There is an outfit I regularly recommend to consultancy clients who have office jobs – professional people – where suits have fallen by the wayside.
It comprises a pair of tailored trousers (perhaps flannel), some beautiful but casual shoes (like a loafer) and a smart piece of knitwear. Over time, I’ve learnt that it’s the last element they struggle with.
We’re used to thinking about what makes a smart shirt – more likely white than denim, cutaway rather than button down – but rarely consider the same about a jumper. Largely, I think, because this type of ‘smart-casual’ has not been that relevant to most people. Today though, it increasingly is.
In this article I’m going to briefly run through what makes knitwear smarter or not, in order to plug this gap. Many of the principles will be familiar to regular readers, and the distinctions are quite intuitive, but not everyone is an expert and I think it will be a useful facet in our ongoing Guide to Knitwear series.
The important element to discuss first is the fineness of the knitwear.
This is not necessarily the biggest factor in making one jumper smarter than another (that’s colour) but it is up there, and it’s probably the least understood.
Some knitwear is made of wool that feels thinner and smoother. Pick up a John Smedley knit or a PS Dartmoor, and it’s immediately clear that this is a different type of material to a regular pullover.
The reason it’s different is a combination of fibre (fine wool), ply (thin yarn) and gauge (how closely the yarn is knitted). If you want to learn more about those, you can in our more technical article here.
For the purposes of this article, it doesn’t matter why it feels like this, only to see that it does. Note the attributes of the material: both its thinness and its smoothness.
This is often referred to as fine-gauge knitwear, and is considerably smarter than other sweaters.
It is a fitting partner to a sharp worsted trouser, or an elegant bespoke shoe. Wear your regular weekend pullover with those clothes, and it’s likely to look like you just dug something out of a drawer to keep warm.
It’s obvious and intuitive when you start to think about it. Smart suits are finer, smoother and usually thinner than casual tailoring – like tweed or corduroy. Smart shirts are as well.
As a sweater gets thicker and hairier, it gets more casual too. Your regular knitwear is probably two ply and a thicker gauge. Shetland sweaters, with their coarser wool, are more rugged still.
Even a fine-gauge knit in cashmere and silk, rather than merino, is a little hairier and doesn’t drape as cleanly. Cotton too.
This doesn’t mean you can only wear fine-gauge with smart clothing. It’s just the first factor to consider, in the same way you know flannels are more casual than worsteds, and derbies than oxfords.
The other factors with knitwear are simpler. They’re also still similar to tailoring.
Suits are smarter when they are dark in colour, understated in pattern, and subtle in style.
In the same way, a navy or grey sweater is smarter than green or burgundy. A dark grey is smarter than a light grey. Strong, bright colours aren’t really smart at all.
You don’t get much pattern with knitwear, so it should be obvious than a Fair Isle pattern isn’t as smart as a plain one. I can see an argument that a cable-knit, in cashmere, is particularly luxurious and just as smart as a plain. But I think that’s driven by associations (thank Ralph) and quite subjective.
I’ve always felt that a crewneck is smarter than a V-neck, because the chest is closed and so appears neater. But that’s a minor, personal point: these two common styles of knitwear are pretty similar when it comes to formality.
A bigger difference is whether they’re worn with a shirt. A shirt will always appear smarter, and for most guys it’s more flattering as well. (See post on crewnecks on their own here.)
That outfit I recommend to clients usually comes with a collared knit, though. Because it looks more relaxed than anything with a shirt, yet still feels smart and professional.
And all these styles are smarter than a half-zip collar, which was designed to be sporty and always retains that look. You get zips on blousons, not on suits.
Roll necks can be very elegant, but they’re not always great on their own, all day in an office. Shawl collars are more casual, but can work well in smart colours like navy, worn over something else equally smart (a shirt, knit tee or even a crewneck).
There are some little details worth mentioning, even though their impact is not huge.
For example, ribbing on the end of a sleeve that is made to be folded back. This is smarter, in the same way a double shirt cuff is smarter than a single one (the principle being that seams should be hidden). But its effect is tiny compared to whether the material is coarse or fine.
