Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sweater Options This Fall



You've got options here. The roll neck, however, that holdover from your undergrad days, is not one of them. Vet the last from your closet if you haven't already.


A crewneck is, well, a crewneck, and a pullover with  the classic neckline plays as well over a shirt and tie as it does over a white T-shirt. Just calibrate the material: A cotton crewneck will work with jeans and tees for a laid-back event; a cashmere one can go over a collared shirt to cocktails.


There are regrettable V-neck sweaters- from aggressively preppy cream-colored cable-knits to ones that expose swaths of chest hair. Your collection should contain neither. Keep an arsenal of thin wool and cashmere pullovers with shallow V cuts to wear over collared shirts, with or without ties. Sweaters that have deep V-necks aren't taboo, just wear a fitted T-shirt underneath and take a look in the mirror before you leave the house to make sure you're not doing an inadvertent Burt Reynolds impression.


The turtleneck category isn't as big a minefield as it seems. As long as you avoid bulk-not only in the cut, which should be slim, but in the material, which should be very lightweight and free of thick ribbing and eye-popping colors, you can make the sweater a regular part of the rotation in fall and winter.


Cardigans survived associations with grandpas and grunge to become a modern classic. A slim-fitting black or gray cashmere version can elevate jeans and a white T-shirt to cocktail-hour attire. Unless the look is deliberately fusty- an oversize nubby wool style meant for winter weekends, for example- yours should be snug and made from high-quality material.


If you're buying sweaters woven from top-quality wool and cashmere, you're probably hearing a lot about ply. Ply refers to the number of yarns used in the· knitting-a higher ply means a heavier sweater, not a better quality one. Winter cashmere, for example, tends to be four to six ply, while the summer breed is usually no more than two ply. The bottom line: Look for 100 percent wool, cashmere, or cotton, and choose based on the season and how much layering you plan on doing. Cotton sweaters wear like another shirt layer. Wool adds warmth. Cashmere adds warmth with minimal thickness- and ultimately, it makes for the most versatile sweaters. You're not a snob to prefer


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