The Ultimate Sweater: Banana Republic Silk/Cotton/Cashmere -$69.50
In my search for the perfect v neck sweater I’ve stumbled across many different types of material. Cotton, pima cotton, supima cotton, lambswool, merino wool, Italian merino wool, cashmere, etc. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around all these choices. I thought you might be able to recommend one, pros/cons, what to avoid.
Here’s the quick and dirty answer to Michael’s question. It has to be Banana Republic’s mainly silk blend. Bar none it’s the best sweater material I’ve ever come across, and to me it’s not even close.
Most men think of two types of material when they think of sweaters. Spongy, bulky, 100% cotton, or itchy and rough lambswool. Both can be the makeup for nice enough sweaters (see this option for all cotton, and this one for Lambswool) but when it comes to versatility, how it feels, and how it lays, it’s BR’s 75% silk, 20% cotton, and 5% cashmere that’s the magic formula.
These don’t feel anything like those cheesy silk shirts, or worse yet, those boxer shorts that made the rounds in the 90s. They’re smooth but not slippery. The knit is super fine, they lay extremely well, and the complete lack of bulk makes them incredibly easy to wear over a button up and under a blazer. Just because they aren’t thick doesn’t mean they aren’t strong. I’ve had a sweater vest from BR made of this material for 3 or 4 years and it looks and feels like new.
The material aside, some will take issue with the depth of the V on these sweaters. It’s pretty deep. But the reasonably trim body (which could be slimmed down a touch more) and the material more than make up for it. What’s difficult to overcome is the price. $70 is a lot. But again, this is a GAP Inc brand, so they’ll go on sale.
Back to the fabric. After these it’s a bit of a cluster for what works best when. Merino wool is certainly versatile, and a slim pima cotton is a great summer option. So to explain the rest as well as set some guidelines for what’s best at what time of year, see the 8-bit Nintento ICE HOCKEY inspired thickness & fabric matrix below:
No, I’m not expecting all of you or even any of you to get the Nintendo Ice Hockey reference. And y’know? That’s more than okay. The graphi/matrix still stands.