Say goodbye to evenings in the sunshine and exposed skin as we greet the cold and begin to layer our clothing. In this article, we’ll pay particular attention to the best sweaters for men.
The sweater is arguably the most integral winter layer and the one that will go on to define your style. Trust me, I know. I wore a mohair cardigan on the weekend, and I was exclusively defined by my wearing of said mohair cardigan (I’m particularly personality-less, as you can tell).
The perfect sweater is… there isn’t an answer to that. Not only does objective perfection not exist, but it’s situational. A thin cashmere v-neck is the idealized knit for tailoring. In contrast, cable knits are for fireside chilling. And the genius material blend of the Ukuthula sweater in this list is designed specifically with winter workouts in mind.
That’s the scope of the sweater. Try to define it, and it slips off into the ether; each subtle twist and deviation has its purpose. From the thickness of the knit material to the particular neckline features to the material used, each has its strengths and weaknesses.
For the lowdown on all the intricacies of jumper types, read our FashionBeans guide here, but for a round-up of all the best sweaters for men? Go get yourself a warm tea, wipe away the last tears from your little cry about summer ending, and let us pull this soft, woolen article over your eyes. Read on.
Our Top Picks
Material: 100% Wool, Cashmere, & Lambswool | Colors available: Ivory Patchwork | Sizes Available: XS-XL
The overall best sweater was always going to be a classic design. This cable knit J-Crew option has a wonderful cream tone and a blend of three of the coziest materials going: wool, cashmere, and lambswool. The crew neck design solidifies its place as a J-Crew-Neck. And yet, the patchwork construction brings in a new element of design. Implications of resourcefulness and modernity make this the best sweater with the best of all twists.
Because of its color, it’ll go well with light-wash denim jeans. But also, you can add to the textural feast by pairing them with brown cords. One tip: beware of the mulled wine and the rambunctious fellows drinking it.
Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: White, Black | Sizes Available: XS-XL |
Cardigans are one of the best sweaters for men; they are so hot right now. The animal prints on this Wax London cardi, combined with the Corozo nut buttons and black background, make a very on-trend retro winter fusion.
I have a Lyle & Scott x Oi Polloi acrylic/wool cardigan, and I would go as far as to say it’s one of my favorite pieces of clothing ever. Over jeans and a t-shirt, it’ll make that (sometimes) conventional pairing look immediately cool.
I’ve also got some chunky wale cords which really dig into that 90s feel. To tap into a more formal range, wear it with a plain white t-shirt, a pair of suit trousers, and smart leather shoes. Versatile, stylish, and a fabulous piece of layering because it’s warm without being suffocating.
Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black, Navy, Green, Off-White, + | Sizes Available: S-XXL |
While opaqueness is a cherished quality of the best sweaters for men (keeps ya warm), Isto values transparency… of the supply chain, that is. Information about its factories, farms, and suppliers is available on the website. It’s an integral step towards achieving accountability and sustainable practices.
These sweaters are woven from organic cotton grown using non-GMO seeds without pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. The ribbed knit style makes it a perfect blend of casual and smart casual. Throw it over your pajamas slouching at home or over your shirt heading to work on a chilly morning.
Material: 100% Mulesing Free Wool | Colors available: Cream/Red | Sizes Available: S, M, L
This knitted sweater by Two Thirds has a masterful fade between the deep red and the off-white woolen hues. What also makes it is the textured woven style elevated by the mixing of the two colors.
Up top, there is quite a rare upwards extended crew neck, and it looks so damn cozy. Two Thirds created the best sweaters for men in a way that transcends mere clothing and becomes a form of knitted art.
Material: 100% Rcycled Polyester | Colors available: White | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
This half-zip sweater exudes class. Foret Studios are masters of creating stylish pieces with a fashionable slant but done so in such an effortless and natural manner. The relaxed collar formed by the undone zip gives this sweater its open-armed, approachable feel.
The fully recycled brushed-down fleece is so cozy that you might never want to take it off; you will be victim to its softness and your own desire to wear the sweater. Like a cozy ouroboros of death and rebirth. Too far?
Well, just know that it’s cozy, alright.
Material: 35% Alpaca, 35% Wool, 30% Recycled Polyester | Colors available: Dried Leaf | Sizes Available: S-XXL |
Cast your eyes upon the fuzz of an alpaca-wool-recycled polyester sweater. It brings softness to the geometric jacquard pattern. The yellow and beige edges melt into the darker exterior so as to create a sense of the three-dimensional.
