About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.
With all of us spending more time at home week-after-week, for both viral and climate reasons, the timeless house sweater (thicker, cardigan, often a shawl collar) is becoming an ever-more-used piece of your wardrobe. Just look at the WIWTWFH series that ran earlier this year. Lots of house sweaters. Lots.
A proper house sweater should offer cozy-comfort, durable and long-lasting quality fabric, and a timeless look. These are not sweaters you swap out each season for a new one. Buy right, and you should have year-after-year style and comfort. The Spier & Mackay chunky shawl cardigan sweater certainly looks the part – it’s an absolute stunner. But, at a HEALTHY $188 price point, is it worth it?
The name doesn’t lie: this bad boy is made of thick, butter-soft Australian merino wool. The super-soft merino wool drapes naturally over the the shoulder and creates a strong, masculine silhouette… so you get comfort but not bulbous and billowing. Despite how comfortable the fabric is, it doesn’t sacrifice in durability. No snags, loose threads, or gaping holes in the knit are present. The knit is tight, yet breathable and fluid. This sweater is, frankly, a masterclass in knit craftsmanship.
Size medium on 5’7″/175
One common characteristic among superior house sweaters is a visually captivating knitted pattern. Cable knit is the most common, but a discerning mix of textures and patterns really pops and adds a unique visual element if done correctly. Spier & Mackay opts for a classic vertical rib knit, but the raglan sleeve creates an excellent confluence of knit at the shoulder and chest. The sleeve attachment itself is an interesting knit that adds depth. The eye is drawn to that shoulder, and a raglan sleeve naturally shows off the natural musculature of shoulders. Nicely done.
Slick details and tight construction. Very nice texture and durability.
Attention to detail is consistent in the buttons and pockets. Often, this is where sloppy construction comes to pass, with loose threads, wonky buttons, and stitching out of alignment. Not here. Buttons have a substantial feel, and are tightly sewn into the sweater. Their marbling adds a welcomed pop to the sweater and look excellent. Patch pockets are placed perfectly along the bottom stitch of the sweater, and blend in well with the rest of the rib knitting.
Patch pockets. Chunky knit.
Six colors are offered for this sweater, and this camel-dyed number is a beauty. In reality, it’s a bit less saturated in-person than it is on Spier’s website, but it’s still excellent. Perfect for all those seasonal fall tones we’re wearing, and the lighter-than-expected color will provide some welcomed cheer when the drab winter days begin to roll. However, there’s just no wrong choice in which color you land on- S&M nailed the color selection on this sweater, even if this camel option isn’t dead square exact to what you see on their site in terms of shade.
Double shawl collar and raglan sleeves
Spier & Mackay has nailed the classic house sweater in superior fashion. Effortless, timeless style in a top-notch fabric and build quality. Superlatives are often overused (and I’ve doled out my fair share in this post), but I do not hesitate to say this is the most comfortable sweater I’ve personally worn. The size medium in the photos fits me to perfection, and has no hot spots, pulling, or excess fabric. House sweaters are meant to wear large and comfy, but still look elegant. And this one does it all. It’s the ideal sweater for working, schooling, parenting, and living at home for the cold weather ahead. Yes, it’s expensive for sure, but “worth” is a relative term. Buy this, and it will last for years to come. You truly will not want to take it off all fall and winter long.
Again, it’s not cheap… but Spier & Mackay has made the sweater of the season.