Guide to Men’s Sweater Knits and Prints A good sweater is more effective than mistletoe

Man wearing a sweater with a print

Sweaters serve two main functions:

1. They keep you warm.

2. They incite pheromones.

Seriously, though. There’s an effortless, artful sexy that comes with knit garments, which makes you the perfect candidate for cuddling up with.

More effective than mistletoe, here are six sweater knits and prints you should try this winter.

Sweater Knit: Cable

sweater knits and prints guide cable knit

Kinnaird Guest House

The cable knit sweater is a maritime and prep-style classic. The thick stitching resembles a two-ply cable or a fisherman’s basket. Originally developed for fishermen, the heavy knit was meant to keep boaters warm and dry on rocky waters.

sweater knits and prints guide cable knit

Paul Smith

Now the sweater is a sophisticated staple. There’s something very attractive about the ornate stitching and its allusions to navigating an unpredictable sea.

Sweater Pattern: Color Block

sweater knits and prints guide color block print

Paul Smith

This minimalistic, high contrast look serves a statement in aesthetics. It’s bold, simple, modern, and artsy in a low-key way. Think: underground techno bar.

sweater knits and prints guide color block print

Myntra

Fashion color blocking was influenced by the works of modernist painter Piet Mondrian, so this look literally originates from art.

sweater knits and prints guide color block print j crew

J Crew

Sweater Pattern: Argyle

sweater knits and prints guide argyle print

Tommy Hilfiger

Argyle pattern consists of variously colored diamonds that are layered to create a sense of dimensionality. And it’s a time-honored pattern in formal and semi-formal menswear.

sweater knits and prints guide argyle print

Tommy Hilfiger

Scottish clans in the 1600s created argyle for kilts and plaids. Then in the 1920s, the Duke of Scotland started wearing argyle while golfing, on jerseys and long socks with plus-fours trousers. Thus argyle as fashion was born.

Sweater Knit: Fair Isle

sweater knits and prints guide fair isle knit

Joseph

Fair Isle simply means knitting with multiple colors to create patterns. The traditional Fair Isle knit has a limited palette of five colors with no more than two colors per row.

Sweater knits and prints guide fair isle knit

Lookastic

The Prince of Wales popularized this pattern in the ’20s by wearing Fair Isle sweaters in public. So even with modern renditions of the knit, you’ll still look quite princely.

Sweater Knit: Ribbed

sweater knits and prints guide ribbed knit

Uniqlo

Ribbing is a stitch pattern of ridged vertical stripes. It’s similar to pinstripes, but instead of alternating colors, ribbing consists of alternating textures.

sweater knits and prints guide ribbed knit

Paul Smith

The ribbed sweater is a refined look because it is simple, body-slimming, and subtly detailed. It’s perfect for academic and poetic settings.

sweater knit and print guide ribbed print

Urban Outfitters

Sweater Knit: Jacquard

sweater prints and knits guide jacquard print

Lacoste

Jacquard fabric has a raised pattern that’s woven into the cloth, instead of printed on.

sweater knits and prints guide jacquard print

Southern Tide

Popular jacquard designs are damasks, florals, and geometrics, but today, “jacquard” describes almost any knit fabric with a raised, stitched-in pattern.

Read next: The Essentials of Men’s Pants

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