The 14 Most Essential Types of Sweaters for Men

Turn sweater weather into never-looked-better weather

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If you scroll through the websites of major menswear retailers, you might notice that there are approximately [checks notes] seven gajillion different men’s sweaters on the market. 

At least, that’s how it feels.

Every year, our favorite menswear brands trot out new colors, fabrics, and patterns, resulting in dozens of dapper sweaters to choose from.

A stack of folded up sweaters
There may be a ton of actual sweaters on the market, but there are really only a handful of sweater types
[image: Bonobos via Instagram]

And, every year, I spend an embarrassing amount of money buying them up.

But when I go to put them in my (now overflowing) sweater drawer, I can’t help but notice something: 

My new entries look suspiciously similar to the sweaters I already own.

That’s because, while there may be millions of men’s sweaters on the market, there are really only a few different types of sweaters. 

And once you know which sweater styles are classic and essential, and which ones are good for some guys but not for others, it becomes a lot easier to find the ones that will work best with your personal style. 


14 Sweater Styles, 2 Categories ↓

To help you find the best sweater style to suit your body type and personal tastes, below I’ve broken down more than a dozen different types of men‘s sweaters, and divided them into two categories: 

  1. The most essential men’s sweaters that look great on every guy
  2. And the ones that are a little more particular, which might look good on certain guys, but wouldn’t work for all of us

You can use the Table of Contents below to get a quick overview of both lists, and jump to more info about how to wear each type for maximum handsomeness.


First Up, the Essentials:

The Most Stylish, Timeless & Handsome Mens Sweater Styles That Every Man Should Own

V-Neck Sweater

V-Neck Sweater
[image: Mott and Bow]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Button-down shirt
  • Jeans 
  • Khakis or Chinos 
  • Suits 
  • Blazers 

Why It’s Essential:

Number one with a bullet. For stylish guys, a v-neck is one of the best sweaters to own, for one very important reason: 

The “v” stands for versatility. 

(Well, not really—but it might as well.) 

Unlike other sweater types, v-necks can be worn in a ton of different ways, including on their own, over top of button-up shirts, or underneath blazers and suits. 

And you can get them in a lightweight, delicate fabric that works well for spring, or thicker, heavier material for fall and winter.


How to Wear It:

Get one in a slim-fitting, lightweight fabric like merino wool, and you can wear it with formal looks like a dress shirt and tie (and even underneath a suit), or just on its own with more casual outfits. 

Or get one in a thicker fabric, like cotton or cashmere sweaters, and you can pair it with jeans and chukka boots during colder months for a timeless look that will take you almost anywhere.


With a Tie:

[image: Suitsupply]


On its Own:

Man wearing a casual v-neck sweater and jeans

[image: Nadaam Cashmere]


Warning:
Don’t Go Too Deep

One other thing that makes v-necks versatile is the depth of the “V” itself.

Some v-necks have such a small neck hole that they hug your neck tightly, and can hardly be distinguished from a crew-neck sweater. 

Others, like the one pictured below, go way too far in the other direction, with the V sloping so far down that it nearly touches your navel.

A man wearing a deep v with a thumbs down emoji next to him
“That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” – Me, after I typed “deep v-neck” into a stock-photo website to try and find a good (well, bad) example
[image: Zenza Flarini / Shutterstock]

Your best bet is to split the difference and look for v-necks that come down just below your collarbone, but not as low as your chest. 

That way, the v will dip low enough to clearly show off the pattern of your tie if you’re wearing one. 

But if you’re wearing it with nothing underneath, it won’t go down so low that it reveals your man cleavage (or, in my case, cleavage-carpeted-with-chest-hair).


Crewneck Sweater 

Black man wearing a grey crew neck sweater and blue jeans
[image: Bonobos]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Pretty much everything mentioned above for v-necks 

Why It’s Essential:

A close second to the v-neck, crew neck sweaters are also incredibly versatile, and eternally in style.

As with v-necks, crew necks vary in everything from fabric and weight to color and pattern, meaning you could own dozens of these things and still not have any redundancies in your wardrobe.


How to Wear It:

Crew necks tend to look a little preppier than v-necks, but like vees they can either be dressed up or down.

