Sweaters (or knits) are a staple in every man’s wardrobe. They are seasonless (cottons for summer, wools for winter, cashmere year round) and versatile. I have to say that knits (as I like to call them) are my single favorite thing to wear. I wear them often and throughout the year. I like how comfortable they are and how they add texture and richness to an ensemble. With that said, let’s review what makes sweaters seasonless and stylish.
Cashmere Sweaters – The Ultimate Choice
Cottons and wools have their place, but cashmere is one of the most luxurious things you can have in your wardrobe. Not only is it ultra soft, it can be worn year round. For your first few cashmere sweaters, go with neutral colors such as black, navy, and charcoal. Oh and by the way, if you are having trouble justifying what you have to spend on a cashmere sweater, just remember that women love to touch it. It happens to me every time I wear it.
V-neck and Crew-neck Sweaters
I love v-neck and crew-neck sweaters. They are so easily worn over a tee and with jeans for a more casual look. The same sweater can be worn with slacks and over a button up shirt for the office or a date. They are a must in every wardrobe. It is usually a personal preference thing when it comes to v-neck vs. crew-neck. I like both.
Before you judge cardigans too harshly let me emphasize that I’m not talking about the kind of cardigan your dad or gramps would wear. More modern versions are made of cotton, merino wool and cashmere. They can be thin enough to wear under a jacket and have a double zipper allowing you to pull it on or off with ease, or to unzip the bottom slightly when you're sitting. They are simply ideal for layering and there are so many ways to wear them—over a tee, over a button down, under a sport jacket, with jeans cords, and slacks. Give one a try if you haven’t in a while.
In the summer you can find polo style sweaters. More often they are made with cotton and have short sleeves. They are a perfect compliment to khakis for those casual Fridays at the office. I have many polo knits for the summer months since they are easy to wear and look more dressed up than a typical pique polo.
Turtlenecks are obviously reserved for the colder months. Lightweight merino-wool or cashmere turtlenecks look stylish under suit jackets and are casual enough to wear with jeans or cords. A chunky cable-knit also goes great with jeans. The fit of a turtleneck looks best when more fitted to the body and neck. With that said, avoid them if you are even somewhat heavy, it only accentuates your less than perfect physique.
A few tips on caring for your sweaters
Generally speaking you should have your sweaters dry-cleaned once a season (that is if you have been able to avoid splattering pasta sauce all over yourself). This would include cottons, wools and cashmere. However, wool and Cashmere sweaters can be hand washed with a gentle detergent like Woolite. In fact, I highly recommend hand washing your wool and cashmere sweaters since they come out feeling softer than if you dry clean.