3 simple steps to finding the perfect sweater

07 January 2016
3 simple steps to finding the perfect sweater

So you’ve made it through the spring and summer looking pretty sharp, but now the weather has taken a turn for the worse and you’re faced with the conundrum of remaining comfortable in the colder weather while still dressing to impress.

It’s probably easier to dress well in the summer as you can get away with wearing less, however bring on the winter and we’re confronted by the possibilities of added layers in the form of undershirts, sweaters and coats, not to add the potential addition of accessories such as hats, gloves and scarves. So how exactly are you meant to now incorporate these added garments and still look good? To lighten your load we’ve tackled one of these winter saviours in this blog, read on to find out how to look good while staying warm for the remainder of the winter.

Sweaters are a great addition to your attire during the winter months as they not only keep you warm but also add an extra dimension to your look. We’ve broken down what to look for when finding a sweater for the winter.


Sweaters are available in a number of fabrics and as with any garment that you opt for, is dependent on a number of factors. The most popular fabrics you’ll be likely to come across are wool, cashmere, cotton and blended fabrics (such as polyester and cotton).

You’ll find wool and cashmere sweaters are arguably the fabrics of choice when it comes to the delivering on the likes of comfort, quality and style, meaning you really don’t need to compromise in this regard. They are however at the top end of the pricing range as you are paying to experience the soft touch and assured heat retention they provide.

Cotton is a great choice if you’re looking for something more affordable. Most cotton sweaters strike a good balance between providing quality and reasonable price tag. The downside however is that cotton doesn’t have quite the same heat retention qualities as the aforementioned fabrics, meaning an undershirt may be required for those really susceptible to the cold. It does however make a good choice for an ‘all day’ sweater where you might find yourself sat indoors in warmer conditions.

Blended fabrics are once more a solid option for looking to spend a little less. Many people are now opting for these but much like cotton sweaters heat retention is once more an issue. However if accompanied with a coat, it should suffice in keeping you warm. Another problem is that some blends can lose their shape after a few washes, meaning you’ll be left with a poorly fitted sweater, something you’ll vehemently want to avoid as it will ruin your entire look.


There are a number of different styles to choose from when it comes to sweaters, however if you want to maintain a smart look then there a few styles we’d consider you opt for.

V necks are probably the most versatile of sweater in terms of the occasions you can wear them for along with what you can wear with them. The neck line makes them a perfect accompaniment for a shirt to be worn underneath. The revealing nature also means that a tie goes well as it allows it to be seen clearly and maintaining its significance. While we recommend wearing a v neck with a shirt, you can just as easily pull of a slightly more casual look with a standard t shirt underneath.

Crew neck sweaters are probably the most widely available however they reveal the least in terms of what you wear underneath. Therefore if it is a must you wear a tie then we’d recommend you steer clear of wearing a crew neck sweater and instead go for a v neck. On the other hand if the main purpose is to stay warm and you don’t have any strict restriction on your smart attire then a crew neck will surely not disappoint.

A sweater vest is a good alternative for those periods during the changing of seasons where a full sweater feels a little too much to wear for the entire course of a day. Many sweater vest also come with a v neck line however probably aren’t as versatile in terms of what you can wear underneath given your whole sleeve is on show.


The colour of your sweater should be determined by 2 things:

  • The colour of your suit, shirt and tie
  • And the time of the year.

Regardless of what you wear, your sweater should compliment your main pieces of clothing just like any other garment. Darker shades work well with most common suit colours such as blacks, navies and greys. Additionally you can look to wear a darker shade of sweater to the colour of your tie, this will help bring you’re look together while still allowing your tie to stand out. Finally take into consideration the time of year and your surroundings. If you’re wearing a sweater for the autumn/winter then you can’t go wrong with blues and maroons, while greens and yellows are a great shout when the months are approaching spring.

Remember if you’re wearing your sweater with a tailor made suit then make sure the fit of the sweater is just as good as the suit and it compliments it. There’s no point in paying for a well crafted suit if it is just going to be let down by a poorly fitted and ill matched sweater.

Abbas Mahmood
Abbas Mahmood
As a lifelong purveyor of fashion, Abbas has been writing for Hemingway Tailors for 2 years, keeping readers up to date with style trends and delivering a regular insight into the world of tailoring.
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