If you want to keep your crew necks looking a little more casual, look for ones that hang looser around your neck, which implies a more relaxed, laidback vibe.


Dressed Up:

Man wearing a crew neck sweater under a suit jacket

[image: Indochino]


Dressed Down:

Man wearing a beige crew neck sweater and jeans

[image: Amazon]


Shawl Collar Cardigan Sweater 

Man wearing a beige shawl collar cardigan and brown pants
[image: J.Crew]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Henleys 
  • Tees
  • Blue jeans
  • Khakis or Chinos 
  • Chukka boots (ala Steve McQueen) 
  • Acetate sunglasses 

Why It’s Essential:

There are two types of shawl collar sweater – the cardigan and the pullover – both of which are essential. 

But if you only have the budget (or closet space) for one, in my opinion the shawl collar cardigan is the perfect men’s sweater. 

(Hell, the Times of London even declared it “the most manly of cardigans.” And if there’s one thing Brits know, it’s sweaters.)

What I love about it is that it’s both comfy as hell and, simultaneously, inherently stylish—a rare combination in the world of menswear, where the sleekest and most stylish getups are often the least comfortable.  

In addition to the cozy warmth and classic style, the other undeniable aspect of a shawl cardigan is its pedigree. 

It was the preferred sweater style of Steve McQueen, a man who was so damn cool he was actually called the King of Cool

Is there any world where a sweater type is good enough for the King of Cool and not good enough for you and me? (I mean, maybe in the multiverse of madness, but not in this reality.) 

But, as with most pieces of menswear, wearing one of these bad boys is one thing, but rocking one is very much another.

If you’re interested in the latter, check out our complete guide to rocking a shawl collar cardy in style.


How to Wear It:

You can get shawl collar cardigans in lighter fabrics that can be worn over a collared shirt (and even a tie), but personally I think this is the type of sweater that looks best with smart casual wear. 

Steve McQueen paired a blue shawl cardigan with a button down, khakis, and chukka boots, and for my money that getup looks as good today as when he rocked it in the ‘60s.  

But if you want an even more relaxed look, replace the dark color sweater with a neutral grey or beige, and pair it with an off-white henley and a pair of jeans and white sneakers. 


With a Button-Down:

Man wearing a blue shawl collar cardigan over top of a dress shirt

[image: Suitsupply]


With a Henley:

Man wearing a cream-color shawl collar cardigan over a henley

[image: Banana Republic]


Shawl Collar Pullover Sweater 

Man wearing a red shawl collar pullover sweater
[image: Paul Stuart]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Collared shirt 
  • Jeans
  • Chinos

Why It’s Essential:

A shawl collar pullover is a great option for guys looking to outgrow the collegiate look and ease themselves into a grown man’s wardrobe.

What’s great about a shawl collar pullover is that this style of sweater is not nearly as common as crew necks or vees. 

So just by wearing one, you automatically send the message that you put some conscious effort into your wardrobe, and that alone is often enough to help you stand out from the crowd.


How to Wear It:

Whereas shawl collar cardigans work best when they’re chunky, thick sweaters, the pullover version can go either way. 

You can opt for thin cotton sweaters with a shawl collar and wear them over top of a shirt and tie, or even layer it under a blazer. (Though I would definitely opt for a thicker blazer in a heavier fabric, like tweed or herringbone.) 

Or you can go the other way, and look for thicker wool sweaters with a shawl collar, in which case you can wear them in place of a shawl cardigan in the getups mentioned above.  


With a Shirt & Blazer:

Man wearing a Burgundy shawl pullover under a blazer

[image: Amazon]


With a Tee:

Man wearing a thick, cream-color shawl collar pullover

[image: Amazon]


Cardigan Sweaters 

(sans shawl collar)

Man with arms crossed wearing blue cardigan sweater
[image: PJ Paul Jones]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Shirt and tie
  • Suit or blazer 
  • Crew neck tee 
  • Jeans  
  • Khakis or Chinos 
  • Dress pants or slacks 

Why It’s Essential:

For years, cardigans of the non-shawl collar variety got a bad rep.

As much as we all loved Mr. Rogers, I have to admit that I kind of blame him for making cardigans seem so… well, old man-ish.

