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Sweaters with suits and/or odd jackets

binge

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In the WAYWRN thread, topbroker asked me about wearing sweaters with suits. I thought that might make for an interesting thread on its own.

As for me, I rarely wear suits, and all of my WAYWRN posts with sweaters are odd jackets and trouser combos. But, I assume topbroker was asking the question broadly, not just narrowed to suits.

The three WAYWRN pics are:
http://www.randomshiznat.com/styleforum/20080401-1.jpg
http://www.randomshiznat.com/styleforum/20080331-1.jpg
http://www.randomshiznat.com/styleforum/20080314-1.jpg
where I'm wearing a sweater. Oddly enough, I'm wearing the same light blue jacket in each. I've done other mix-n-matches, they just haven't been on days with the camera at the ready.

But, let's get to topbroker's questions:
Binge, I am interested in your sweaters. I seldom wear sweaters with suits (except for the occasional sweater-vest when I am going trad) because of the added bulk and warmth; however, yours look nice. Are these full sweaters or vests? Make and material? What's the material of the jackets you wear them with?
All three are full sweaters, although they are rather light. The green one is quite thin (thinner than the other two) and is a 20% cashmere, 40% cottom, 30% viscose blend made by Hickey-Freeman. It's also a bit billowy in the arms, which makes me not want to wear it without a jacket normally, but it was perfect for the golf course last week on a cooler, windier day.

Both the blue and peach colored sweaters are made by Gran Sasso. The blue one I bought from a store here in San Francisco, the peach-colored one from Sierra Trading Post: Gran Sasso Lambswool Sweater - Fine Gauge (For Men). The blue is a fine merino wool and the peach a lambswool. The lambswool is a bit rougher and feels warmer to me than the blue one, which I attribute to the type of wool as they feel to be the same thickness.

For me, all three are perfect for layering between a shirt and jacket. I don't get too hot in them and they don't feel overly bulky under the jacket. I do have a thicker cashmere sweater from Avon Celli which I would not wear under a jacket as it is definitely too thick and would be way too warm.

I slightly prefer the v-neck as it gives more room for the tie, but I like to have both collar styles in the rotation.

The blue jacket you see in the linked photos is a 50/50 wool/silk number. I also pair with a tan 100% silk jacket seen here. I have 1-2 more summer jackets en route, so I might have more pairings there. As for my one proper suit, it's charcoal and the only one of these three I might try pairing with it would be the blue one. The color of the other two might just be too bright for the suit. I might try them and see...

Thanks for reading. Comments, thoughts, criticism welcomed.
 

topbroker

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Thanks for the detailed answers! I was indeed using "suits" as a shorthand for "suits and sportcoat/trouser combos."
 

kwilkinson

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I think it's a great look, and looks good on a lot of people. Just look at the Kent Wang Brown Finalist thread..... there are multiple examples of people pulling it off and looking great, on top of binge's.
 

mt_spiffy

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I really like the second outfit.

I dont wear sweaters with suits, but I will wear them with a blazer and jeans. Often times if I really want to layer it up, I will wear a button down, tie, sweater, and blazer with jeans. I have several Old Nazy half-zips that are excellent for this purpose.

I dont have any pictures but I will take some and post them.
 

binge

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I couple people PM'd me for more details on the sweaters, and I thought I would give some additional info in case anyone wants to buy similar ones from Sierra Trading Post (STP).

I never knew of Gran Sasso until I bought that blue sweater from a store here in San Francisco back in January. It's merino wool and the hand is very, very nice. A short while later I discovered STP and found that they had some Gran Sasso sweaters on a good clearance price. I hoped to find essentially the same sweater as the blue one, but in different colors.

STP has a number of different sweaters that seemed to be possible matches. They have both v-neck and crew neck offered in different materials:
fine gauge lambswool (crew neck)
fine gauge lambswool (v-neck)
merino wool (crew neck)
merino wool (v-neck)
superfine merino wool

I wasn't sure if any were the exact same model as the blue one I currently had, but they looked close enough I thought I would give it a shot. I would have preferred to buy the merino or superfine merino ones, figuring it would be similar to the merino one I had, but the colors I really wanted were only available for the lambswool. I decided to pull the trigger on a peach v-neck and a brown crew neck.

When they arrived I noticed two things:

1. The lambswool is quite a bit rougher than the merino blue one I already had. This is not a problem in itself, I guess I just didn't think about how different the lambswool would feel. I don't know if the blue one I already had is closer to the merino or superfine merino sweaters offered on STP, but it's definitely a lot softer and smoother than the lambswool ones.

2. There is inconsistency in sizes between the v-neck and crewneck lambswool sweaters. I ordered one of each and when they arrived, I placed each on top of my existing blue one to see if they were basically the same size (54). I found that the peach one was nearly an exact match in size, where the brown crewneck one was nearly 1 inch wider pit-to-pit! It was also wider at the waist and the sleeves. I was pretty surprised as it seemed that the only difference between the two styles would be the collar, not extra roominess all over. Trying them on confirmed the size difference. The peach one fit exactly as well as my blue one, and the brown crewneck was too big.

One other thing I noticed when putting together this information: the two merino sweaters linked above, the crew neck is described as 12-gauge yarn where the v-neck is 21-gauge yarn. So even though they appear to be essentially the same (other than collar), there could be a big difference in softness and hand.

This isn't a STP-bashing thread by any means, I love shopping there. I just wanted to share my experiences in case others go down this same road.

Ultimately, I'm very happy with the sweaters. I returned the brown one since it was too big, but I really like the peach-colored one, even though it's is a rougher wool than the blue merino Gran Sasso and the green cashmere/cotton/viscose Hickey-Freeman sweater.
 

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