Men’s Fall and Winter Sweater Guide
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With the Fall season in full swing and Winter right around the corner for many of us, many of guys are starting to break out the sweaters, flannels, and fleeces. As you may have noticed, many outdoor companies are starting to play their hand in casual clothing and we have the scoop on some of the hippest casual clothing on the market.
prAna Redford Sweater – $149
The prAna Redford Sweater provides that classic high collar wool sweater look that goes great with a pair of jeans or khakis. I tested out the Khaki Heather color which goes great with a pair of blue jeans. The fit of this sweater is a little snug, so if you are in between sizes, I would size up. I am 6’0 and 175lbs and I tested out a medium. The sweater fit well, but I wouldn’t want it any smaller. I am used to sweaters being a little roomy, so having a sweater that is a little fitted takes a little getting used to.
One of the features that I like about the prAna Redford Sweater is that the fabric is reinforced with an extra layer along the buttons which keeps it from drooping or having a funny look when it’s unbuttoned. This fabric is not itchy either which is a big plus in my book. The big test for me and many other guys is the wife/significant other passing test. I almost always get a compliment from my wife while wearing this sweater. She says I look English when I wear the sweater, so take that as you will. For more information visit prAna.com
Wash Style: Machine Wash Cold
Smartwool Hanging Lake Rollneck Sweater – $120
When I think of mountain living, Smartwool is usually the first brand I think of. While I am sure some of it has a lot to do with their headquarters being located 3 hours from me in the amazing town of Steamboat Springs, most of their products embrace mountain living. Most people know about Smartwool from their amazing socks, but it is definitely worth taking a look at their other technical and casual apparel.
I’ve been carousing around town in the Smartwool Hanging Lake Rollneck Sweater in both casual occasions and casual work occasions. The nice thing about this sweater is it looks dressy enough for a casual work atmosphere, but doesn’t look too dressy for when you want to wear it hanging out with your friends. The Hanging Lake is made of Merino Wool, so it can also work under your ski jacket to wick moisture away from your body. While I appreciate this technical fabric, I try to keep the sweater in good condition and try not to use it during activity. It’s just nice to know that it will perform if you are stuck in a pinch.
I have always like the looks of rollneck sweaters, but in the past I have always roasted in them as they go so high up on your neck. The material is the Smartwool Hanging Lake Rollneck Sweater is a medium weight, so it won’t get you too hot on mild temperature days. The neck in this sweater isn’t super tight around your neck, so you don’t get that itchy wool feel with this sweater. This is also helped out by the Merino Wool Fabric that has a softer feel than standard wool. For sizing, the Smartwool Hanging Lake has a relaxed fit. I tested out a size medium and noticed it has the traditional sweater with a little extra room around the chest and midsection.
Wash Style: Hand Wash Cold
Merrell Manipouri Pullover Sweater – $99
The Merrell Manipouri Pullover is a mix between fleece pullover and sweater. It is made of 65% polyester and 35% wool which provides the look of a wool sweater and the minimal weight of polyester. The Manipouri has a little more flair compared to the other sweaters tested in this article as it has the two front chest pockets. I personally like these pockets as it shows you have a little style. While this style works for me, the older gents reading this might want to stick to the more standard looking styles.
The first thing I noticed when I tried this sweater on was how light it was. It feels as though this sweater weighs about 25% less than the other sweaters I tested in this article. But don’t let the weight fool you, because this pullover/sweater offers plenty of warmth. I find this sweater to be warmer than the Smartwool sweater, but a little less warmer than they prAna sweater. The fit of the Merrell Manipouri is fitted; I wear a size medium and I am 6’0 and 175lbs. If your dimensions are any bigger or find yourself bigger than normal around the chest area, I would size up. As for fabric and itchyness, I found the Manpouri to be the most itchy out of the 3 sweaters tested, but it still wasn’t bad.
Wash Style: Dry Clean Only
Since I often get to handpick the products I get to test, I like to test out products that look like they are going to perform and have some style to them. I have been very happy with all 3 sweaters tested in this review. The prices range from $99-$149 which could sway some people, but compared to other sweaters you would find in a department store, these prices are reasonable.