Buttons on a collared knit that are darker, smaller and more precious will be smarter than the opposite: grey mother of pearl is rather than white (assuming it’s not a white or cream knit) and mother of pearl rather than horn, leather or anything else.
Interestingly, though, collared knits that have no buttons usually look quite sporty. Equally if there’s a single button fastening to a loop on the other side.
Finally, try and avoid any kind of logo. A suit doesn’t have one, it interrupts the nice clean look of the knit, and if the brand is the most impressive thing about that particular piece of knitwear, it can’t be a good sign.
I’m sure some of this will seem obvious to long-time readers. But it deserves spelling out just as much as the sliding formality of shoes, of trousers, or of outfits as a whole, all of which we’ve done before.
And given the number of questions I’ve had in the comments about crewnecks v V-necks, or especially half-zips, it must be something a sizeable minority is thinking about.
There’s a reason your colleague in his chinos and half-zip looks more casual Friday than working week, while another gets compliments in his worsted trousers and collared Smedley.
They’re small details – just like the fact the trousers are pressed and the shoes are polished – but then that’s what all menswear, at least smart menswear, is all about.
A wise guide to the ‘new’ rules of professional dressing. Simple in principle, but with intricate details. Somehow trends over recent years seem to have drifted away from two things that continue to please me whenever I wear them. First, the V-neck. The risk is fogeyishness, of course, but I reckon they can look very retro-cool if worn right (eg. Drake’s styling). Time for a wider revival, I hope. In some ways, I think V-necks can be smarter than crews because they mirror the shape of a tailored jacket or cardigan. Second, John Smedley’s merino. The move seems to have been towards thicker or more rugged things like Shetlands, or towards luxury, like cashmere. But there is a lot to be said for a sleek Smedley merino crew neck – especially in early Spring. They are naturally more professional than other types of knitwear. In addition, they can be more ‘nighttime’ too (recalling last Friday’s post, Sex appeal: Between vulnerability and confidence – Permanent Style).
I also think that the more fitted , the smarter it appears-or is that because it fits correctly?
Upon my return to a form of office work(after two years wfh) it quickly became apparent how unsuitable most were for business-usually necks too low or shagginess.
Spot on about colour, navy or a very dark green suits me best.
I was thinking this. I love a slightly baggy loose knit. I’m wearing an old cashmere blend smedley now over my PJs while sipping a coffee. It fits most of the criteria for being ‘smart’ but only due to size it’s not. I would say fit is the controlling narrative for formality.
Dark blue fine gauge long sleeve polo shirt, grey wool trousers and loafers (jacket if needed) always puts a chap towards the top of the food chain and always draws favourable compliments. Plus the added bonus of looking up and down and the colleague in his faded jeans, ugly shoes and branded polo is always a fun treat.
In my opinion, a V-neck often appears smarter than a crewneck because a V-neck (again my opinion) only looks good when worn with a (usually white) shirt underneath and shows more of the shirt.
My default casual option in business (I work in a law firm), when I do not have any meetings that day, is a navy-blue, anthrazit or black merino V-neck with a white shirt, worsted trousers (often grey) and brogues or derby shoes.
That sounds nice Markus, and yes I can see how that would look smarter
A couple of comments on your thoughts on style:
Great to see this guide continuing to expand!
1. Yes I was. I agree, when a cutaway gets too extreme it’s more showy, not as formal.
2. Yes I would. I guess I don’t I ever wear a V-neck with a shirt and tie so didn’t mention it.
Thanks, good points
Simon I find it really interesting that you consider crewneck more formal than V-neck. You’ve mentioned it couple of times across multiple posts. I have exact opposite impression as crewneck being sporty/casual and V-neck being more formal to be worn under jacket or with tie. I wonder if it’s because you are British and there might be some kind of a associations or stereotypes I’m not aware about.
Could other Brits please weigh in how they feel about this particular topic?
I must admit I do like the look of nice clean shirt collar under fine knit crew neck. I own this royal blue crew from Smedley that coupled with blue striped shirt collar creates very striking and crisp neckline. One of my all time favourite combinations.