Fortunately, a new crop of modern style icons have reclaimed the cardigan for the 21st century, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Guys like Lebron James and Ryan Reynolds are making cardigans cool again, and showing us how to make the style look modern.

The key? Stick with a slim fit. 

This has become kind of a polarizing opinion because fashion is trending away from the slimmer fits of the 2010s and back toward the looser fits of the 90s. 

But in the opinion of this elder millennial, a slimmer fit cuts a more masculine and stylish silhouette. 

And that’s especially true if you’ve been working out, and have an upper body that resembles Lebron’s or Deadpool’s. (And if you don’t, don’t worry. We’ve got you.)


How to Wear It:

Like a vee, the cardigan is so versatile that you can wear it in a ton of different ways. 

It works great with formalwear because the buttons give it a little extra touch of sophistication, making it great for pairing with a shirt and tie. 

They can also be worn under a suit or blazer, almost as a stand-in for a proper waistcoat. 

I usually avoid bright colors because I find they clash with my (rather pasty) skin tone, but wearing a brightly colored cardigan under a neutral-colored suit is a great way to introduce a pop of color without going too loud.  

But cardigans can be worn casually too. Rocking a plain white tee under a cardigan is pretty much always a good choice, and pairing it with chinos and a pair of sneakers is a timeless smart-casual look. 


Over a Shirt & Tie:

Man wearing a burgundy cardigan over a shirt and tie

[image: Suitsupply]


Over a Plain Tee:

Man wearing a beige cardigan over a white tee

[image: Paige]


Polo Sweater 

Man wearing black polo sweater and grey pants
[image: Banana Republic]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Chinos and Khakis
  • Dress Pants

Why It’s Essential:

Also called long-sleeved polo shirts, polo sweaters are to your sweater game what short-sleeve polos are to your t-shirt game: 

A more stylish and sophisticated alternative to a crew neck that’s still relatively laid back and casual. 

Their collar makes them kinda-sorta resemble a dress shirt, while their knit fabric helps casualize them, resulting in a great combination of cozy and cool.


How to Wear It:

You can wear polo sweaters in pretty much the same way that you would a short-sleeve polo in warmer months. 

Pair it with chinos or khakis and a pair of comfortable dress shoes for a smart-casual date night, or pick up one made from synthetic materials for late-season rounds at the golf course, when the weather starts to cool down.  


With Chinos:

Man wearing a brown long sleeve polo sweater and white pants

[image: Reiss]

I recommend keeping the fit slim, which makes it look more dashing and sophisticated, rather than loose and frumpy. 

Brad Pitt pulled this off to perfection in the original Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and two decades later I still haven’t found a better or more stylish example. 

A screenshot of Brad Pitt in Mr and Mrs Smith
[image: Twentieth Century Fox]

Quarter-Zip & Half-Zip Sweaters

Man wearing a green half-zip sweater and khakis
[image: Ted Baker]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Athleisure clothes  
  • Button-down shirt or high-collar polo 
  • Henley 
  • Khakis or Chinos 
  • Jeans 

Why It’s Essential:

Before we get into why this one is a must-have, it’s probably worth taking a second to clear up the (often confusing) naming conventions here. 

A half zip sweater has a collar that rises up to surround your neck, with a zipper that goes about halfway down the front, to end somewhere around your chest. 

Similarly, quarter-zip sweaters have zippers that only go – you guessed it – one  quarter of the way down, at least in theory. 

But as the Manual points out, “This isn’t a concrete rule, however, as brands will use either term for varying zipper lengths.”   

So the name and zipper length may vary, but in either case we’re talking about a sweater that looks like a turtleneck when fully done up, only with a zipper in the middle.

But I wouldn’t recommend doing it up fully, because what makes this style so essential is the way it frames your face when left undone, creating a strong, masculine and handsome silhouette.

You can get a similar effect from a full-zip sweater, but I prefer half zips and quarter zips because I find that a full-length zipper bunches weirdly in the stomach area when fully done up, creating an awkward paunch that I’d rather avoid.


With Half Zips, Go Full Hair Care

Make sure your hair is on point when rocking half zips, especially the kind with high collars. 

The vertical lines of the collar draw the eye upward, which ends up putting (even) more focus on your head.


How to Wear It:

I think of these as more casual sweaters. 

