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Brrrr It’s Still Cold Outside! A Guide to Looking Smart in Knitwear

Although the temperatures have improved some in the last month, and the spring and summer collections are being rolled out, there’s no denying that Old Man Winter isn’t ready yet to let up his grip and allow us to enjoy them. While you might not need a tweed jacket when heading outside on most days, you still do need something to help protect your skin from the cold. That’s where sturdy knitwear comes in handy. They may not be as thick as men’s tweed jackets, but they do offer plenty of warmth and are the perfect layering piece to wear with your professional wardrobe during these awkward transitional weather.

Your Guide to Wearing Knitwear

Knitwear can be worn in both professional and casual settings and as part of a layered look or by itself. Before you throw one on, however, it’s important to consider a few things.

  • Colour- When introducing knitwear to your professional wardrobe, you have to think about colour. Don’t automatically disregard bright, bold hues. When layered under your men’s suits, they can inject life into the timeless neutral look without becoming too overpowering. If you want to make knitwear a regular and integral part of your personal look all year round, however, choose richer and deeper shades of colour. Mustard, bottle green, and burgundy are refined and can make your professional ensembles pop.


  • Shirt and Tie- One of the best types of knitwear to pair with a tie and dress shirt is the v-neck. V-necks not only provide the illusion of a longer neck and leaner appearance, but they allow more breathing room for your tie. This means you can show it, and the dress shirt you’ve chosen, off even if you cover the v-neck with men’s suits or a men’s tweed jacket.


  • Maintaining Lines- Adding a flash of colour beneath your men’s suit jacket with a handsome cardigan can brighten up your entire look, but it can also destroy the slim, clean lines your suits create. To fix this, simply button the cardigan and tuck it into your trousers with your dress shirt.


  • Chunky Knitwear- Chunky knitwear is a casual staple, and perfect for those late night walks or dinner with friends in the city. The majority of the time, however, they are not going to work for formal business settings. If your dress code is business casual, though, you may be able to smartly incorporate this knitwear into your work wardrobe. In order to do this, however, keep the knitwear plain, classic and simple. Black and navy are generally your best colours choices.


  • Texture- When it comes to knitwear, especially roll necks, texture is the easiest way to identify whether a shirt can be worn for casual or formal purposes. As stated above, chunky or heavy knitwear typically means the shirt is casual. For a more formal look, consider a fine-gauge texture in merino wool. This type of knitwear will not only offer a smarter, more professional look, but can easily be paired with a suit and tie.


  • Polo Shirts- While polo shirts may not provide the same kind of formal look that a dress shirt can by itself, this knitwear can still be layered with a suit and tie easily for a smart and somewhat formal appearance. However, if you choose to layer this way, wear it with an unstructured or soft shouldered suit. Men’s suits with powerful silhouettes and strong shoulders will overwhelm the look of the knit.


We may be approaching spring, but it’s still chilly outside. Keep warm with the right knitwear.

By Brook Taverner 24 March 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments