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Men's sweaters

Choosing the correct sweater style

If there is such a thing as comfort food (and there is), there is also a category of clothing you can call "comfort clothing." And sweaters are at the top of that list! Everyone has a favorite that they look forward to pulling out of storage and slipping into on that first crisp fall day.

But a lot of people ask, "If I'm going to buy a men's sweater that I want to get a lot of use out of it, which neck shape is the most versatile?"

It can be a puzzle to be sure. Should you get a sweater with a v-neck, crewneck, rollneck, shawl collar, quarter-zip, button mock, mock turtleneck, turtleneck, or the full Bazooka Joe?

The short answer is: it depends.

Fortunately, I've created a useful tool to help you arrive at the answer. Based on my years of experience in the fashion industry, it's comprised of a series of questions that will guide you to exactly the right choice for you and your personal style.

Just answer the following questions. Use complete sentences and a number two pencil. When you're finished, put your pencil down and rest your head on your desk.

Set one: HOW will you wear this new sweater? Over a shirt? Over a tee shirt? Under a sport coat?

Set two: WHERE will you wear this sweater? Outdoors? Indoors? The office? Dave and Buster's?

Set three: WHAT shape is your face? How long is your neck? When was the last time you called your mother?

Final set of questions: WHY isn't there more competition in the cable TV industry? Have Russian hackers got your credit card number? Why do women love HGTV and especially the Property Brothers?

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Cashmere sweaters tend to be a finer gauge knit, so they're considered more "dressy." Some fine gauge cotton and merino sweaters also fit the bill: dressier and great for layering.

At the other end of the spectrum are some chunky knit cotton sweaters, perfect for a fall touch football game, heading out to walk the dog through the colorful leaves, and even for cleaning out the garage. In many respects they're like sweatshirts, but you can wear them out for a burger and no one thinks any the less of you.

There are a lot of online articles outlining which sort of sweater neck line style pairs best with which sort of face shape and neck length. To be honest, most of these reflect the personal taste of the author and have little to no basis in fact. So my advice: if you like it, wear it! (And if your significant other bought it for you, wear it often – even if it's not your favorite. They'll appreciate it and you'll feel better for doing it.)

This season, I'm looking forward to pulling my pullover sweaters out of storage. They're versatile, good-looking and warm. What more do you want from a sweater?

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