With a design so complex, it should be styled with respect. Try a dark indigo pair of denim jeans or loose cream trousers and brown chunky loafers. These tones will sit well in this color palette.
Material: Recycled Polyester | Colors available: Black, Green, Blue | Sizes Available: S-XXL |
Sure, it might seem cold when you step out the door on a brisk winter’s morning. But 15 minutes into your workout, sweat beads quickly as the heat builds up.
This special duo made of weather-beating polyester is ready for performance (polyester provides the ability to dry quickly). But the great thing about this sweater/jacket/vest combo is your ability to layer as needed
Material: 100% Lambswool | Colors available: Black, Navy, Sand, Gray | Sizes Available: S-XXL |
There are certain items of clothing that should be in your wardrobe, folded neatly in a color-coded order, just like a psychopath, and ready to adorn your outfits. A crewneck sweater is one such item. It’s also an item of which you should invest in a few colors if possible.
But which ones? Well, if you want more of a choice in this matter, try our staple crew neck suggestions. If you want me to be didactic, bossy, and uncompromising, I’ll tell you right here and now that this lambswool sweater by
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Colors available: Navy, Brown, Gray, Green, + | Sizes Available: XS-XL |
A polo collar adds a whiff of formality. But it can be a standalone item by pairing with chinos and white trainers for a conventional smart-casual outfit. Try denim and a long overcoat too, which will add that all-important layering, as every good and fashionable onion knows.
Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Chocolate, off-white | Sizes Available: XS/SM M/L |
“Chocolate Plum” might sound like a metaphorical character in a children’s book, but it’s actually the exact color tone and material of this perfect hoodie. I might be biased because I would have cotton walls if they existed; that’s how much I love the material.
However, The Frank Shop hoodie proves why. It’s super cozy and soft with an intriguing drop shoulder and side pockets. A soft cotton hoodie is one of the best sweaters for men when it comes to lounging. So, might as well get the trousers to match and have equal blissful comfort throughout.
Material: 100% Pima Cotton | Colors available: Natural, Indigo, Navy | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
This style of crocheted cardigan certainly is not a common style. The beauty of this Corridor NYC garment is that you get the artisanal value with the precision of design. The beige and blue flower designs have a hippie 90s feel that’s very popular right now. For other examples, see Story MFG.
The piece has been hand crocheted by an all-woman-owned/run workshop in Lima, Peru, and over 72 hours of individual work goes into each garment. This cardigan is a testament to craft, design, and fashion. Perfect as a spring/summer throw-over.
Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Multi | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
Why bother with the MoMA or Louvre Museum, or the Guggenheim when you can have a work of Impressionism art on your sweater? Or at least an impression of impressionism. Impressive, right? This smart piece of
The bright colors smeared and pasted over the white background are ideal for warmer months when you might be in overly air-conditioned inside or avoiding the sweat-inducing direct sunlight. Try this with navy chinos, brown loafers, and a pair of ultra-chic polarized sunglasses.
Material: 100% Cashmere Wool | Colors available: Blue, Gray, Sand, Navy, + | Sizes Available: XS-XXXL
Luca Faloni knows a cashmere sweater is at its best when it’s simple. The only details of note are the crewneck, three-buttoned neck, ribbed hems, and the wonderful cashmere wool itself.
Cashmere comes from the Himalayan Cashmere goat. Its dense hairs protect against harsh Himalayan conditions. As a clothing material, cashmere is the softest, lightest, and most insulating material going, making it (sadly) more expensive too.
Material: 100% Patagonian Wool | Colors available: Ivory, black | Sizes Available: S-XL
The cable knit sweater brings about a homely, rustic sense of suaveness. It’s like a great 17th-century castle but with warm, insulated, and polished concrete interiors. This is especially the case when you formulate those woven cables in a heavenly soft pure cashmere fabric. It’s quite clear knitwear dreams do come true.
This is also a great alternative to a garish Christmas jumper since its natural but subtle sense of decoration might convince a few people of your festive spirit. Not convinced by Luca Faloni’s instinctive and traditional sense of style? Try these cable knit jumpers out for size instead.
Material: 50% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 25% Wool | Colors available: White, (black coming soon) | Sizes Available: XS, S, M |
No point in owning one of the best sweaters for men if no one knows about it, right? There’s no misunderstanding about who designed this piece. The oversized fit gives it an obtuse, no-fucks-given attitude. The elongated shoulders and loose wrist hems set this apart from conventional sweaters.
