April 24, 2024

Styles For Men

Boldness and Elegance, Timeless Men's Style

34 Best Sweaters for Men in 2024: Cardigans, V-Necks, Crewnecks, and More

8 min read

You should approach the idea of finding the best sweaters for men like they’re Pokémon: there are way more varieties than you ever realized, and the more of them you have the better. Unlike Pokémon, however, you won’t have to spend several months ignoring your family, dismantling your social life, and squinting at a Switch just to uncover all the essential sweaters a man should own—that’s what this article is for. We’ve determined the seven foundational pullovers and cardigans you absolutely need in your wardrobe, and found the best versions of each for every budget. From the cable-knit classics to the unexpected swerves, the comfy cold weather layer has many forms. So become a knitwear master and catch ’em all.


Table of Contents

The Best Sweaters for Men Shopping Guide


SWEATER STYLES

1. The V-Neck Sweater

Like Michael Jordan dropping his famous “I’m back” statement, the V-neck is ready to reclaim its menswear throne as the MVP of your sweater rotation. You might be tempted to start with the obvious play: layering one over a crisp button-up shirt, maybe letting the shirt’s collar laze insouciantly over the V. But follow the leads of the romcom stars and airport travel gods from the ’90s: there’s something casually chic about a plain white T-shirt peeking out at clavicle height.

Banana Republic

Sante Merino V-Neck Sweater

J.Crew

Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater

2. The Crewneck Sweater

It’s the Champion sweatshirt you wish you could live in, but refined enough to handle weekday meetings and weekend coffee dates. Crewneck sweaters can come in more flavors than Baskin Robins, and can be made from jacquard knits (where the design is literally woven into the piece; you’ll see more below) or thick cable knits (also more below) or damn near any other woven fabric. Our only suggestion: while there’s nothing wrong with a gets-the-job-done heather gray crewneck, don’t shortchange yourself by avoiding other colors. By its blessedly simple nature, the crewneck can make it easy to try out a lilac, a brown, or .

Uniqlo

Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater

Pendleton

Shetland Crew Neck Sweater

3. The Sweater Vest

The sweater vest moment has been ramping up for several seasons and we’re totally here for it. If you think that a sweater vest is a tricky style maneuver, know that it actually brings added versatility to the sartorial table. Whatever’s underneath—a striped button-up shirt, a tee, nothing but your guns—gets a supporting actor nod. For extra warmth, the sweater vest fits well under both cropped outerwear and tailoring, like a suit jacket or sport coat, without adding unnecessary bulk. And it can turn a simple white tee-and-jeans combo (maybe add some loafers?) into an unstoppable farmers-market-to-cocktail-hour fit .

Drake’s

Fair Isle Lambswool Sleeveless V-Neck Jumper

4. The Cardigan

Depending on the weather and your location’s relation to the equator, a lightweight sweater will be the only “coat” you need. If temperatures are still moderately warm, opt for a cardigan made from breathable linen or cotton, paired with a button-up shirt and relaxed fit chinos for a laid-back, preppy look. Once temps start to cool down, upgrade your winter wardrobe with a heavyweight wool sweater—maybe with a scarf-replacing shawl collar—to stay nice and toasty.

John Smedley

“Petworth” Merino Wool Cardigan

L.L.Bean

Classic Ragg Wool Shawl Collar Cardigan

5. The Zip Sweater

Quarter-zip, half-zip, or full-zip, whatever your favorite fraction, its possibly your new favorite layer. Dads across this great nation haven’t forgotten just how clean a zip sweater can be—probably without realizing that it’s become cool again. Think of it as a convertible, but for your torso.

Lands’ End

Cotton Modal Zip Front Cardigan Sweater

Banana Republic

“Raoul” Italian Merino Sweater

6. The Polo Sweater

It’s a sweater with a collar, ya know what I mean? But in all seriousness, the polo sweater even more solutions-oriented than its short-sleeve sibling. Pair it with some non-jean pants for the easiest, comfiest Monday-through-Friday outfit in your arsenal. Or, let it anchor your out-of-office—the brighter and bolder, the better.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Long-Sleeve 3-Button Sweater Polo

7. The Turtleneck Sweater

Blending form (straight lines to elongate that torso) with functionality (gotta keep ya neck warm) with sexiness (just look at it), the turtleneck remains a humble wardrobe heavyweight. A simple rib knit version can do damn near anything, anytime, but don’t sleep on a turtleneck with a crochet, cable, or jacquard knit. Just ask The Rock, Michael B. Jordan, Tom Holland, or any of the other Hollywood leading men who figured out long ago that a turtleneck turns up the heat in more ways than the obvious.

