When you are wearing suits every day, it was easier to get dressed. Suits and even sport coat and trouser combinations follow a formula. Jacket + pants + shirt = outfit. Now there is nothing wrong with this look, trust us, we wear it almost every day, but the modern gentleman should be versatile in his attire. In this blog post we are going to give some tips on how to dress up a sweater, how to dress it down, and some general tips on wearing custom sweaters.
Explore the different styling details for sweaters in our custom knits post.
Sweaters & Your Image
Most of us have a few sweaters in our closets. For most professionals, they’re relegated to weekend wear. They’re more casual, but if we dive a bit deeper, they project a “softer” image. This seems a bit abstract, sure. But it makes sense when you compare it to the “harder” image you get from the crisp, clean lines of a tailored custom sport jacket. An excellent case study is the opening scene from “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood,” wherein Tom Hanks’ Mr. Rogers enters his home wearing a blazer and almost immediately changes into a sweater.
Now that so many of us will be working from home as the weather cools off, sweaters and other casual knitwear will go from weekend gear to workday uniform. The appearance will still be softer than a suit, and you should keep that in mind depending on who you’re Zooming with. With that said, a sweater will offer you increased comfort and, when well-tailored from quality material, a “work-from-home-professional” look.
Dressing A Sweater Up
Though sweaters are inherently casual they can be perfect in a professional setting when paired strategically with other garments. Treat the sweater as you would a sport jacket. Pair it with dress trousers instead of jeans, a button down shirt, and a tie. Keep in mind the color and patterns of each of the pieces so that the image you present looks intentional.
Another way to add formality to an outfit is to add a sport coat on top of a sweater. This is best for colder months where the extra layers have a practical application in keeping you warm during long commutes to the office.
Dressier sweaters tend to be high-gauge cashmere or merino wool, which has a finer finish and a smoother look than a chunky sweater. The following styles tend to look best for dressy outfits:
- Sweater vests
Dressing A Sweater Down
Just as adding pattern and texture to a suit cloth will make it more casual, the same happens when using a lower gauge knit on a sweater. The added thickness and texture lend a decidedly casual look that is perfect for date nights or cocktail parties. The following styles tend to be the best-looking as casual sweaters:
- Chunky cardigans
- Turtle necks
- Cable knit crew necks
What do you pair these styles of sweaters with? Our custom jeans are a great starting point, of course. Corduroys and twill pants are other options. Casual shirts, such as polos and soft plaids look very sharp under the right sweater.
A Word On Necklines
Men don’t often pay attention to their necklines – it tends to be a womenswear concept when talking about dresses. Still, it’s important for men, specifically as it relates to sweaters. You don’t want your undershirt neckline competing with that of your sweater.
We’ll keep things easy – with the exception of a clean crew neck t-shirt under a v-neck sweater, it’s always best to opt for a v-neck undershirt. The reason for this is that this neckline runs the least risk of competing with the neckline of your sweater. Even in the case of something like a cardigan which would expose the neck of any t-shirt, the v-neck is still superior. Angular lines add an element of sharpness, muscularity, and strength (associated with masculinity), while curved lines (like a crew neck) create a softer and more comforting look, which is often associated more with femininity.
We hope this helps you in terms of how to wear custom sweaters. Are you ready to take your casual wardrobe to the next level? We’re here for you, virtually or in person. Call us at 215-310-0219 or email email@example.com to start a conversation. The time is now!