Technically you can dress them up a bit by wearing them with dress clothes, like a proper dress shirt and a pair of dress pants.

But to me it gives off a real “suburban dad trying to get dressed up” vibe, like Steve Carell’s character in Crazy Stupid Love:

Screenshot of Steve Carell in Crazy Stupid Love
Wearing a half-zip sweater with a shirt, tie and blazer can look good… but it can also look very “sad dad”
[image: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.]

I prefer to treat quarter zips and half zips as casual, sporty gear. Throw one on over your gym shirt and pair them with other athleisure staples like a good pair of joggers

Or make it more of a casual weekend look by wearing it over a cotton tee or henley and pairing it with chinos or jeans.  


With a Tee & Joggers:

Man wearing a light blue quarter-zip sweater and joggers

[image: Western Rise]


Cable-Knit Sweater 

Man wearing a cream-colored cable knit sweater
[image: Bonobos]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Darker fall colors like brown, camel and burgundy 
  • Organic fabrics like wool (best to avoid synthetic fibers here) 

Why It’s Essential:

Also sometimes called fishermen sweaters, these are arguably the most quintessential woolen men’s sweaters — and, when worn well, absolute show-stoppers. 

A cable knit is a traditional sweater that was often worn by Irish fishermen around the turn of the 20th century. 

(The term “cable-knit” refers to the style of knitting used to make them, in which the stitches are crossed over each other to create a twisted, rope-like pattern.)

Nowadays cable knits are great sweaters for super cold days when you want a sweater that’s thick, comfy and warm, but also stylish, well made and handsome-as-hell.


How to Wear It:

The cable knit was worn to perfection by Chris Evans in Knives Out, and the best way to wear yours is to follow his lead. 

Chris Evans wearing a cable knit sweater in Knives Out

Opt for one in a neutral color like cream or grey and pair it with other typical fall colors like a camel overcoat, dark blue jeans and either black or brown leather boots. 

If you want to go full cosplay, Bamf Style has a great breakout (and a ton of screenshots) showing you his exact look from the movie. 

While Evans wore his with the kind of preppy flare befitting his rich-kid character, the other way to go with cable knit sweaters is to lean into their rough-and-tumble fishermen heritage. 

To give you another reference point from Hollywood, Jake Gyllenhaal demonstrated this look to perfection many moons ago, when was on the cover of the now-defunct Details magazine back in 2012. 

Jake Gyllenhaal. on the cover of Details magazine

Pick up a cable knit in a dark color like black or navy, grow out your beard, let your hair go wild and pair the look with some rustic-colored chinos. 


Aran vs Cable Knit vs Fisherman Sweater 

The phrases cable-knit, fishermen and Aran sweaters tend to get used interchangeably, but that last one is actually a particular subset of this sweater style. 

Named for the Aran Islands off the coast of mainland Ireland, Aran sweaters (or Aran “jumpers,” as they call them across the pond) are the original style that inspired the cable-knit craze, and have a rich cultural history and symbolism.  

Green Aran sweter
An authentic, made-in-Ireland Aran sweater
[image: Smee / Wikimedia]

While a lot of modern cable-knits are made from synthetic fibers, authentic Aran sweaters are still made from the same untreated wool that’s been used for decades, which retains its natural oils and provides a certain degree of water-resistance. 


Next, the Sometimes-for-Some-Guys:

Types of Mens Sweaters that are Nice-to-Have, But Not Need-to-Have

Turtleneck Sweater

Man wearing an army green turtleneck sweater
[image: Bonobos]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Suits and blazers 
  • Outerwear like peacoats and overcoats 
  • Other warm-weather staples like hearty boots and corduroy pants 

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

Turtleneck sweaters are a classic look that have been sported by style icons for decades.

They’ve spent most of the 21st century sitting outside the mainstream, but the tide has finally started to turn back toward the turtle, and I for one am grateful.

While it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly why they’ve come back into style, my money, as is often the case, is on 007. 

Ever since Daniel Craig donned a shorter-necked turtleneck for the poster of Spectre, I’ve started to see them on more and more store shelves.

A poster for Spectre

How to Wear It:

When it comes to turtlenecks, you can go one of two ways.

You can opt for a tight version like Craig’s, which essentially serves as an under-layer and looks great under a bomber jacket. 