Yes I’d be interested to hear other people’s views. As I said it is quite personal and I think driven a lot by associations.
Yes, crew neck for me. If find it gives a smart frame to the neck.
I associate v necks with those pulled- out – of – shape vs which fall off the shoulder. A look I associate with school and badly dressed teachers.
V-neck for me. A fine knit navy merino v-neck is the smartest knitwear I own, as it can be worn easier with worsted suit trousers without jacket.
As with all these things, I don’t think the v vs crew makes it smart but the materials and colour. My navy cricket from colhays at the pop up is the opposite and is navy and v neck.
Agreed and cant think why as shirt & tie with crew neck looks crowded but I dont like a tie with v neck either, I’m thinking its a school uniform thing… maybe.
I don’t think there’s much in it, inherently. But I think a V-neck is asking for some sort of neckwear, and what you do about that is the real decider.
If you wear a regular tie that would go with a suit, then the outfit as a whole will be more formal (and in danger of getting out of balance, but not doomed).
If you wear a yellow rhinestone Bolo tie with your V-neck then not so much. In that case, you might say that the V is giving you the opportunity to get informal.
If I could think of neckwear-of-exactly-neutral-formality, I think it would make a V-Neck look about as formal as a crew.
Yes v neck seems much smarter to me and really frames the face.
Growing up, based on what the men around me would wear, I always saw the v-neck as the dedicated option for wearing a shirt – and especially a tie – underneath – and the crew neck not so. I suppose I must have thought the collar points are meant to be exposed. I personally think that a v-neck with a t-shirt underneath looks awful (but am aware others disagree), whereas a crew neck does both very well. With a tie, I’d argue that a crew neck is the slightly more rakish choice (it’s harder to get right), where the v-neck is more safe and conservative.
I think is typical for GB and USA to think of the V neck as something of the past, fogeyness etc. Probably schooluniform memories. In France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain a V neck with a softbcollar shirt has always been the obviuous choice. I remember I never understood the outrage in the Anglosaxon press about how Michael Douglas wore a V neck to a club, in Basic Instinct. Ofcourse, that movie is remembered for other things than that, I know
I’m from Australia, and I’d say that crewnecks largely feel more at home with chinos and v necks with trousers.
My guess is it’s something to do with crew necks being more closely associated with sportswear in their far away past.
Similarly, I’d never wear an office-y silk tie with crew neck, nor a casual tie with a v, but do the other way around regularly.
Might just be me rather than an Australian thing, of course.
I wonder being English if this is a Home Counties relaxed look of a previous generation; I can recall my father wearing a v neck cardigan or sleeveless jumper, casual ( check or tattersall ) shirt, cords & tie, while doing carpentry or gardening. It was smart casual DIY gear.
I’d not wear this doing such tasks but might wear a combination of those for a smarter casual look.
These ‘summary type’ articles with links to others are always useful. They bring key points together and enable readers to refer elsewhere and more importantly build their own ideas.
Something to help decipher the new workwear codes must be useful in helping people to not get too distracted by their clothing and focus on their job.
I’m retired, however I still find this article interesting in as much as there are different levels / types of casual events that require various approaches.
Have a good weekend
Love this knitwear series, very timely. That’s a nice looking blue cardigan you’re wearing. Who makes it please?
Anderson & Sheppard – it’s nice, but very short. See here
Also, what’s the grey crew neck you’re wearing with a white shirt?
That’s from Dalmo – article here
Interesting insights, Simon.
Would you agree that construction also affects the perceived formality of knitwear? All else being equal, I reckon raglans (which I often see on sweatshirts) and low drop sleeves are the least formal and neat set-in shoulders the most, with saddles in between. Indeed, just as a V-neck mirrors the structure of tailoring and might be considered more formal, as Sao points out, so too does the set-in sleeve.
Though at this level of detail, it is all rather subjective. I fully understand why you consider the crew that little bit neater.
