Essential Sweaters EVERY Man Must Own
[0:00:00] Did you know that badass working men have
been wearing sweaters for almost five hundred years? Seriously, during medieval times in
northern Europe, we saw the first sweaters pop up, they’re Guernsey.
This was the sweater that was for the working man, the guy that’s going to be out in the
elements. He’s going to be out on the ocean and he needs a piece of gear that’s actually
going to do a good job of keeping him warm of keeping him insulated from that cold weather.
In today’s video, gents, the ultimate guide to men’s sweaters and how you can look great
wearing one. First up, we’ve got the Guernsey. This is
the sweater I’m wearing right now. This is a modern interpretation. But, even modern
interpretations of the Guernsey go for a very simple sweater. This sweater is so simple
I could actually wear it either side. So, there isn’t a back, there isn’t a
front, and that’s the key characteristic of a Guernsey. This was a very utilitarian
piece of gear. Something that was sewn for a man that just simply needed to have protection.
It was oftentimes handmade at home, so they follow a lot of the tradition.
Now, one of the more interesting things here is the crewneck. This is actually a new edition.
Older Guernsey that you’ll see they actually don’t have anything like this. This was
added and actually is easily replaced because they understood they wanted something you
could fit closer to the neck and actually keep, you know, the elements out of there.
At the same time, could be replaced because it would be these areas that would oftentimes
get frayed and torn. Next up, we’ve got the Aran sweater named
for the islands off the west coast of Ireland. Again, an area that’s going to be cold that’s
going to be wet. And, the fishermen there they needed gear that was going to keep them
warm. Now, one of the things that you’ll notice
with classic sweaters is most of them are made from wool. Wool can absorb about 40%
of its weight in water and actually still feel dry. It will still retain heat.
Now, the key characteristic that gives away this is an Aran sweater is going to be the
cable knitting. You’re going to see this on the front of the sweater. Different sweaters
coming from different areas are going have very different knitting. But, this is something
that actually if you go back and you look at a lot of clans a lot of different groups
of people will actually identify where you came from based on the knitting. So, very
interesting, very much, you know, a whole art to this.
Now, when it comes to wearing Aran sweaters, understand these are casual. They’re going
to be heavier weight. They’re great actually can be worn almost as outerwear if you want
something casual to wear around town. They are very durable. These are very heavyweight
warm tough sweaters and I think look great with jeans, you can wear them with odd trousers,
but it wouldn’t be something you would ever wear with a suit.
Next up, let’s talk about naval sweaters. So, I’m wearing here a variation of the
submariner. As the name implies, this was worn by British sailors during World War II
on submarines. You also saw other navies picked this up.
Why? Because when you’re on those vessels and you’re under the water, it’s cold
and a lot of times to conserve energy, they kept the temperature and the heating at a
very low temperature. It gets cold down there, so you had to be able to have insulation.
You also needed something that could get wet. Something that when you’re getting up on
top of the sub you get sprayed with water, you would be fine or at least you would be
able to recover from it. The point is is that this also needed to be
close to the body because you’re moving in and around a lot of people. It was, again,
a functional piece of gear. Now, you may notice how bulky the sweater
is, and this is a very casual sweater. Also, the neck part right here, this is an extreme
turtleneck. This is going to keep you warm. This has a functional purpose. But, again,
everything about this sweater is casual. So, it looks great with jeans. You could even
dress it up with a pair maybe of gray flannel trousers, but you would not wear this with
a suit. Another naval sweater I want to quickly talk
about, the woolly pully. So, if you’ve ever served in the Marine Corps, you know what
I’m talking about. That woolly pully, it was itchy it was something a lot of guys did
not want to wear. But, now that I know the history, I understand where it came from.
They were made to fit close to the body. They were made to keep you warm when you’re in
a cold environment and still be able to move around fit close to the body. They actually
had on the elbows in on the shoulders a bit of protection to avoid snags.
Next up, we’ve got the crewneck. This is going to be one of the most common sweaters
you see out there. And this one, because of the tightness of the weave, the light build
overall of the sweater, this is one that you can layer and you can start to wear under
a sports jacket. You can even possibly wear this under a suit if the color and the style
work. Now, what is the style of the crew sweater?
Again, this is one that actually does have a back, does have a front, so it’s different
from the Guernsey in that way, but overall it’s very similar. And, what we’re going
to find is elastic in here around the wrist, we’re going to find right here around the
neck. And this is where it gets its name. So, this was first made popular on ships.
