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9 Sweater Styles to Know: From Aran to Zip

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Photo via The Rake

When it comes to winter layering, the sweater is king. With the cold well and truly set in across much of the world, it’s time to stop tinkering in t-shirts and start rolling with the roll necks.

Knitted for cold weather comfort, the sweater—like many other staples—comes in many forms. So, with the season in mind, we’re dishing out a rundown of the key types of sweater styles along with a selection of makers for each style.

Crewneck

 

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Howlin'-Birth-of-the-Cool-Crew-Knit,-available-for-$175-from-End.

Howlin’ Birth of the Cool Crew Knit, available for $175 from End.

As classic as they come, the crewneck sweater has a crew neckline that makes it highly versatile. Typically, crewneck sweaters have ribbing at the hem and cuffs. Due to the simple construction of the crewneck, these sweaters are easily produced in a wide variety of knits from smooth Merino wool to fuzzy Mohair renditions.

Other notable makers include:

  • S.N.S. Herning 
  • Howlin’ by Morrison
  • Harley of Scotland
  • Country of Origin
  • Universal Works

V-Neck

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Joe-McCoy-Cotton-Knit-Vest,-available-for-£175-($224USD)-from-Superdenim.

Joe McCoy Cotton Knit Vest, available for £175 (~$225USD) from Superdenim.

V-neck sweaters feature a lower, v-shaped neckline. Like the crewneck, V-neck sweaters usually feature ribbing and at the hem and cuffs, however, they can also come in sleeveless sweater-vest form. For a strong ivy league look, you can pair a v-neck sweater with an oxford shirt and some slacks.

Other notable makers include:

  • Sunspel
  • John Smedley
  • Haversack
  • Studio Nicholson

Zip Sweater

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-S.N.S.-Herning-Naval-Full-Zip,-available-for-$300-via-BlackBlue.

S.N.S. Herning Naval Full Zip, available for $300 via BlackBlue.

Zip sweaters come in many forms, each with their own level of versatility. Quarter-zip sweaters feature a zipped closure which can be unzipped and folded down to form a collar, or zipped up to create a high tube neck. Full zip sweaters can be zipped up tight or worn open as a light outer-layer and feature a ribbed or pointed collar. The list goes on. Zip sweaters are more likely to feature added pockets and brands can get creative with different zip pulls for extra detail.

Other notable makers include:

  • Devold
  • Country of Origin
  • Sunspel
  • Loro Piana

Fair Isle Sweater

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Jamieson's-of-Shetland-Fair-Isle-Crew,-available-for-$159-from-End.

Jamieson’s of Shetland Fair Isle Crew, available for $159 from End.

Originating in Fair Isle,  a small island in the north of Scotland, Fair Isle knitting features unique patterns that repeat in sequence. Although traditional Fair Isle knitting uses specific needles and techniques, the term has been generalized and applied to sweaters with multi-colored knitted patterns that resemble traditional Fair Isle pieces. However, many brands still honor tradition by having their Fair Isle sweaters hand knitted in Scotland using traditional methods. Often bright and bold, Fair Isle sweaters are synonymous with the festive season.

Other notable makers include:

  • Norse Projects
  • Howlin’ by Morisson
  • Fjällräven

Cardigan

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Needles-Mohair-Diamond-Cardigan,-available-for-£315-($402USD)-from-18montrose.

Needles Mohair Diamond Cardigan, available for £315 ($402USD) from 18montrose.

Cardigans are collarless knitted sweaters that have an open front. Typically, the open front has buttons for opening and closing the cardigan which often leads up to a v-neckline finish. As versatile layering pieces, cardigans are made in many different knits and can also feature pockets, often at the hip.

Other notable makers include:

  • Beams Plus
  • Norse Projects
  • Studio Nicholson

Shawl Cardigan

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Inverallan-6A-Shawl-Cardigan,-available-from-End-for-$295

Inverallan 6A Shawl Cardigan, available from End for $295

Shawl cardigans are similar in construction to conventional cardigans, but they feature a rolled neckline that forms a folded, round collar, hence the name. In addition, shawl neck cardigans often feature a chunkier knit that makes for a more substantial garment that can be worn as an outer layer. Shawl necks can also be applied to pullover sweaters.

Other notable makers include:

  • Chamula
  • S.N.S. Herning 
  • RRL

Fisherman

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Chamula-Fisherman-Pullover,-available-for-$275-from-Chamula.

Chamula Fisherman Pullover, available for $275 from Chamula.

Traditionally known as Aran sweaters due to their creation on the Aran Islands of the west coast of Ireland, Fisherman Sweaters utilize a mix of highly textured knitted patterns such as a cable knit to create a chunky, rugged sweater. Originally, these highly textured knits were made from unscoured wool that still contained natural oils, adding a measure of water resistance to the garment. These days, the term ‘fisherman’ is applied to sweaters with thick, highly textured knitting patterns.

Other notable makers include:

  • S.N.S Herning 
  • Thom Browne 
  • Inverallan

Turtleneck

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-A.P.C.-Marcelino-Roll-Neck,-available-from-End-Clothing-for-$229.

A.P.C. Marcelino Roll Neck, available from End Clothing for $229.

Also known as a polo neck or roll neck, a turtleneck sweater features a high, close-fitting collar that folds over and covers the neck. They’re not for everyone, but turtlenecks are super warm and eliminate the need for a scarf in cold, windy weather. Made popular in the late fifties, the turtleneck sweater became a beatnik essential and was famously donned by Steve McQueen in the 1970 movie, Bullitt.

Other notable makers include:

  • Howlin’ by Morrison
  • Universal Works
  • Jamieson’s of Shetland

Twin Set

Sweater-Styles-to-Know-Ts(s)-Twin-Set,-available-for ¥42,120-($371USD)-from-Digital-Mountain.

ts(s) Twin Set, available for ¥42,120 (~$371USD) from Digital Mountain.

More prominent in womenswear, a twin set is a matching set of a cardigan and a sweater. Also known as a sweater set, twin sets first appeared in the 1940s. Though few produce twin sets specifically, many sweater producers will make cardigans and pullover sweaters in matching fabrics.

Other notable makers include:

  • Howlin’ by Morrison
  • Country of Origin