Yes I agree. Probably a very small point compared to things like the material and the colour, but that is how I’d put them
I don’t think folded back ribbing on the end of a sleeve makes the knitwear look smarter, quite the opposite. Just like cuffs on the trouser, it interrupts the line and adds bulk so it is visually less smart. Just my modest opinion. Thanks for the continuously excellent writing
I know what you mean. Maybe it just comes from thinking the same with double-cuffed shirts
Jan, I have the same perception. For me it looks more relaxed and sporty. Almost similar to, in formality, like shirt sleeves are folded up during hot weather. But I can see Simon already shared his view on it.
This is a lovely breakdown of the finer more nuanced details of knitwear. On a slightly, different note, what is the Grey Herringbone overcoat in the last picture?
It’s the one I designed with Private White – you can see it on our shop page here
Although I tend to believe that a jacket is nearly always required — and never inappropriate — knitwear clearly seems the most obvious choice for achieving ‘smart casual’.
And your closing line, Simon:
“They’re small details – just like the fact the trousers are pressed and the shoes are polished – but then that’s what all menswear, at least smart menswear, is all about.”
In respect to the factor of jacket i.e.
suit jacket or blazer or sport coat, I understand your presupposition for this contemplation is knitwear WITHOUT suit jacket, blazer, sport coat – correct?
No Peter, I’m attempting to cover both with and without a jacket
Am I right in saying that although you have covered the topic, and also used to sell a related product, we very rarely see you wearing a bandana or cashmere scarf with knitwear. May I ask why ?
Very informative article as ever, by the way.
I do wear a bandana like that fairly often actually. You can see examples here and here
Very interestings points, I agree about the intuitive of the subject. Curiously i find v necks much more formal than crewnecks for two main reasons. first the “shirt shape” of the neck that makes a continuity between shirt and knit and expose the flattering of the shirt neck. And secondly the eye association between crewneck and sports garment (the typically cotton light grey sport crewneck).
Obviously both are very personal appreciations, specially the second.
Mmm buttoned collar knits don’t seem that far off from quarter zips to me. I think it’s their association with polos. I’d just recommend the standard shirt-sweater combo.
I think there’s a gap there, maybe, for guys that just aren’t going to wear a shirt every day. I think a collared knit is much better than a zip, with the collar sticking up personally
I find it belongs to your discussion that various kinds or shapes of sweater or jumper collars are evaluated, but although you mention and consider the formality of shirt collar, you do not make explicit if you include the design of knitted polo shirt collars
such as the Smedley collar you wear photographed above. I’m convinced you don’t make this explicit because you forget here to consider that there are other knitted collar designs as Smedley?
Personally, I think there are more beautiful knitted collar designs in knitwear than Smedley, such as that US knitted shirt brand named something like Holderness & Bourne. I think the shape of collar and number of buttons or no button makes a significant difference in beauty.
Could you do an article on cream trouser fabric? Curious to know how the zegna fabric featured recently compares to Covert, Whipcord, Cavalry twill, Pardessus and the like. I also saw stoffa was doing a cream ‘denim’ too. If not full article material would like any key take aways you have in the comments here?
I haven’t thought about it in detail, but I can do so and plan something TM, yes.
I guess my first thoughts are that the more the colour is an off white, and the less bright it is, the easier it is to wear. These Zegna ones are more of a bone colour, a very pale beige, and the material is not as bright as, for example, a flannel or a wool gabardine would usually be
I have a very particular hate for the daily morning fight to get the sleeves of knitwear to sit properly over shirts, which, funny enough, has had me wear more and more jackets lately when going to the office.
Indeed it’s so frustrating that I have been wondering for years if people know some kind of magic trick they haven’t been telling me.
So I can definitely see the appeal of collared knits, and indeed have tried one. They only seem to work with deep undershirts though, as the collar never quite looks good to me unless very open.
For casual wear instead I often go with polos to prevent this problem (plus I appreciate the fact that you can push up the sleeves if forced to be in a hot environment, like excessive air conditioning), but they never quite look as smart as a shirt.