Again, why are we going for a crewneck in a working environment? Because you don’t
want sea spray, you don’t want water going down in and around there, so it was meant
to be elastic. And, they also knew that this would be the area that would break down that
would tear and so, they made it so it could be easily repaired.
Now, as this sweater is so common you’re going to find it in a variety of color, a
variety of patterns. If you’re buying your first crewneck sweaters, keep it simple. I
really like a charcoal gray or a regular gray, maybe even a medium gray. Why do I say gray?
Because it’s going to pretty much match anything. It’s a neutral non-color.
Or you could actually maybe go with something that you already wear a lot of. So, maybe
you want to go with blue, works with what’s in your wardrobe. You want to go maybe with
a dark red like this. You already know you’ve got items like this and they will work with
your existing interchangeable wardrobe. [0:05:07]
The key is, don’t go for anything that is really bright as your first sweater. Maybe
for a Christmas sweater if you’ve got a party, okay, that makes sense. But, what you
want to do is bring in something that’s going to work throughout your wardrobe.
Now, the style the actual weave. The lighter and the closer it fits to your body, I think
that’s better. Again, not going to an extreme here, but the point being you want it to fit
when you’re buying a sweater. And this is key because sweaters are very difficult to
adjust. You can take them to someone who can knit
and they can actually bring it in, they can adjust the sweater. But, it’s something
that if it’s too short, and what I mean by too short, if you raise up your arm and
here it actually goes up and we can see your midsection, that’s way too short.
If you pull the sweater down and it goes about four to five inches beyond actually what your
waist area is, that’s pushing it. You don’t ever want to pull it down and cover your backside,
that’s way too long. But, usually a sweater is going to have an elastic in and around
the waist and so, as long as it can crunch up in and around your midsection and stay
about in that area, you’re good to go. Next up, let’s talk about the V-neck, second
in popularity only behind the crewneck. But, in my opinion the V-neck is one of the most
versatile sweaters that you can own. And, I think men should wear more of these.
I like how you can dress them down, so I could actually wear this, you know with the shirt
right here, dark jeans, pair of brogues. Great combination. Or I could actually wear this
with a white dress shirt, wear it with a casual suit or even a business suit in inclement
weather with, you know, black oxfords and that would be a fine look.
Now, right here we’ve got a bold strong color, and I think that bold beautiful colors
are great when you own multiple sweaters. But, if you’re just starting off looking
to buy your first V-neck sweater, you want to go gray, you maybe go for a little bit
darker than this. Or you can even go with a tan or a brown especially if you’ve got
navy or you’ve got blue a lot in your wardrobe especially with your trousers, right here,
this combination this light tan is going to look great with that color.
Now, because V-neck sweaters are so common, you’re going to find they’re made from
a wide variety of materials out there. Ideally, you want to go with cashmere or you want to
go with wool. But, I understand that that can be very expensive for a lot of people.
So, you’re going to see blends out there, you’re going to see synthetic materials
thrown in. You’re going to see cotton sweaters. Understand
what you’re getting. When you go with cotton, you’re really losing a lot of the insulating
properties. That being said it is something that could be lightweight, you could actually
go for a summer sweater. Yes, there is such a thing as a summer sweater. Or maybe when
it’s a synthetic material, you understand, okay, I’m compromising here on quality,
but I’m going to get this at a great price and it’s got a mix of wool in it.
Now, understand if you see recycle wool, be very careful with that. That’s wool that’s
been used again and again and the strands basically have become much shorter than they
originally were with virgin wool and so, it’s not going to be as strong. It’s going to
be more likely to pill. And that’s something you’ll see on a lot of your sweaters is
pilling after you’ve worn them for awhile and that’s where basically material starts
to build up. Understand you can actually get a de-piller.
There are machines that you could run over it. You could actually take de-piller stone
or you could even take a razor to get rid of the pilling.
