The Playbook For The Modern Man

Knitwear Is The Coolest Way To Stay Warm; Here’s How To Wear It

Instant style cred with a single garment.

Summer may be around the corner for those up north but for other parts of the world, rocking sandals and your swimming briefs to the shops just won’t cut it this winter (or any other time for that matter). This is your guide on how to rock different kinds of knitwear for any season but before that, the first order of men’s knitwear that needs to be discussed: neckline.

Crew Neck, V-Neck & Fabrics

These are the two main types of styles for men’s knitwear. Whilst the choice comes down to your aesthetic preferences, it’s long been said that v-necks tend to elongate the neck to benefit those with fuller faces whilst crew necks suit those with more oval faces. In regards to materials, knitwear will most often come in wool, wool blend or the more luxurious cashmere. Each one has its benefits and specific care instructions so pay attention how you wash and wear these. Also stay away from full polyester or acrylic-based knitwear as the cheaper material often retains body odour and fairs a bit worse than natural fibres in keeping you warm.

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How To Wear Knitted Cardigans

The classic knitted cardigan needs to be a staple in every man’s closet. As an outerwear piece it can take you through the most unpredictable transitional seasons where the day could start warm and end cold. On its own, simply wear it over printed tees, plain tees and pair it with denim for a casual yet stylish look. Pay attention to colour and patterns though as what you want here is good contrast as demonstrated by Ryan Gosling. There are just two crucial rules when rocking knitted cardigans: 1] Ensure it’s nicely fitted. Heavy weaves can be a bit baggy but not to a point where it hangs off you. 2] If you’re going to button up, leave the last button undone exactly like a waistcoat.

How To Wear Knitted Sweaters

The classic crew neck knitted sweater is one of the most versatile pieces you could own when a tee just won’t cut it. Worn as a layering option, they provide any look with depth and detail thanks to the textures on hand (cable knit, fine woven, etc). On warmer days knitted sweaters can be paired with nicely fitted shorts whilst for casual duties the piece can be paired to fitted denim and boots. When it’s time for layers, simply throw over a bomber jacket, denim jacket or blazer along with a dress shirt and tie and you have one hell of a handy garment. Quick tip: If you’re going to wear a crew neck sweater with a suit, make sure it’s a lighter thread as you don’t want to look like the Michelin man.

How To Wear Knitted Vests

Made famous by the most stylish golfers, English farmers and collegiate prep boys, the knitted vest is a more traditional way to stay warm whilst looking ridiculously sharp. As with knitted crew necks, they can be used in endless ways but the most common is in formal to smart casual occasions. On its own, knitted vests can be worn over dress shirts with or without a tie, over polo shirts for a more casual look and paired with suits for a dapper look. Make sure to play with patterns and colour contrast here as the goal is to let the vest do the talking.

Knitted Turtlenecks

Turtlenecks are already a winter warrior’s best friend but throw in a knit variant and you have a proper piece designed for braving the cold. Before getting into the look, we have to reiterate to avoid full polyester or acrylic-based knitwear here. Given that the garment will be worn close to the body and insulating heat, you will sweat into it and breathable natural fibres like merino manage this best. Also, there’s nothing worse than having an itchy neck from rough synthetic fibres of a turtleneck. Pair knitted turtlenecks with jackets and blazers whilst pairing them with denim or chinos. There’s no need to pair them to collared shirts and ties as they’ll be hidden anyway.

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Knitted Shawl Collars Sweaters

More popular amongst the Brits and Europeans is the shawl neck or shawl collar sweater. It’s not a cardigan, it’s not a turtleneck, it;s a bit of both. And this is what makes knitted shawl collars so popular amongst the more style conscious men. As with most of the knitwear here, pair it with a blazer, wear it over a polo shirt or go the full monty by layering it with a  dress shirt, tie and field jacket.

Knitted V-neck Sweaters

Arguably the most popular and easiest to wear knits for men is the v-neck sweater. The versatility paired with the modern aesthetic of this staple piece means that it can keep you looking cool and staying warm for almost any occasion. Suit it up as a layer between a blazer and dress shirt, go casual as a piece worn over a tee or just wear it on its own paired with denim. Either way it will work so long as you give it contrast or match its colour with your bottoms. For added texture and detailing play around with the knitwear patterns. Cable knit is another winner here which can add character without going overboard.

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