3 Types of Sweaters

It’s getting warmer, but hey — sweaters are probably my one favorite garments to yap on about.

Most sweaters can be broken down into three types according to formality.

  1. The Slubby Sweater (most casual)
Sweater1
Photo source: King & Tuckfield

The comfortable home sweater. Most guys begin their sweater wardrobes with these.

These wool sweaters include shetland, donegal, Fair Isle, and Aran, etc., all made of hardy, thicker yarns.

Design-wise, these sweaters tend to look slightly ballooned.

As in the photo above, slubby sweaters have characteristically roomier arms and bodies.

Their coarse texture and cut define the sweater’s casual nature.

Brands include: Harley of Scotland, O’Connell’s

2. The Structured/Casual sweater

Sweater2
Photo source: F. L. Woods; model: Sopwith sweater

Next level smarter from the slubby sweater.

Their proportions tend to be straighter and materials stiffer.

Dress shirts paired with this sweater can smarten or change your look. My tip is to wear casual dress shirts (like an oxford) to match the sweater’s rough fabric.

For this category, I wear a ladies’ Sopwith sweater from F. L. Woods with a white oxford shirt.

The oiled wool is so scratchy I have to wear a shirt anyway.

But the combination is handy for achieving a smart/casual look.

Brands: Drake’s, F. L. Woods Marblehead, Heimat

3. The Smart Sweater

Sweater3
Photo source: Purdey

The most versatile sweater type, I think — because you can dress it up or down.

These sweaters usually made from lambswool, cotton, camel hair, merino wool, cashmere, linen/silk blends, etc.

See the difference in close fit compared to the slubby sweater.

Design-wise, smart sweaters usually come in crew necks or v-necks. Sleeve openings tend to be ribbed, tighter, and more subtle.

It’s fair to say smart sweaters are more delicate. Pilling happens more frequently and can look very noticeable.

Like sweater #2, you can dress up smart sweaters with a dress shirt.

Brands: Anderson & Sheppard, Colhay’s, Drake’s, MR PORTER, Purdey


Wondering if your sweater is #1, 2, or 3?

While you can examine thread count and how the fibre is spun, also consider the sweater’s cut and design.

A luxurious sweater can also appear quite slubby and loose. In that case, it would fall under the #1 category, and so on.

Personally, I favor the last two types of sweaters, and smart sweaters the most for the look and versatility.

Comment to add more brands!

3 thoughts on “3 Types of Sweaters

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