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Men's sweaters are knit garments that are worn either alone or over a shirt. They are designed to add warmth and insulation. Sweaters can also make statements or be used to pull together an entire look for any occasion. Some of the most common decorative features for men’s sweaters are cables, ribs, or Fair Isle patterns. These designs add visual interest to the garments for both the wearer and for anyone around. You can find incredible accessories, such as a scarf, tie, or gloves to match or highlight the style or color of the sweater.

Popular Types of Men’s Sweaters

Here are just a few of the most common types of men’s sweaters:

  • Cardigan: A cardigan opens all the way down the front. It may use snaps, toggles or buttons as closures. The buttons start at about mid-chest, leaving the upper part open so that the shirt underneath can be seen. They may have pockets integrated into the side panels. This makes cardigans a perfect accessory in and of themselves. They are great for the workplace, a night out on the town, or for wearing at home on a chilly day.
  • Zippered: There are sweaters for men with a half-length or full-length zipper down the front. Zippered sweater come in a variety of colors and are extremely fashionable. They look great in a business casual environment or for date night. They provide both the debonair feel of a men’s sweater while also incorporating the modern element of a zipper.
  • Turtleneck: This style extends up to the wearer's chin. It is usually folded over to provide a double layer of fabric around the neck. Turtlenecks are a true classic. They come in lots of colors and patterns. They are perfect for changing up your workplace attire or for casual wearing.
  • Crew and V-necks: A crew-neck pullover has a ribbed neckline that forms a circular shape for the head opening and is worn close to the neck. A V-neck pullover is shaped like a "V" in the front, and its edges are ribbed with tighter knit stitches to keep warmth in. Cardigans also have a V shape in the front. Crew neck and v-neck sweaters can be worn alone or layered with t-shirts, long sleeved and collared shirts, and turtlenecks. To make sure the correct size is purchased, the V on the neck should not come any lower than your armpit.

What Materials are Men's Sweaters Made Of?

  • Wool and wool blends: Wool is a traditional material for men's cardigans and pullovers. Blue-faced Leicester, merino and lambswool may be used in men's sweaters. Wool is sometimes blended with cotton for warmth and ease of laundering.
  • Cotton and cotton blends: Cotton and cotton blends are often used in men's casual sweaters. Over time, cotton relaxes as its fibers stretch.
  • Cashmere: Cashmere is the fiber of a cashmere goat. It is soft, hypoallergenic and warm. It is available in natural and dyed colors.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is a man-made material that is easy to wash and can be machine-dried. It does not shrink or stretch. Acrylic knit cardigans and pullovers are available in a full range of colors.

How Do You Size Men's Sweaters?

Most manufacturers offer men's cardigans and pullover sweaters in sizes that range from extra-small to 3XL. To make sure you choose the right size:

  • Take the neck, chest and waist measurements in inches.
  • For the sleeve length, measure on the outside of the arm from the top of the shoulder to the end of the wrist.

If the sweater is knit, you’ll need to take the measurements while wearing a garment that will be worn under the sweater. Here are some tips to help you recognize whether the sweater fits you properly:

  • The armholes should not be so high that they’re cutting into your armpits or so large and low that the sweater is baggy around the chest.
  • The sweater should be long enough to cover your beltline, but no lower than just below your front pockets.

If the sweater you are looking at online comes with a sizing chart it can be extremely helpful for finding the right size for you. Sweaters are measured around the chest, the waist and hips. A man's extra-small sweater fits a neck size of 13 to 13 1/2 inches, a chest size of 33 to 34 inches, a waist size of 27 to 28 inches, and a sleeve length of 31 1/2 to 32 inches. For each 1/2 inch increase in neck size or arm length, or 2-inch increase in chest or waist size, go up one size. If you are between sizes, choose the larger size.

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