WoolOvers Unisex Fisherman’s Crew – $36.00 (+ int. shipping)
UPDATE: Try the code new2wl for 5% off and more importantly, free international shipping. big thanks to Brandon and Charles in the comments.
You might think this is an odd time to review a chunky wool sweater… and you’d be right. Aside from brisk summer evenings and overzealously air-conditioned offices, summer doesn’t provide much sweater-wearing opportunity for most guys.
Still, a sweater like this one from WoolOvers might persuade you to ignore your thermostat and embrace your inner North Atlantic fisherman… or at least stock your closet in preparation for cool autumn days ahead.
WoolOvers is a relatively unknown British brand that specializes in inexpensive, classically-styled wool sweaters. WoolOvers’ website features an unfortunate pastel color scheme, dated design, and occasional reference to the evils of “draughty houses.” These features don’t inspire a lot of confidence in style-conscious shoppers accustomed to sleek, contemporary retailer websites. Underneath its octogenarian-oriented surface, however, WoolOvers is quietly selling what may be the best value, most stylish, real-workwear-inspired wool sweaters available online.
Not a wannabe. The real deal. All wool, substantial, a little rough.
Intrigued by positive reviews and surprisingly reasonable prices, I ordered two of WoolOvers’ fisherman’s crewneck sweaters – one in oatmeal and one in French navy. When I received the sweaters and pulled them from their packaging, I first noticed their heft: These are not the flimsy, “nautical- themed” sweaters offered by many mainstream retailers. These are the real deal. They are heavy, substantial, and a bit rough around the edges. WoolOvers’ fisherman’s sweater doesn’t shy away from its origins as a working man’s armor against the persistent cold and damp of life on the sea.
The material is 100% British wool. The fit is true to size and cut somewhat generously, which is well- suited to the utilitarian style of the sweater. Those concerned about fit can double-check WoolOvers’ garment measurements against their favorite casual sweater; Those who strongly prefer a very fitted sweater should consider sizing down. I usually wear a “tailored-fit” or “slim fit” size small/36R, however, and I’m happy with the slightly relaxed fit of the size small sweaters I bought.
L-R: J. Crew Factory Lambswool, WoolOvers, Lands’ End Cotton.
The heft of the WoolOvers is noticeable.
There are a few caveats worth noting about WoolOvers:
First, WoolOvers’ pricing presents shoppers with something of a moving target. When I purchased my sweaters, the “regular price” was $43 each or $40 for two or more. WoolOvers also subtracted the European value added tax (VAT) from my bill, bringing the price of each sweater to $36. The current promotional pricing is $36 for one sweater or $72.00 for two. Although these inconsistencies don’t ultimately undermine the value of the sweater, some will understandably find their WoolOvers shopping experience frustrating or confusing.
Second, the sweaters ship from the UK. Shipping is neither free nor cheap (I paid $13), and WoolOvers’ returns policy leaves you on the hook for international return shipping charges. And that’s not cheap either.
WoolOvers certainly has its work cut out for it if it ever intends to take on the big boys of modern menswear. Its website, pricing scheme, and shipping policies could certainly benefit from revision. For now, though, I’m happy to let these quirks slide as long as WoolOvers continues producing such high quality sweaters for such reasonable prices. This may not be the ideal time of year to layer up in wool knitwear, but unbeatable value is always in season.
About the author: Ben R. is one of Dappered’s moderators as well as an active member of Dappered Threads. When not practicing law he’s usually outdoors hiking or skiing. He’ll also tell anyone who listens about an incredible place called “Montana.”