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Elbow Patch Sweaters – Five Plus One

Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.


Cold weather season is almost behind us, but there is still time to enjoy all your favorite seasonal clothing. And with winter sales in full swing, now is the perfect time to restock your sweater supply. Today we’re taking a look at elbow patch sweaters, the perfect knitwear for those who are hard on their clothing. They might not appear as refined as other sweaters, but there’s certainly a place for them in most people’s wardrobes.

1) Maillot: Elbow Patch Waffle Sweater in Black

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Maillot’s Elbow Patch Waffle Sweater is about as basic as they come, but, for many people, that’s a good thing. It features a black, waffle-knit wool body with ribbing at the cuffs, neck, and hem; the elbows sport contrasting heather grey patches, and the raglan sleeves really differentiate this sweater from many others on this list. Each piece is made in Japan to ensure high-quality construction.

Available for $150 from Blue Button Shop.

2) Barbour: Storm Waterproof Sweater

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Barbour is known for making hard-wearing clothing, and the attention to detail on this piece really exemplifies why. It’s constructed from a merino wool but features a polyester lining that helps increase water resistance, and the external patches — which appear on both the elbows and shoulders — are made from a polyester/polyurethane blend that is incredibly durable. Ribbing at both the hem and cuffs round out the features, and the quarter-zipped neck will help keep you warm for the rest of this winter.

Available for $299 from Orvis.

3) nonnative: Farmer Sweater W/N Mohair Yarn Charcoal

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Nonnative is known for their unique pieces, so it comes as no great surprise that this season’s Mohair Farmer Sweater was a product of their imagination. Rather than use a contrasting material for the elbow patches, this sweater features a ribbed pattern that is knitted directly into the garment. It’s quite subtle — and I doubt it will add much in the way of durability — but it certainly sets this sweater apart from the rest of the knitwear market.

Available for $279 from Haven Shop.

4) Jamieson’s of Shetland: Shawl Collar Cardigan

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Jamieson’s of Shetland has been producing high quality knit garments out of Scotland for well over a century, and the Shawl Collar Cardigan is just one of their many time-tested styles. It’s constructed with a deep-cut shawl collar that’s surprisingly understated, leather buttons, and suede elbow patches. In regards to the cut, this model is quite slim and short, but if that style speaks to you then it’s an incredibly solid option.

Available for $175 from End Clothing.

5) Omnigod – Shetland Crew Neck Sweater in Beige

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Omnigod’s pieces don’t always seem exceedingly unique, but their attention to detail is phenomenal. Like this Shetland Crew Neck Sweater, for instance. It might appear plain at first glance, but all the different textures really set it apart. It features a ribbed body, non-ribbed raglan sleeves, knit elbow patches, and a second style of ribbing at the hem, cuffs, and collar. It is made from a heavy wool, and comes in an understated beige colorway.

Available for $174 from Unionmade Goods.

Plus One – RRL: Indigo Wool Pullover

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I know I’ll get a lot of flack for this, but RRL produces some of my very favorite pieces of knitwear. It tends to be well constructed, robust, and just interesting enough to keep me coming back. Their Indigo Wool Pullover is a great example — it’s a simple design, almost more reminiscent of a sweatshirt than a sweater, but was indigo dyed this time for all us denimheads. The elbow patches are made of an indigo-dyed twill and are quite large, as they military inspired.

Available for $414 from Ralph Lauren.