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.
Sure, you have your favorite piece; it’s one that’s been with you since college, or a hand-me-down from someone a hell of a lot older than you. But a strong collection of these secondary layers instantly multiplies your wardrobe choices: the same outfit you wore at last year’s Thanksgiving with a different sweater is an entirely different outfit. Sweaters aren't for holidays exclusively, but you get where our heads are at, right?
There are plenty of options to choose from in a range of styles. Study up and choose one that fits you.
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 is unknown, though theorists suggest it was born a casual crossover of the Victorian smoking jacket. Regardless, menswear legends from Delon to the Dude have been rocking it for most of the 20th century. The offshoot shawl pullover (a favorite amongst early British motorcycles gangs) deserves just as much love.
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.
Constructed with half-zippers or a few buttons in the style of a henley, a placket is an opening that can be fastened depending on the degree of chill in the air. This makes it ideal for sweaters — and so does the extra grace it adds to the layer’s removal, which otherwise is an exercise in showing the whole office your beer belly.
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.
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.