I rented a Balenciaga sweater similar to this piece as I was writing about the rental market. I thought it’d be too garish and I would hate it. Turns out, I loved it and wished I could afford it. I wore a gray version with black cords and chunky-soled brown derby shoes. Obviously, I would advise you do the same.
Material: 99% Cotton, 1% Nylon | Colors available: Multi | Sizes Available: XXS-XXL |
The cult of the Christmas sweater contributes to the overproduction of cheap, throwaway products. Our suggestion for combatting this? Get one you are so in love with, one so stylish, so versatile that you’ll wear it throughout the year, then the next year, and on and on. That way, the number of wears won’t be limited to once a year. Or once, period.
We believe this ASOS Design sweater is cool enough to achieve the hallowed territory of a genuinely nice Christmas Jumper. For the complete guide to non-tacky, genuinely stylish Christmas jumpers, look no further.
Material: 100% Functional Fleece | Colors available: 3 Colorways | Sizes Available: S-XL |
The functional fleece. All hail the functional fleece. If you haven’t already purchased one… what are you doing with your life? Grow up. Get a pet. Learn to love monogamy. And get a functional fleece. This is one of the best sweaters for men. Always warm, always cool, easy to style, and ready for any eventuality (so long as you don’t end up gorging on Michelin Star cuisine). It’s called a functional fleece for a reason.
The Polartec material here is mind-blowingly soft to the touch. The retro logo does wonders for the aesthetic. And the gray-white color block is exactly what should be happening on a functional fleece. One more time for good luck? The functional fleece rules.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Colors available: 31x Colors | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
A formal sweater must always be a v-neck. This is working with the assumption that you must be wearing a shirt and tie to be considered formal. The formal sweater will be the layer between the shirt and the suit jacket and, therefore, must be thin so that the jacket still fits well. You don’t want to draw undue attention to the sweater either, so avoid bright colors and garish patterning or any pattern at all.
To be a formal sweater and still warm enough to be worth wearing, you’re ideally looking for a merino or cashmere thin v-neck sweater. Black, gray, navy, and maybe muted or dulled other colors will be acceptable. Behold the Calvin Klein merino sweater. Seek no more.
Material: 100% Wool | Colors available: Navy | Sizes Available: S-XXL |
Here is a design-led take on the classic fair-isle pattern. The fair-isle pattern hails from the little Scottish island of Fair Isle, right up in the North of the country. The pattern became its own distinct style and was adopted by members of English royalty.
Now, the pattern is a staple for knitwear. Here, Etro has taken the traditional pattern in a contrast light blue weave to the chic navy background and added in anchors, plus a rose, which has the illusion of dripping off as if smeared by a paintbrush.
It’s novel and oozes panache. Try this in a smart-casual fashion with black derbies and a pair of smart but loose-suit trousers.
Material: Wool-Blend | Colors available: Petrol Blue/Black | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
This is one of the most fashionable sweaters for men on the market. The subtle Petrol Blue and black check with the deft touch of three orange “PS” smiles through the front is a magic combination, casting a spell on our hearts here at FashionBeans.
I have a Paul Smith sweater, which is single-handedly the most sheep-like, insulating item of clothing I own. It’s so snug. The fabric is the same, and the texture, that bouncy, soft-plied finish, appears to be the same. So you’re in for a snuggly treat.
Material: 97% Polyester, 3% Elastane | Colors available: 3 Colorways | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
Another one in the functional fleece category. This time, the functional fleece has been given a performative overhaul by The North Face. Not performative in the sense that it’s a sham but that it adds performance elements.
The polyester fabric is lightweight and fast drying. This is ideal for when you get caught in the rain or have a particularly heavy workout. The elastane provides stretch and ease of movement, so crucial to a good performance. Plus, the design is an improvement on many performance fleeces on the market, and it comes with a hood too.
Material: 15% Wool, 85% Cotton | Colors available: Navy, Shrimp | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
I’ll say it quietly so that other V-necks can’t hear… v-necks can be a bit lame. The formal v-neck sweater that’s thin enough to go between a shirt and a suit jacket with its 9-5 corporate association doesn’t help the v-necks cause.
But now there’s a cool new v-neck in town: the sleeveless edition (see: Best Sleeveless Sweater for Men, in this very article). Barring getting a sleeveless v-neck, Lyle & Scott’s range of casual golf sweaters is also diligently striving to make v-necks cool again.
They’re not redesigning the sweater but adding white and blue linear flourishes to the shallow v-neck collar, introducing a hint of a cable knit element through the wool-cotton blend exterior, and finally topping it off with a far-out crest. It’s so nice it’s almost making me want to try golf.
