This fall, men’s sweaters are back. Having fallen from fashion grace in some past seasons, all types and shapes are making resurgence this year, after top designers rolled out their new collections, which were comprised of more yarn than leather.
Once again, cashmere is king. Soft and durable, cashmere is THE fabric this year, as it has been for years. The difference is that this year, more and more mid-range outfitters, such as Lacoste and J. Crew, are making luxurious cashmere sweaters an attainable item instead of a dream splurge. The higher the thread weight and layers the garment has, the more high quality the cashmere is. A double-ply cashmere sweaters will, with proper care and handling, last for years to come and feel as soft as a cloud. Cashmere sweaters are functional as well, keeping you warm and whisking perspiration away from your skin to keep you dry and comfortable.
Merino wool is another fine choice. Not as soft as cashmere but much more affordable, it still hold up well and comes in a range of chic shapes and colors. Cable knit sweaters are also in style this year, in fabrics ranging from wool to cotton. Whether button down or hooded pullover, cable knit sweaters and fisherman’s sweaters are sure to keep you looking and feeling warm and comfortable.
Speaking of shapes, the newest and hottest shapes for fall and winter are the vest and the cardigan sweaters. I know, it seems to a lot of us that perhaps Mr. Rogers designed the fall collections, but truth be told, the new shapes look hot and keep you warm. Many new cardigan sweaters have the buttons in a double-breasted arrangement, and the vests look off-the-runway cool when paired with an oxford shirt and tie on top, and jeans and motorcycle boots on the bottom. The balance of nerd/rebel has the fashion world buzzing, and women swooning.
Men’s Sweaters this year have endless possible combinations. Put a classic cardigan sweater over a concert T, a la Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged. Or wear the sweater-vest under a suit to add a pop of color. Put a funky plaid pant with a conservative argyle sweater for a unique fashion statement. Balance is the key to any look, and an edgy vs. classic look always turns heads.
When looking for men’s sweaters, keep in mind that the fit may change depending on what you wear underneath them. For example, a single-ply cashmere sweater that you plan to wear over a T-shirt and an oxford may need to be a larger size than a merino wool crew neck sweater that you plan to just throw on with jeans. You want the sweater to fit well and show off your shape, especially if you choose a bulky knit. Larger sizes will not conceal that spare tire, but will make you look larger and a bit sloppy.
Also think about the cut of the neckline. A V-neck sweater over a T-shirt can have a dressed-up weekend vibe, while a crew neck over a shirt and tie can take you to work and dinner. Most V-neck sweaters look best with a laver beneath, as do cardigan sweaters. Crewneck sweaters work well on their own, and vests can go over or under a myriad of shirt options, but the new vests look best in a V-neck.
Sweaters have always been versatile, affordable, luxurious, and, if cared for properly, durable. Now they are hot fashion accessories as well.