Uniqlo

Brushed Cotton Turtleneck Long-Sleeve T-Shirt


SWEATER FABRICS

1. The Cotton Sweater

We’re not going to belabor the benefits of cotton—the natural fiber is breathable, affordable, washes easily (though careful with the dryer—always read that tag), and gentle on sensitive skin. You can’t go wrong with a cotton sweater any time of the year, but if you’re looking for a transitional layer that’ll keep you warm now and comfortably cool later, it’s hard to top cotton.

Gap

Textured Crewneck Sweater

2. The Wool Sweater

Not to mix our species, but wool can be a chameleon. The sheep-borne spectrum runs from airy and light to thick and hefty. But all of it is uniquely adept at regulating temperatures, so you’ll stay warm without burning up. While you have to be a little more delicate on the upkeep (almost definitely no dryer), your tough-as-nails wool knit can last you for decades—literally—with some conscientious upkeep.

Auralee

Roll-Neck Ribbed-Knit Merino Wool Sweater

Theory

Dinin Donegal Wool & Cashmere Sweater

3. The Cashmere Sweater

It used to be that the average “nice” wool sweater was made of merino wool or lambswool, and cashmere was reserved for the rich guys. A few decades of commodifying the luxury fiber has helped bring it to more affordable tiers. Though careful what you pay for: cheap cashmere pills easily, can feel oily, and won’t last nearly as long as the good stuff.

Naadam

Essential Cashmere Sweater

Naked Cashmere

“Sam” Striped Cashmere Sweater

4. The Mohair Sweater

Shaggier and a hair (sorry) lighter than wool, a mohair sweater isn’t afraid to make a statement. Chances are you’ve seen NBA elites sporting the ubiquitous horizontal-striped Marni cardigan, or you’ve spotted a number of Needle’s eyeball-popping patterned versions out in the wild. Though it’s worth pointing out, you can absolutely find more relaxed versions—in both cardigan and button-free variations—if you’re not trying to flex for ESPN’s cameras.

Marni

Striped Brushed Mohair-Blend Cardigan


SWEATER KNITS

1. The Rib Sweater

When you think of “sweater,” the first image that comes to mind is probably a rib knit. We say this with love: it’s the most basic of knitting styles. While other knits may put texture centerstage, this no-frills pattern lets the design, colors, and silhouette shine.

2. The Cable Sweater

The quintessentially preppy cable knit is the sweater most likely to say it “went to school in Cambridge.” But that’s where the fun begins, because you can lean into the Ivy League energy—or make the rest of your fit veer hard away from the old money aesthetic. While you can’t go wrong with a classic Ralph Lauren cable knit crewneck, there are chunkier takes and cardigan versions very much worth your closet space.

Ralph Lauren

Cable-Knit Cotton Sweater

3. The Fisherman (or Aran) Sweater

Speaking of chunky knits…the fisherman sweater is one of the truly original “workwear” pieces, designed to handle the cold and unrelenting seas. To rock a fisherman sweater (which includes the Aran sweater, named for the islands off the western coast of Ireland), you don’t need to nail the harmony in a sea shanty—all you need is an appreciation for a timeless knit that’ll keep you warm through the worst weather.

L.L.Bean

Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater

4. The Fair Isle Sweater

Like the Aran sweater, the Fair Isle sweater is also named for an island (in the Shetlands, off the coast of Scotland). This time, though, the trademarke designs are less about texture, and more about the color, with traditional patterns woven into the wool. It’s been unfairly dragged into the whole “Christmas sweater” conversation, when Fair Isles deserve to be worn for as many months as you need the toastiness.

Howlin’

Future Fantasy Fair Isle Crew Knit

Monitaly

Chamula Fair Zipped Cardigan

5. The Jacquard Sweater

Jacquard is a process whereby a pattern—of any kind—is woven into fabric. Technically, Fair Isle designs are jacquards—as are the old-timey fabrics your posh grandma has on the sofa in her “sitting room.” Our favorite jacquard sweaters aren’t shy about their designs. It’s a chance to go big. Take it.

6. The Crochet Sweater

When you’re okay letting a little skin show—or you need a little room to breathe—you’ll want to have a crochet sweater on deck. A loose knit will let more air and sun through (don’t be shy!), but because you’re covered up—and you can always wear a layer underneath—a crochet sweater fits the dress code for anything from a chill brunch to a hards-charging night at the club(s).

Corridor

Hand Crochet Pima Cardigan

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