Regarding v-neck vs crew necks, I find v-necks smarter if, and only if, the shirt is open to match the v-shape accordingly (i.e. one more button), which most people in menswear do anyway. The problem with this is that sometimes the air is just too cold and you will literally feel a gelid breeze flowing down to your chest. But then if you button it, it looks much worse than a crew neck, going closer to v-neck-over-tshirt look.
Actually, there is also a second requisite for the “smart v-neck” imo: the back of the collar must hug the shirt collar, i.e. not leave gaps, not unlike jackets. This is true for crew necks too naturally, but I just don’t ever find this a problem for crew necks, except possibly for very rural styles – if at all, the others might sometimes be too tight on the neck; conversely, I have experienced this gap in a lot of v-necks, even expensive ones. Many are slight, some are mind-boggingly evident (e.g. some Falconeri model I have)
Interesting thoughts Simon. I like the finest polo for summer outfits but I’ve been unsure about the Dartmoor’s versatility (or long sleeved collared knits in general). It’s role seems to overlap with an OCBD shirt and the Friday polo.
Why would you recommend a collar knit over a OCBD shirt for business casual? Is such a shirt really more formal? Or is it mainly down to personal preferences?
Personal preference really. It’s particularly attractive to some people to not wear a shirt, yet still look this smart
Makes sense. So it’s fair to say that the level of formality of an OCBD is comparable to a collared knit?
It’s pretty similar, yes, though there are obviously fairly big style differences. And some people may feel an oxford is more casual because the material is rougher, while others will feel the collared knit is more casual because it doesn’t have a shirt collar
Very interesting article, great to see how the rather intuitive perception of formality of knitwear is broken down to some basic principles. Intuitively I would disagree on the classification of burgundy as a more casual colour though. Maybe you remember these burgundy blazers with brass buttons, surely more of a ’90s thing, but considered quite formal. Probably less than the same blazer in navy, but definitely more formal than in grey. And I would argue the same goes for knitwear: A burgundy crew- or turtleneck can look very formal, while mid-grey knitwear at least I perceive as quite informal. I would say due to associations to the most casual sweatshirts and hoodies, for which mid-grey is like the standard colour.
On a side note I find it an interesting observation how burgundy and red more and more disappear from classical menswear, and maybe their unclear formality has a part in that – but that’s way beyond the scope of this article.
Thanks Lance, I can see the point on mid-grey, and yes it is interesting how burgundy and dark reds have fallen by the way side.
Another interesting facet of formality levels Simon! What would you think of merino (or other fine/thin-yarn) cardigans combined with simple yet formal shirts and chinos/flannels? Should one keep them partially unbuttoned? Or, maybe, buttoned cardigans may indeed belong to a higher level of formality?
I think that can look nice, see example here that I like wearing. But I generally prefer a sleeveless cardigan if it’s a fine-gauge wool, like our Finest Cardigans. A fine long-sleeve one can look a bit too clingy. It needs to be roomy in the sleeve and body really
Thanks Simon for a great article – I really enjoy when you breaking down things in pieces. As a reader you start think and re-evaluate. Personally I find the roll neck in tones of gray, black, beige, white, muted colours in fine merino, baby cashmere, silk, fine cotton is the most formal and elegant. I think this will work fine for night events also – with the right associated clothes… The roll neck has another advance for me, Im not much for wearing scarfs or bandanas, I often find it looks little flimsy, flashy or bulky to a blazer or a suit.
This is not mean to be un-polite to anyone, but Its difficult to look sharp and elegant in a roll neck if you´re not slim and tall – its just tricky to get it right if you are on the short and large side, its something with the proportions/balance and the neckline.
An interesting and (maybe sensitive) topic is mens relation to their body shape and how they choose their clothing and what they choose to wear. Bespoke can often work excellent for hiding and balance things in a positive way. I find this is much harder with knitwear even if you go bespoke.
Thanks for the knitwear insights Simon. I shared them with my wife at dinner and she asked about the influence of color (eyes, skin, hair) on our (men’s) choice of attire. Very common for women but I don’t recall seeing that addressed on behalf of us men. Are we missing something ?
