALL fall and winter long," she exclaimed recently.

Texas-based blogger Bridget Barbier-Mueller, too, is on the Ottoman bandwagon, telling her 56,000 Instagram followers last year, "Tucked in or pulled out? Over jeans or over leggings?

Need more styling inspo? We're here to help! See four ways the Ottoman Slouchy Tunic can be styled below, and shop it at Nordstrom, Macy's, or Zappos. Oh, and be sure to size down, as the tunic runs big!

Tucked in with jeans

Loose and casual

As gym wear

Date night ready

  • Free People Ottoman Slouchy Tunic ($148, zappos.com)

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.