Some of you might remember my initial post 10 days ago inquiring about the fit of the Stark and my comments about sizing up. Some of you requested pictures. I have finally gotten around to taking some. I hope that the information provided will be useful for those who are interested in purchasing SNS Herning for the first time.
To summarize my original post I am 5'10" and around 165-170 pounds. I am in my early to mid 50's so not like some of the younger (and thinner) members of this forum! For my age group and compared to my contemporaries I am considered fit, trim and in extremely good shape. As a reference I own Cabourn Mallories in size 50 and Engineered Garments Bedford jackets in size L. I have purchased two Engineered outerwear pieces this season (Bal Coat and Field Parka) which have been size M. Barbour Tokhito's (which are slim fitting) in size L. I have worked in the fashion industry for 25 years designing and manufacturing mens shoes. For those 25 years I have also been a "clothes horse" and have had the privilege to own and experience many of the well known Italian brands starting at their inception and introduction into the marketplace.
My experience has only been with THIS YEARS Stark as it is my first foray into SNS Herning knitwear. I have tried the Stark in L, XL and finally XLL. I have also tried the Ion in M and L. Everything has come from Mr. Porter and I have to say it has been a nightmare trying to figure out how these sweaters fit. My conclusion is that they run EXTREMELY narrow and tight. Sizing is bizarre and there does not appear to be much difference between one size and another. This explains why I ended up with an XXL Stark and a L in the ION. Many were quite shocked with the XXL in the Stark (especially with my dimensions) however a look at the fit pictures and an analysis of the size summary sheets I am attaching will illustrate my point. The size sheets are from Mr. Porter, UnionMade, and Gentry Brooklyn.
A look at the Mr. Porter size sheet will show that there is a difference in back length of ONLY 2 inches between a size SMALL and XXL! The shoulder width of the SMALL is 15" while that of the XXL is 17". A 17" shoulder width in size XXL makes no sense at all - just look at shoulder widths for Cabourn etc - my Mallory in 50 (which according to END is a Medium) has a larger shoulder width.
The size sheet of UnionMade tells a similar story. A size SMALL has a shoulder of 14.5 while the XL is a 16.5. 16.5 for a XL! The chest dimension for a SMALL is 16.5 while the XL is only 1 1/4" larger at 17.75 (their guide with 27.75 is a typo). 17.75 in the chest for an XL is SMALL! Finally they only show a difference of 1" in the front length of the sweater between a size SMALL and XL - that makes no sense at all. For those who have stated that Mr Porters measurements are inaccurate a comparison to those taken by UnionMade will show that they are actually the same.
An examination of the size sheet from Gentry shows similar problems. According to their chart the difference in length between a Stark size SMALL and size XL is only 1 "! Thats right - only 1" in length separates a SMALL from a XL. They also indicate the shoulder width for an XL as 17.5.
Another interesting fact is that only Mr. Porter seems to carry the Stark in XXL. This is quite strange and almost implies that Herning made up a run of XXL's exclusively for Mr Porter.
Here are my impressions after having all of these in my hand and trying them on (pictures attached below). The ION is definitely a fuller, "normal" fitting sweater. While the MEDIUM more or less fit me (it was a bit tight in the mid section) it was definitely on the short side - too short to keep. I ended up with a size L which I find to be the proper body length. The shoulders are a different cut from the Stark and are not form fitting - the way I sized it provided a comfortable, cozy fit much in the way a relaxed grandpa's cardigan would fit.
Getting the Stark to fit was an absolute nightmare. I have read this entire thread and have come to the conclusion that this years Stark is a beast unto itself. May I qualify again that at 5'10" 165lbs I usually wear a size 50 Italian sportcoat/sometimes a 52 due to broad shoulders (broad not muscular) - 50 in Cabourn and L in Engineered.
A size LARGE in the Stark was impossible - tight everywhere and it looked like, to quote a previous poster, my mid section was in a sausage casing. Not a flattering look. The XL was better however the arms were extremely narrow and thin - think olive oil from Popeye the Sailor man! Tight and uncomfortable.
Here is the interesting thing - the XXL from Mr Porter (once again they appear to be the only one carrying this size) appeared for all intents and purposes to be the EXACT same as the XL - the only difference was that the width of the arms were DOUBLE those of the XL. I do not have muscular arms - I would be unable to wear any of the Starks with the narrow arms they had - stretch or not. They seem to be made for those who have toothpicks for arms. In the end I kept the XXL for the extra width in the arms - every other dimension seemed to be identical to the XL. I would like to qualify that I am not interested in the sweater hitting my belt line - a longer sweater which goes a few inches below works fine.
Finally I had Mr. Porter send a Fishermans crew as I was also interested in this model. Size LARGE - forget it - not even close! Too tight in the body (and I am "trim").
There you have it - I hope the information can be of use to some who are considering these sweaters. Lets not forget that EACH person will wear these in their own particular way and style. I believe there is no "correct" way of fitting these. After all, as someone previously mentioned, the Danish fisherman who were working in these sweaters probably wore them loose and slightly baggy!
ION SWEATER IN SIZE MEDIUM - TOO SHORT
ION SWEATER IN SIZE LARGE - CORRECT LENGTH - SLEEVES ARE A BIT LONG HOWEVER NO CHOICE AS THE BODY LENGTH IS NEEDED
STARK IN SIZE XXL ! - NO PROBLEM WITH THE LENGTH - SHOULDERS ARE FINE - I CAN LIVE IN THE ARMS (UNLIKE THE XL WHICH REQUIRED TOOTHPICK ARMS!
FISHERMAN IN SIZE L - TOO TIGHT IN THE BODY AND A TOUCH TIGHT IN THE SHOULDERS
Edited by buzzlulu - 11/7/13 at 4:00pm