We’ve discussed it a few times Howie – see here for a general piece, and here for something specific to knitwear, where skin colour and hair etc are factors
Dear Simon, thank you for another wonderful article that comes just in time. Because I am just about to fill my smart Knitwear.
However, I evaluate the topic of V-necks the other way around. At work, I more or less automatically reach for my v-necks (with shirt without tie) because I think they seem smarter. Crewneck knitwear I associate with crewneck cotton sweaters, which I wear on weekends or for sports.
Yes it’s interesting. Perhaps I don’t make that association as closely.
Also, I think I also imagine a crewneck under a jacket or coat, and that seems more put-together
I view this as the perfect businesswear for men in environments where tailored jackets aren’t worn. I’d contend that the makers and retailers could help with this, though. The fits often aren’t quite right (too slouchy/baggy, short, both, sleeve length too long, etc). My favourite in this vein is a knitted jacket, and I have a Smedley one that’s great if not perfect, but would have to concede that the style being suggested here is probably better owing to the fact that the lapel on a knitted jacket is never going to hold its shape.
I’ve been thinking more about strong vs. Muted colours recently and the importance with knitwear and trousers. For example, I find that a muted or more washed out shade of trousers (like real mccoys chinos) seems to look much less good with a washed-out navy sweatshirt, and much better with a strong, darker navy on top (eg a merino knit). Is this a “thing”?
I wouldn’t say so Mark, I’d say if anything it’s a question of just different styles. The washed-out navy sweat might look more casual, relaxed, maybe too too much for you. But I wouldn’t say one or the other is necessarily better
Thanks for a very informative article as always Simon.
I was thinking of another aspect when it comes to a jacket vs knits.
Often when I want to dress down a bit I put on a crew neck or quarter zip (or vest) under a jacket but over a shirt vs only having a jacket over a shirt (depending of course also on temperature).
Thanks Tony. I see that look – did you have a question about it?
I see Simon did judge no button, but not 2 vs 3.
Does “collared knit” in the context of this article basically mean a long-sleeved, knitted polo top?
On the subject of ribbing – I tend to think it does look smart turned back, but what doesn’t (IMHO) is a turned back sleeve without it, particularly in a a smart, fine and plain knit. As a tall, slim man, I have the usual issues with RTW fits, but on a cardigan jacket in fine merino, I do not want to have to turn the cuffs back.
New reader here with an off topic question.
Is right now a good time to invest in expensive Chelsea boots?
I understand that Chelsea boots are winter boots. I’ve just arrived to cold+wet climate of the UK from hot+dry climate of the Thar desert and my concern is about having to spend 500 GBP on a pair of shoes which I think I’ll only wear for the next few weeks as we transition from Winter to Summer… and by next winter, they will become outdated. If my concerns are reasonable, it seems wiser to get a cheaper pair for the moment.
The boots I’m looking at: https://www.crockettandjones.com/collections/mens-main-collection/products/chelsea-5-darkbrown-wax-calf .
If yes, I’d like to invite you to critique my choice. In brief, I’m looking for a versatile shoe pair which will go well with jeans and chinos. If no, I understand that your post on Summer shoes (https://www.permanentstyle.com/2020/07/my-summer-shoes.html) will guide me.
Well, first thing I’d say is don’t ever buy a pair of shoes that you think will be ‘outdated’ after a year. That’s wasteful and not in keeping with the aesthetic of this site either.
Chelsea boots can be worn into spring, particularly in the UK, but any boot won’t be great when the weather is very warm. If you want something more year round, I’d suggest a loafer or a derby.
Also, if you want something to wear with jeans, I’d suggest suede rather than that calf. You could also go for a chukka or desert boot, which is a bit easier to wear in warmer weather
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate it.
Quick context and 1 quick follow up question:
I’d like to dress well when out because as a permanently work-from-home person in a super casual team, opportuinities to dress well are infrequent and, thus, I want to enjoy dressing well when I get them. Outings for me is mostly hanging out with friends, pubs, clubs and various events (art, dance, music etc) across London. I understand that darker shades (dark indigo/black jeans, dark coloured trousers etc) are generally more dressy, which is what I’m currently wearing when out. Please correct me if I’m missing something here.