Or go for a heartier and more classic turtleneck, like the kind preferred by dashing thieves like Neal Caffrey and Danny Ocean.

Both versions tend to look great when layered under an outer layer like a leather jacket or sport coat. 

Or better yet, you can wait until the cold weather arrives and opt for one of my all-time favorite looks, the chunky turtleneck under a dark peacoat, which was worn to perfection by Chris Pine in All the Old Knives.

Chris Pine wearing a turtleneck in All the Old Knives

Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

Whether you opt for a thinner or chunkier version, keep in mind that the turtleneck is still a slightly more advanced move than, say, a regular crew neck.

I recently went to a wedding where, among a sea of shirts and ties, one guy was brave enough to wear a turtleneck under his suit jacket. 

He easily stood out from the crowd – in a very good way, in my opinion – but not all guys would be comfortable with that kind of notoriety. 

So be prepared to get some compliments for your fashion-forward choice the first time you wear one. And possibly the second. And hopefully the third.


Mock Neck Sweater

Man wearing a red mock neck sweater
[image: Frank and Oak]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Sports gear and athleisure wear 
  • Blazers 

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

A mock neck is a type of sweater that has a high neckline, but unlike a turtleneck, it doesn’t fold over. 

With mocks, the neck of the sweater typically stands up and reaches partway up your actual neck, offering a bit of warmth and a unique look. 

Like turtlenecks, they come in a wide variety of fabrics and styles, from thin lightweight options to chunky, cable-knit style sweaters. 


How to Wear It:

You can wear a mock neck pretty much anywhere you would wear a turtleneck. 

Mock necks are also popular among athletes. Brands like Nike and Under Armour make mock necks to wear as a base layer under other athletic gear like football or hockey pads, and they’re particularly popular among insane people winter joggers.  


Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

Whereas the turtleneck has a rich history of being worn by icons and makes a strong style statement, the mock neck is more divisive. 

The shorter neck gives them a distinct look that some guys love and others shy away from. 

Their association with athletic gear has casualized the look, which in my opinion gives it a less sophisticated vibe that makes it harder to pull off with a suit. 

But to me the main knock against mock necks is that they remind me of the collars that priests wear, which is… well, not the look I’m personally going for. 


Roll Neck Sweater 

Man wearing a blue roll neck sweater
[image: L.L. Bean]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Jeans 
  • Chunky boots 
  • Winter gear like peacoats and parks

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

This is another example of naming conventions run amok. 

Some people use the phrase roll neck as a synonym for turtlenecks, which have enough fabric   to fold or roll over along your neck. 

But more recently a similar-but-separate style has emerged, which are also called roll necks. 

These sweaters look kind of like a cable-knit sweater (and may, in fact, be cable knit in terms of their construction) but instead of a typical crew neck they have a wider neck hole and a rolled collar. 

The overall look is quite similar to a typical cable-knit, but the looser collar gives them a distinctly more laid back, devil-may-care vibe. 


How to Wear It:

As you can probably imagine, you can wear these in much the same way that you would a cable kint. 

But I would argue that roll necks are even more casual than cable-knits; whereas the cable knit has kind of become a symbol of wealth and status (as demonstrated by Evans’ Knives Out character), the roll neck evokes the sweater’s working-class origins. 


Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

Roll necks tend to have a looser collar, which in my opinion makes them look rugged and hard-working, but some guys might think it looks sloppy. 

The cable-knit is a must-have because it can work in both high-fashion and low-key scenarios, but the roll neck’s more casual look makes it less versatile, and therefore less essential. 

If you only have the budget for one chunky sweater, make it a classic cable-knit. 

But if you’re looking for a way to step up your casual sweater game without looking too “fancy” or fashion-forward, a roll neck is a great option.  


Rugby Shirt

Man wearing a rugby shirt with arms crossed
[image: Taylor Stitch]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Jeans 
  • Chinos
  • Joggers 
  • Casual shoes:
    • Sneakers 
    • Chukkas 

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

Rugby shirts are a great way to upgrade your casual sweater game without going as casual as a hoody. 

While certain hoodies can look good in certain circumstances, they’re too often worn as baggy monstrosities that make the wearer look like they’ve given up on life. 

(Or at least given up on looking presentable in public—pretty much the same thing).

