Once you get to know the types of men’s sweaters to add to your wardrobe, you’ll be fully equipped for three-season layering — leaving you comfortable and cozy no matter the weather.
No matter the era or the prevailing style in men’s clothing, sweaters have always held a place in the outfits of well-dressed men. They’re a versatile piece of clothing that can be dressed up or down, turned into a sharp outfit with layering or kept simple with jeans and boots.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a close look at a dozen different types of men’s sweaters, and providing styling tips and recommendations for our favorite brands of each sweater style.
Along the way, you’ll discover options for every budget and style — and hopefully find a new favorite layering piece!
But First: A Note On Knits
What makes sweaters so comfortable, anyway? Especially compared to button-downs, the give and flexibility of sweaters makes them a favorite for loungewear.
The trick is in how the fabric is made for sweaters versus other clothing items. All sweaters are made from knit fabric: A single yarn that is looped continuously, giving it strength and movement in every direction.
In contrast, the woven fabrics used in most cotton shirts and pants are made of multiple strands of yarn that meet at right angles. This forms a grain that’s more rigid than flexible.
The trade-off, then, is that the knit fabrics used for sweaters are more comfortable but also more prone to losing their shape if overstretched.
Let’s get right into the different types of men’s sweaters.
Of all the sweater options you could choose from, the V-neck is definitely the most versatile. They look great with everything from jeans to trousers, and can be easily dressed up or dressed down.
You’ll find them in a wide range of materials, colors, and fits. Their prices typically range from exceptionally affordable to staggeringly expensive.
This J. Crew Cashmere V-Neck is a classic example of the style: Soft, comfortable, and just spacious enough to give you a little wiggle room.
Crew Neck Sweater
Partner to the V-neck sweater, crew necks are a more casual take on the pullover style. Just like v-necks, they come in everything from wool to cotton to fleece. Better yet? Crew necks can be found in every color and fit imaginable.
Crew necks are a staple piece for casual wear. We recommend having a few in different fabric weights so they are available for three-season wear.
Uniqlo’s Merino Crew Neck Sweater is crazy affordable for how soft it is, and does a great job of keeping its shape wash after wash. Classic gray is a great choice for pairing with just about any outfit.
For a while, cardigans had a bad rap as being “old man” clothing — and we’re glad to see that sentiment fade. Whether made with a straight collar or a shawl collar, cardigans are a classy alternative to pullover sweaters. Consider them a fantastic standby for holiday parties.
The Pendleton Fisherman’s Cardigan shows off everything that we love about cardigans: It’s made with a heavy knit that feels luxurious from the moment you put it on, comes in a neutral color that works well dressed up or down, and has just a touch of nylon and merino wool for durability and warmth.
Don’t want to mess up your carefully styled hair when you put on a sweater? Get a zip-up.
Full zip styles like the L.L. Bean Organic Cotton Full Zip Sweater are the perfect middle ground between a jacket and a sweater. Plus, they can easily be used as your final layer or a piece of a heavily insulated outfit for the dead of winter.
Adjustable for warmth and fashion, quarter-zip sweaters are a favorite of camping enthusiasts and office workers alike. Whether you’re wearing a
This Bonobos Washable Cotton Cashmere Half-Zip Sweater is definitely on the dressier side of quarter-zip sweaters. It’s also a great example of how the right sweater will let you mix comfort and class.
A favorite article of clothing for Wayne from Letterkenny, the turtleneck is a pullover that completely covers your neck in warm and stretchy knit material (you lose a lot of heat from the neck, after all).
Turtlenecks fell out of fashion after being overused in the 80s. However, just like with everything fashion-related, they’re making a comeback thanks to modern slim fit reinterpretations like this H&M Turtleneck Sweater.
Mock Neck Sweater
Not quite a turtleneck and not quite a crew, mock neck sweaters are great for rocking a dressy/casual hybrid look.
Banana Republic’s Supima Mock-Neck Sweater exemplifies this style, and looks great with dark dressy denim or wool trousers. If the thick neck ribbing of a turtleneck feels too restrictive, try a mock neck instead.
Roll Neck Sweater
The shortest of the “neck” sweaters, roll necks feature just a little bit more collar than a classic crew neck pullover.
The L.L.Bean Organic Cotton Rollneck Crew Sweater really shows off what the style can do, with its heavyweight cotton construction and relaxed fit. This is a great option for casual outings!
Similar to a crew neck but made specifically for athletics and casual outfits, sweatshirts are a popular choice to toss on before heading outside to do some chores, get in a good workout, or just lounge around the house.
The fabric is a loopback French Terry meaning the exterior is smooth while the interior has the long, absorbent threads. Archival Champion details include a raglan sleeve, a left chest pocket that is cut and pressed using a special mold prior to application.
They’re soft, casual, and durable — like the t-shirts of the winter months. Check out the Todd Snyder + Champion Midweight Pocket Sweatshirt for a particularly luxe example of the style.
Rugby shirts are the hybrid offspring of a sweater and a polo
While not considered a sweater in the strict sense, they’re a great midlayer and a sporty alternative a standard wool pullover sweater. They’re also a more durable option compared to more delicate knits.
This L.L. Bean Men’s Signature Quilted Rugby
It’s hard to say exactly when the hoodie became so popular, but Champion has been producing them since the 1930s.
A favorite of athletes and streetwear connoisseurs, they come in both full zip and pullover styles and always feature — you guessed it — a hood. Obviously not a sweater, but sweater-adjacent, for sure…
Flint & Tinder’s 10-Year Hoodie is a lovingly hand-crafted alternative to the mass-produced hoodies you’ll find everywhere these days.
Is it a sweater? Is it a vest? It’s both — and a fantastic layering item for spring and fall.
Brooks Brothers combined classic style with the cold-weather comfort of super-soft, super-cozy merino wool. This easy-care vest is machine washable and features a V-neckline.
Though you can definitely find some dorky sweater vests that are fit only for grandpas living in the 30s, items like the Brooks Brothers Washable Merino Sweater Vest redeem the style for modern-day wear. Best when dressed up, not down.
Closing Thoughts: The Best Ways to Stay Warm and Stylish
Should you have every one of these sweater options in your wardrobe? Not likely. But if you found just one zip-up and one pullover sweater from this list that really caught your eye, you’d be well on your way to staying comfortable and stylish year round.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this article! We hope it’s been a big help in guiding you to your own sense of style.
If you’re looking for other layering pieces, be sure to check out our guide to types of coats for men, as well.