Next up, we’ve got the turtleneck. And, you may be wondering what’s the difference
between the turtleneck and the classic submariner the navy sweater. The big thing is going to
be the weight of the sweater. Notice how this sweater is not nearly as bulky as the submariner,
so this sweater can be layered. Oftentimes, this sweater is also going to
be made not only with a tighter weave, but with higher quality materials. Now, wool is
great, but wool even though it’s a luxury material is not going to be as sought after
as cashmere. So, cashmere with this sweater is made from
– it’s going to be a thinner strand when we actually look at the fiber. It’s also
going to be one that can be longer and can be sewn into a tighter weave and what we get
is something that actually is going to be warmer than wool, lighter than wool, and is
sought after because of its very nice feel. So, wool sweaters can be very itchy, cashmere
is not going to have that issue. Again, when you get down you look at the fiber you see
what the difference is, and it’s simply the size of the cashmere fiber is much smaller,
wool oftentimes is going to have barbs and that’s why it actually itches.
Now, you can wear a turtleneck by itself or you can pair it with a sports jacket, you
can wear it with a casual suit and so many guys are going to say, “Ugh, turtlenecks
are not my thing.” Guys, don’t knock it until you try it. Turtlenecks, I think they’re
absolutely amazing. And, if you agree, let me know down in the comments or disagree.
Tell me how you can’t wear a turtleneck. The point is go out there and try one on because
I think when you wear a great-looking turtleneck one maybe made from cashmere, not only does
it feel great, it’s functional, it keeps you warm. Right now, it’s really cold outside.
This outfit is going to be warmer than just wearing a dress shirt and you stand out from
the crowd. Next up, we’ve got the polo knit sweater.
And, I just looked at myself in the mirror and I’m wondering, you know should I actually
be wearing two collars next to each other? You have an opinion? Let me know down in the
comments. But, I think you can pull this off, so I’m just going to go with it.
Point being is this sweater right here has the soft collar. It also has the buttons.
This sweater is going to be a mid to it’s a some – it’s not super casual. I can
actually wear this with a layer, I could actually even wear this maybe under a sports jacket,
but it isn’t going to be as formal as a crewneck or a V-neck sweater can be.
[0:10:07] Now, this sweater right here, there’s probably
two key characteristics that you pick up on. First up, we’ve got the half buttons. So,
you notice I’ve got the buttons here. And by the way, buttons are always going to be
a bit more formal than zippers. Sorry, zippers are considered sports, but right here is you
could tell, it doesn’t actually go halfway, still it’s called a half button.
Also, you’ll notice the patterns. Basically, this pattern here makes the sweater much more
casual. It also draws attention up to the chest area. So, if you’re a bigger guy and
you want to draw attention to your chest because let’s say you’re a little bit big in the
midsection, this would be a great sweater that you could pull off.
But, understand that this sweater is casual. Will look great with jeans, works well maybe
with, you know, chin, you know even chinos or type of khaki, but it wouldn’t ever be
something that you would wear with dress slacks or a suit.
Now, I mentioned that zippers are casual, so does that mean that you never buy a half
zip? Of course not. Actually, I’ve got a number of these in my wardrobe, just understand
their limitations. This is going to be a casual style.
You could maybe wear it with sports jacket when you traveling. I know I do, but I’m
never going to wear it with a suit. It is just because of the zipper, never going to
be anything that can go above the sports jacket level.
But, it looks great with this combination right here with dark jeans or if I’m going
to be traveling and I just want something to be able to throw on. So, again, a look
and actually I like the functionality. If it gets cold, you can zip that right up. So,
a good functional piece. Next up, we’ve got the sweater vest. When
it comes down to it, it’s functional, it can be layered, and it’s got a very interesting
history. And, it works for Tressel over at Ohio State. So, if you like it, own it, wear
it, bring it into your wardrobe. Next up, we’ve got the cardigan sweater.
Now, the one key characteristic that separates this sweater from all others is it’s not
a pullover. This one will actually have an opening in the front either using buttons
or a zipper. Two other things you’ll probably see on a lot of cardigans, but it doesn’t
have to be there is going to be pockets right in the front. And, you’ll also oftentimes
see lapel. A lapel is basically where the sweater folds
over like this, very similar to what we see on a jacket. Again, it doesn’t have to have
these, but we’re going to see a wide variety of different cardigans made from different
materials some of them being casual, some of them being lighter weight that actually
could be layered under a jacket. So, speaking of layering, how do you do it
and look good? Guys, I’ve got you covered with this video right here, how to layer like
a boss. Ten rules you need to follow when you’re layering your clothing. So, you want
to take your sweater add it to the other outfits in your wardrobe. I show you exactly how to
do it in this video right here. Go check it out.
[0:12:33] End of audio