Material: 56% Mohair, 19% Rayon, 10% Polyester, 13% Nylon, 2% Elastane | Colors available: Limoges | Sizes Available: M-XL |
Imagine a regular, incredibly chic argyle sweater in a sumptuous mix of brown and beige consumed a funky mushroom and now was slightly swaying, fuzzy, and gloriously alive.
That’s the shaggy, laidback feel the long hairs of the mohair fabric give this sweater. However, with Celine’s influence, it isn’t all unicorns and oneness. It has serious panache and an overall aesthetic balance that makes it so desirable. Yes, the fuzzy mohair is a tactile pleasure, but it will also ensure you year-round insulation too.
Material: 50% Mohair, 20% Nylon, 16% Acrylic, 14% Wool | Colors available: Gray | Sizes Available: S, M, L |
Hot off the press: Sweater Vests Are Back Baby. Once the domain of cigarette-smoking pen-pushers from the seventies and grunge Gods of the 90s, the sweater vest has had a revival. When there are items as retro-infused and suave as this Blue Blue Japan sweater vest, it’s easy to see why.
And they’re easier to style than you might think. Just get a cool haircut, some slithers of sunglasses, a pendant on a chain, some sick tattoos, and get heavily into smoking vapes. Only joking. Just a white t-shirt underneath will suffice, then some trousers or dark indigo jeans on the bottom half.
Material: 100% Merino Wool | Colors available: Navy | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |
Oft maligned is the turtleneck sweater. I was once queuing to get into a club in London, and I got called a homophobic slur because of my turtleneck. Madness. But screw that guy and his bigoted views because the turtleneck is one of the most modern tools in a man’s wardrobe, especially when it comes to tailoring. When you swap it in for a shirt, all sorts of suave mayhem begins to unravel. Come to think of it, maybe that guy fancied me and my sexy turtleneck?
This merino wool sweater by Octobre Éditions is the definition of elegance, hence why it’s one of the best sweaters for men. Its thin surface is deceptively insulating thanks to the use of premium wool, while the subtle ribbing at the hems gives the piece form.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Sweaters For Men
Cotton is durable and easy to wash but lacks thick insulation.
Wool is biodegradable, insulating, and soft but can be tricky to wash.
Cashmere is the softest and most insulating fabric, but like wool, it is very delicate to take care of when washing.
Mohair is from the Angora goat and has long fibers creating a shaggy soft surface. You become very hug-able.
Polyester is cheap, resilient, and easy to wash, but micro-plastics shed in use and washing.
Style (cable knit, v-neck, etc.)
A cable-knit jumper is very traditional and has a wholesome feel to it. The same applies to fair isle or other traditional graphic knits/weaves. However, graphics with a non-traditional slant give the clothing a fresh, more modern aesthetic.
V-necks are good for layering and don’t work well as being the centerpiece of the outfit. Crew necks are the most versatile. Cardigans have a vintage feel to them but are again good as a light piece of layering that can be opened up for more air.
Each fit has its own characteristics. A baggy fit is more comfortable, gives ease of movement, and is more on-trend at the moment. A natural fit is the most versatile and can be the smartest option. A tight fit is good if you’re wearing layers over the top (or you’re totally jacked).
A sweater is a generally insulating second layer (though it can be worn without a t-shirt). Different necklines will determine what you wear your sweater with and how to style it. For example, crew necks and ties don’t mesh. Our top pick is the J Crew patchwork cable knit, AKA The J-Crew-Neck. It’s traditional in the use of cable knit, but the patchwork element gives it an edge. It’ll make all the other autumnal boys jealous.
Put them over your head. No seriously, as we reiterated, they are a secondary layer, but the expanse of uses is large. Generally, they’ll be worn over a t-shirt with pants, jeans, chinos, or tailored trousers, not exclusively. Sweaters can be worn with shorts (see: our Percival choice) or gym shorts/hiking gear (see: The North Face) if you’re getting out and being active.
Yes. Here at FashionBeans we always say: layering is life. Just remember, the more layers, the more trapped air, and the more insulated you become. Most likely, you’ll just be wearing a t-shirt and maybe a jacket, which is an example of mid-level layering and works day-to-day in temperate climates.
Modern trends tend toward baggy, graphic, and patchwork. Consider a mohair cardigan with mad prints, like what Kurt Kobain might have worn. In fact, if in doubt, just think, what would Kurt Kobain wear? Also, sleeveless sweaters are quite popular now too.