So, does it make more sense to go with calf leather dark colored loafers/derbies than suede dark colored ones in this context… or another completely different style?
Thanks in advance.
I’d go for suede probably, certainly as your first option.
A nice article that made me think of my wardrobe knitwear a lot. Living in Germany and not beeing a great fan of coats the last 2 years i noticed that i use knitwear not more than once every week. At home its too warm for it, at work too so only when i go for drinks with friends i wear something relaxed most of the time. If im going to go formal then ill do it all the way but i completely understand people who wear a lot of formal clothes, they need this category to casualise more than me. By the way could you suggest a jacket for winter that goes well with tailoring but with jeans too ?
Sure George, if you want a jacket that can be worn with jeans you want a soft construction, natural shoulders and a more textured material – see here and here
Interesting article – even if I do fall on the other side of the ‘crew neck is most smart’ debate.
I think one thing that knitwear is really useful at it shifting the pitch of an outfit. A cotton crew neck with wool trousers and loafers feels very different to a merino v.
The only other thing I’d add is that I know you don’t like burgundy, Simon, but for me it’s the most versatile colour for a jumper in the office because it goes particular well with the main office suit colours.
A very useful reference article, thanks.
I have a question about the fit of these fine polo sweaters you mention.
From the images here, you appear to be wearing the navy one in a size down, i.e. to fit slimmer slimmer, whereas the grey and cream appear to be worn on-size or size up, i.e. to fit a bit looser.
Can you comment on this and share any thoughts as to whether there are different occasions where one or the other fit may be preferable?
E.g. the navy one, being dark and smarter and worn with like, sharp jackets in thinner and smoother fabrics, should fit slimmer for a sharper effect; the lighter grey and cream are usually worn with thicker and brighter, more relaxed jackets and should therefore fit looser?
I wouldn’t think about it like that myself, Stephan. I think either a slightly looser or slightly tighter fit is fine, as long as neither are taken the extremes.
The grey knit, being thicker, is always going to look a bit looser. But the difference between the navy and cream is small
Thanks for the clarification, Simon!
I didn’t realise the grey was thicker, thought it was just the lighting that made it look so. Why is it thicker, are they different models?
Oh I’m sorry Stephan, I was looking at the grey crewneck. No, that grey polo is the same as the navy and cream
Ah sorry didn’t realise you meant the crewneck! So you personally favour a slimmer fit in the knit polos?
A little, yes. I also think they’re not quite as close-fitting as that navy appears though.
I’d like to mention that when it comes to eveningwear, single cuffs are actually more formal than a double cuff, given that they are of course starched or fused.
Thank you Tim, good point
Just to be correct on cuffs and evening wear; single cuff is required for white tie only. Double cuff is the correct form for black tie.
To click on this particular article on formality of knitwear, approaching from the home page, is a rectangular photograph of part of a light- to middle-gray fisherman ribbed jumper, but that’s not featured in this article. Where is it, please? Thank you.
It’s my Stoffa ribbed cashmere sweater Peter. Have a search for that and you’ll see the full review article
How would a button half-neck fit into this? That’s a style that I don’t see discussed as much
Still pretty casual I’d say, more so than a collared, crew or V-neck. But I would be much more likely to wear that than a half zip…
This may sound naive.
Is turning the sleeves back at the cuffs on a pullover correct if they are a tad too long?
I had to return a Smedley EASY Fit , Size X-LARGE, long sleeve polo as the sleeves were a tad too long in exchange for a 2XL in a REGULAR Fit where the sleeves were a perfect length.
Can you turn the sleeve cuffs back on a pullover if too long if wearing a jacket over the pullover?
If you’re meant to turn them back, it will be obvious because you will see a seam partly on the outside rather than the inside (as on our Dartmoor).
But if you want to, you can turn any back, just be aware it may then show a seam, and won’t generally look as neat and smart