Rugby shirts, on the other hand, manage to convey casual cool while still letting you look put together.


How to Wear It:

With rugbies, your best bet is to look for one in a solid color that fits slim. 

Personally I prefer rugbies (and all shirts, really) that are free of gaudy logos, but if you went to college and your alma mater sells one with your school’s logo or crest, I’ll allow it. 

Pair it with casual pants like jeans and chinos, or lean all the way into their athletic origins and wear it with joggers or hybrid athleisure/casual pants, like Public Rec’s All Day Everyday pant.


Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

Rugby shirts give off an undeniably collegiate vibe, which in certain circumstances is great. 

But for some guys, particularly those of a certain vintage, rugby shirts can look a little immature. 

In those circumstances, it’s better to opt for a long-sleeved polo sweater like the kind listed above, which has a similar overall look but a vibe that’s more “sophisticated and mature” than “athletic/youthful.”  


Sweater Vest

Man wearing a gray sweater vest
[image: Amazon]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Dress shirts 
  • Blazers and suits 

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

Sweater vests serve as lightweight versions of v-neck sweaters. 

You can layer a high quality sweater vest underneath a blazer or other outer layer to achieve basically the same look that you would get by wearing a sweater, but with less weight and bulk since you don’t have sleeves. 

They’re great for guys who like the “v-neck under a blazer” look, but live in a warmer climate where it’s a little bit too hot to pull off that many long-sleeved layers. 


How to Wear It:

As mentioned, the best move is to wear it as a light-weight layering piece underneath an outer layer like a blazer or suit jacket. 

But you can also wear it without anything over top. The classic move is to wear it over a dress shirt, in which case I recommend skipping the tie and rolling up the sleeves. 

If you’re feeling a little bold, you can also try casualizing a sweater vest by wearing it over a plain tee. 

This is a look that’s pretty 90s, which up until recently might have been a dealbreaker for a lot of guys. 

But fashion is cyclical and ‘fts from the ‘90s are very much back, so this one might be worth trying. 


With a Dress Shirt:

Man wearing grey sweater vest

[image: Brunello Cucinelli]


Over a Plain Tee:

Man wearing camel sweater vest

[image: RW & Co.]


Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

Ummm, did I mention it’s a sweater vest?

For some guys, just the phrase sweater vest is enough to make them shudder. 

They can make great lightweight sweater alternatives when done well, but when done poorly they look like the worst kind of dad style, which a lot of guys find off-putting. 

If you’re going to go for it, I highly recommend finding a sweater vest with a bit of stretch, so that it hues closely to your torso. 

A slimmer fit will help you avoid the dreaded “bad dad bod” look that a bulkier, shapeless vest often conveys. 


Fair Isle Sweater

Man wearing a Fair Isle sweater
[image: Old Navy]

Pairs Well With: 

  • Jeans
  • Chinos
  • Neutral colored pants (to contrast the bright colors in the sweater’s pattern) 

Why It’s Worth Considering: 

Another sweater style inspired by Celtic knitwear, the Fair Isle sweater originally hails from Scotland. 

(Have you ever been to the Celtic islands? They’re windy as hell, even in the summer, so it’s no surprise they’ve spawned sweaters of all kinds.) 

Fair Isle sweaters are similar to a cable-knits in terms of their warmth and heft, but they stand out stylistically thanks to their intricately colorful patterns, which set them apart from the neutral colors usually in fishermen sweaters. 

They’re a great way to inject some color into your fall and winter wardrobe, which can often be kind of drab.  


How to Wear It:

Fair Isles tend to be casual, chunky, and warm sweaters that can be worn over top of a tee and paired with jeans or chinos for a casual-but-colorful cold weather look. 

I wouldn’t recommend layering them under a blazer or suit jacket because with Fair Isles the funky pattern is basically the whole point, so you kind of want it to be your top layer. 


Why It’s Not for Everyone: 

A lot of guys really struggle with bold patterns and loud colors, which is one reason why cable kints tend to be more popular than Fair Isle sweaters. 

With that said, you can dip your toe into the Fair Isle waters by opting for one with just one or two neutral colors – like a navy sweater with a white pattern/design – which gives you some of the pop without having to worry that the look is too loud. 


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About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

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