Your guide to comparing and choosing 2012's latest men's knitwear styles
Men’s knitwear is hard to get wrong, and that’s the reason you won’t see a designer fashion collection without it. Whether it's a chunky, cozy cable knit cardigan in winter or a light cashmere sweater as a cover up on summer nights, no season is complete without a peppering of knitwear.
We know the thought of searching through hundreds of the latest items of knitwear online is like asking you to miss Monday night football so we’ve made it a simple and quick task. Just browse our online fashion notes and determine exactly the type of men’s knitwear you’re looking for then head over to our shopping and comparison pages, click and buy. Simple!
Men's knitwear: 2012's hottest styles
Cardigans Cardigans were named after the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Brudenell in the 19th century. Two centuries later in 2012 men’s cardigans are a staple and versatile item of clothing perfect for layering during unpredictable weather. They’re easy to throw over anything and can be worn open or buttoned up, on their own or under a blazer for a more formal look.
Fleeces Great for outdoor adventures, men’s fleece jackets keep you warm like a thick, wool coat but are much lighter in weight thanks to the strong but light fabric. A great alternative to cashmere or wool if you’re on a budget and looking for warm but cheap men’s knitwear.
Sweaters In contrast to the cardigan, which buttons up the front, a sweater will be pulled over the head. It can be thick or thin and worn with a blazer on top or simply on its own. Men’s sweaters come in a variety of fabrics and necklines and can be worn with shorts for summer and thicker pants or jeans for winter.
Hoodies Hoodies are a casual alternative to more formal knitwear such as cardigans and sweaters. Hoodies feature a hood and often a big pocket. Traditionally associated with college wear and hip-hop culture the humble hoodie is now a 2012 must-have in most people’s wardrobes. It’s warm, easy to pull on and comfortable.
Sweatshirts A sweatshirt is similar to the hoodie but doesn’t have a hood. Sweatshirts are often cotton-based and are worn by pulling over the head. Similarly to the hoodie, a sweatshirt is a staple item of casual wear and is comfortable and easy to wear.
Cable knit Cable knit clothes are thick and warm and available in a range of styles from cardigans to sweaters. This is a great option for winter time since the added bulk provides significant warmth against those winter chills.
Fabrics for your new knitwear
Cashmere The crème de la crème of the knitwear world. Pure men’s cashmere knitwear is an investment buy and can burn a rather sizeable hole in your wallet – especially if it’s designer knitwear. Lightweight but extremely warm, cashmere will keep you toasty without any bulk and should be on every man’s wish list.
Fleece A soft, insulating synthetic fabric that mimics the properties of wool, but at a much lower cost. Great for cheap men’s knitwear.
Wool Thhis is the most common fabric for men’s knitwear. Wool is cheaper than cashmere, easier to find and great at retaining heat. Wool does, however, require some care when washing and handling because it can be easily damaged, especially when wet.
Cotton A lighter and cooler alternative to cashmere or wool. Cotton should be your first choice if you’re looking for a cover up during warmer months. Cotton is also a good option if you’re on a budget – the perfect fabric for cheap men’s knitwear.
Chenille Chenille fabric is named after the French word for ‘caterpillar’ thanks to the fabric’s fuzzy texture. Keep in mind that almost all knitwear for men made from chenille will require dry cleaning.
Synthetics A great, cheap alternative to wool or cashmere. Acrylic or polyester often appear similar to their more expensive counterparts and require less care when washing and handling. Synthetic men’s knitwear will be lower in quality and this is a factor to keep in mind if you’re looking for an investment buy.
Colors and your complexion
Your complexion, hair color and eye color are key factors in determining which knitwear colors you should choose. Since knitwear is worn in such close proximity to the face it is especially important to get the color just right.
As a general rule, warmer skintones should stick to warmer colors (reds, yellows, dark brown, orange) and cooler skintones should opt for cooler colors (pinks, blues, purples, greens).
In more detail, men whose hair color is in high contrast to their skin (for example: pale skin and black hair) should try to mimic this difference in their clothing. Like charcoal grey knitwear layered over and icy blue tee and slim fitting jeans or chinos.
Men with a more muted or low contrast appearance (for example, red heads or men with little hair) should veer towards earthy tones and dark colors since strong contrasts can be overpowering.
Tips for styling your men's knitwear
Layer up. Knitwear’s one purpose in life (well, maybe) is to be layered. Try wearing over tees and skinny ties. Or under blazers, leather jackets and coats.
Layer patterned or color knitwear over a blazer that picks up the tonal accents in the knitwear.
Pair light knitwear with dark bottoms, unless you want to look like you’re wearing a desert suit.
Be careful wearing a coat and knitwear. Bulky layers will add inches to your frame and cancel out the sleek look knitwear provides.
Elbow patches have been revived for 2012 – embrace it, fellas!
Always layer knitwear over thin layers. Bunched-up sleeves under knitwear is never a good look.
Don’t be afraid to buy knitwear with focal points such as zippers, thick collars, hoods, and buttons.
If you’re heavy-set avoid overly chunky or bulky knits because this will just add to your silhouette. Looking to bulk up your silhouette? Chunky knits are perfect for you!
Caring for your new knitwear
Prolong the life of your new knitwear by following these pointers:
Always follow the washing instructions on the clothes label or just ask mom (she always knows).
Fold knitwear carefully or hang on a sturdy hanger to prolong its life. For extra protection store your knitwear in storage bags.
Spot clean any small areas of dirt or stains and avoid washing too regularly.
Make sure any mothballs you use are kept from touching the fabric because this could cause discoloration.
Do not leave any wool garments in damp conditions because it's likely to attract mildew.
To prolong the life of your men’s knitwear avoid using aftershave.
Try to keep your knitwear away from items that could damage the fabric, such as rings or wallets.
Never pull or wring out a wool or cashmere sweater since t loses a quarter of its strength when wet.
Take a look at our handy guide and compare sizes before you commit to buying your new men's knitwear to ensure you get the perfect size and the most out of your new purchase:
Delivery and returns
It is always best to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying men’s knitwear. Some websites offer free returns and exchanges while others make it a hassel having you pay for the shipping and handling for the return and the new item if you exchange.