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sweater problems

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
With the New England weather upon us, I've found myself wearing a lot of wool (cashmere and merino, actually) sweaters when going out on weekends, etc. It's just too darn cold at night to just wear an untucked button up shirt w/jeans. My "problem" right now is that almost all of my sweaters -- especially my nice ones -- are plain. I have a few different colors -- burgundy, light grey, charcoal, navy, blue, heathered brown, & emerald green -- but no stripes, argyles, etc. My style sort of mediates between preppy and NYC (South of 14th St.) -- I like streamlined fits, tend to go with darker colors, wear a lot of dark jeans, but don't go with all black or synthetics or trendy stuff so much. What kind of interesting patterns/colors would be good for my next sweater purchase? Also, I would love a few more "cool" shirts that I could wear untucked. I have an ever growing "dress shirt" (read: work) collection that has a lot of cool colors and patterns that can work equally well on weekends as with suits, etc., but not many of them can be worn untucked. Jantzen is a long wait, and Steven Alan is too expensive. Is Banana Republic a blaise option here?
post #2 of 16
If you lean towards the preppy, go for a slim fitting, earth-tone argyle. You can also add variation to the plain colors with a shirt underneath, such as a blue check shirt with a navy blue merino v-neck. Banana Republic is a bit boring, but pretty good value if you find things on super-sale. J-Crew is also okay for casual shirts, as you can find them for $20 and under. But beware, they tend to be rather blousy, which just looks bad.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
You are right about the shirt underneath -- I often use the shirt collar to add a bit of color/pattern. I think that will be my usual approach, especially since I have some great fabrics in button downs coming from Jantzen in the very near future.
post #4 of 16
johnnynorman3, I don't think you have to worry about your sweaters being plain. If you have interesting striped shirts, I think that is all you need for a stylish and well put together look. Companies have been pushing argyles for years but I think finally that geek chic look is really picking up steam. I think you can pick up some sweaters with different tippings at the edge of the collar, etc. I think a half zip with tipping looks quite nice. Although this is not the greatest example, it shows what I mean relatively. It seems this year that sweaters with a button up neck is popular but the look doesn't work for me. Share with us what types/color of sweaters you have currently. Suggestion: Pair the sweaters you have with striped/checks, any bold shirt for that matter. I think that will modernize your look. A good sweater is not cheap. Shirts are cheaper relatively speaking. If you think a shirt is too loud to be worn by itself, pairing with a sweater is the perfect option. Or if you are like me, those billowing shirts that you brought before the advent of Styleforum, you can now recycle them and use them for layering purposes. My two cents.... -HitMan009
post #5 of 16
Or if you are like me, those billowing shirts that you brought before the advent of Styleforum, you can now recycle them and use them for layering purposes.  
Or even those that are not tentlike can be used, tucked or untucked with a form fitting mock or turtle neck underneath as a jacketlike shirt.
post #6 of 16
If you want to add verve to your sweater collection, there's only one word you need to know: COOGI.  Yes, that's right, the sweater that Bill Cosby made famous and Biggie Smalls immortalized with lines such as "Living better now, Coogi sweater now" and "Every cutie with a booty wants a Coogi" is avialable to you.
post #7 of 16
Coogi: don't ever do it.
post #8 of 16
Armani has been known to make a nice, interesting sweater, from time to time.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here are the eight current sweaters that I will wear most often during the next several months: (1) Black cashmere v-neck (a little higher neck) (2) Navy cashmere v-neck (3) Mid/Dark grey cashmere v-neck (4) Light heather gray silk/cashmere v-neck (high neck) with dark grey tipping at neck and cuffs. (5) Heather brown supersoft lambswool (almost looks "tweedy" -- it is a brown with flecks of green and red in it) v-neck. It's from Polo and I really love it. Almost feels like cashmere actually. (6) Burgundy merino/cashmere/angora blend "half-zip" (except w/ buttons instead of a zipper). The neck is navy blue inside, which makes it a pretty cool sweater IMO. (7) Charcoal cashmere crewneck (8) Lambswool mid-grey with navy, burgundy, and forest green big stripes (looks better than it sounds). I also have a couple of cotton and thinner merino sweaters that I may get some use out of that are in various shades of green. So, as you can see I only have one "patterned" sweater that I'll wear from now until at least mid-March. I actually don't mind this, as it simplifies my wardrobe quite a bit -- I can layer the sweater over a patterned shirt (and I just picked up a cord blazer from that might end up being cool to use as a jacket) and match that with either plain or patterned pants, or any type of jeans. I guess my concern was that in my newfound search for quality garments, I was becoming too concentrated on "staples" that would last me for years (I find that my cashmere lasts longer than any wool sweaters I have, perhaps because I take care of them better -- and it's SO much softer and more breathable), and that this made me boring (in other words, worthy of scorn by LA Guy). I must say, since I discovered Jantzen I've totally rethunk how to assemble a wardrobe. I now use shirts as my pattern/color pieces. Perhaps I just need to get a few more bright colors for sweaters.
post #10 of 16
You don't have a turtleneck, though I think you're pretty much sorted for sweaters. Buy more jackets instead. I too fall prey to winter morning thinking--It's cold, where's the warmest sweater--but it gets really boring.
post #11 of 16
I think plain sweaters look best, imo. If you want something non-plain, get a chunky cable-knit sweater. The fit is going to make it look better, more than colors or stripes or argyles or anything (although argyles can look really cool). Check out this picture of Benicio Del Toro (far left).
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
The cable knit is a good idea.
post #13 of 16
LL Bean has a few good standbys, including the Norwegian pattern. & try experimenting with textures. Peru Unlimited has a lovely line of alpaca v-necks that are also good in warmer weather.
post #14 of 16
I vote for adding the interest to sweaters with knitting patterns.
post #15 of 16
LL Bean has a few good standbys, including the Norwegian pattern. & try experimenting with textures.  Peru Unlimited has a lovely line of alpaca v-necks that are also good in warmer weather.
Hvis du vil ser de vakre norske genserene, kan du go til: (If you want to see beautiful norwegian sweaters go to this site): They are beautifully made, and run on the larger side.  Note, they are not considered beautiful to everyone, and certainly are not formal; but one may find a style and colour that is suitable and pleasing to him.  The men's styles are usually less busy, and more commonly pullovers--but you can ask the company if you find a style you like but are not sure if appropriate for men.
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