We began shedding fur sometime between Homo Erectus and that awkward Neanderthal phase. Fortunately, mankind has since found a more creative way to cozy up when chilly weather sweeps in: the sweater. Beyond just comfort and warmth, the sweater is a utilitarian’s dream — if you upgrade one thing each year to prevent a stagnant closet, this should be it.
A good sweater adds an element of versatility to any wardrobe. It works beneath a blazer or atop an Oxford, as its own top layer with faded blue jeans or with flannel pajamas by the fire. The sweater means warmth from a sophisticated source, no matter the style.
CrewneckJamieson's of Shetland Crew Knit Read More
CrewneckPeregrine Hudson Aran Jumper Read More
CrewneckPercival Raglan Knit Sweater Read More
V-NeckRowing Blazers Cream Wool Cricket Sweater Read More
V-NeckBonobos Washable Merino V-Neck Sweater Read More
Types of Sweaters
- Shawl Collar
- Roll, Mock or Turtleneck
The uniform of everyone from jocks to stay-at-home dads, a lived-in crew has an understated appeal worn casually or under a suit jacket. Maybe you’re a purist: blue and gray are the classics. Subtle variations in the fabric and detailing offer a nice way to switch it up, though.
V-Necks are the more fashion-forward cousin to crews, often found somewhere on the tertiary color wheel and made of elegant fabrics like cashmere or wool. The perfect V is one that complements the natural concavity of the jugular notch: not too high, not too low.
The exact origin of the shawl collar sweater remains unknown, though theorists suggest it was initially casual crossover of the Victorian smoking jacket. Regardless, menswear legends from Delon to The Dude have rocked it for most of the 20th century. The offshoot shawl pullover (a favorite amongst early British motorcycles gangs) deserves just as much love, but most shawl collar sweaters are also cardigans, meaning they have buttoned fronts.
Like the name suggests, the many forms of a neck sweater — roll neck, mock neck, turtleneck and others — jut up above the collar. Though the style has since become associated with haute couture (and the late Steve Jobs), it was originally worn by sea and field laborers to help fight off biting winds — a purpose it still serves with aplomb.
We all agree: hoods are comfy. But that doesn’t mean the style is married to your gym pants. Next time you’re planning dinner and a movie, throw on some trousers and upgrade to something knitted. The best hoodies look mature and still keep your ears and hands warm and covered.
Cardigans bring to mind grandpas and golf courses (often both together). But donned well, the style is a classic tool of the trade that seasoned men sport for a reason. It turns a two piece suit into two and a half, and takes the thought out of dressing up. The traditional style is fastened with buttons, but modern interpretations may feature zippers as well.
For more options, shop our buying guide to cardigan sweaters.
Sweaters emblazoned with logos and bold art are commonplace nowadays. Some repurpose classic logos while others tap famous artists for reproductions of their best works. Graphics aren't just for sweatshirts anymore. Let your sweaters have some fun for a change.