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
Amazon’s Goodthreads has shown continuous improvement since the brand launched, and it shows no signs of stopping. With modern takes on classic pieces, at an affordable price, Goodthreads is regularly on the Dappered radar. We reviewed the Fall 2020 collection and found the catalog offered a good amount of outfit options without spending much coin. Their cotton shawl collar cardigan was part of that roundup, and finished with mixed impressions, but the Bezos-backed brand is ready for round 2 with a more substantial 100% Lambswool version at *about* the same price. It stands to reason give the change in fabric, the lambswool cardigan would be the better buy, yes? Let’s find out.
Good gravy. Enough color options?
You may find yourself wondering why, of all the pieces offered by Goodthreads, we are reviewing a single sweater from the entire brand’s catalog. Shawl collar cardigans have experienced a boom in popularity over the last 2-3 years as a return to classic outdoor, rugged styles and silhouettes become some of the hottest tickets in town. I see it more as a return to the mean than a cyclical trend. Sweaters like a shawl collar cardigan – an excellent house sweater for our more isolated times – are pieces that looked good decades ago and will look good decades from now. Goodthreads knows this, and is leaning into the style.
Left: Burgundy, size Medium. Right: Navy, size Large
Jason is 5’7″/175
For the most part, wool is a superior fabric to cotton, and that remains true in the lambswool version of Goodthreads’ cardigan. The wool is fairly soft to the touch and strikes me as exactly “average” with regards to the material quality itself, but it is really thin and a loose knit to boot. How many seasons will this hold up? Not many, if I had to guess. It feels flimsy. Arguably, without the thickness, it lacks the gruffer masculine silhouette of a chunkier shawl collar sweater, and won’t impress in the way something thicker like the Spier & Mackay piece from the fall does, with cozy warmth and supreme detail. But, that Spier sweater is 4.5x more expensive.
Fabric is NOT chunky. Kinda thin.
Be prepared to layer something substantial underneath for real warmth.
That said, something of that thickness is a true house sweater that will last for winter after winter, whereas the Goodthreads cardigan is not. That isn’t a condemnation of this sweater, but it seems a bit out of place in the season right now. This should help with a chill if you toss it on during a mid-Spring night, but it won’t provide much warmth beyond that. One benefit of the thin fabric, however, is a light drape over the body that moves with you smoothly. It never gets in the way, unless the pocket snags on something – more on that next.
Interior “anchor” threads on pockets could easily snag.
Button material is adequate for the price point and the spacing provides a traditional cut. The overall build quality is mostly on par with the rest of the Goodthreads operation, but those pockets feel like an afterthought. They dangle on the inside of the sweater, with the exception of two single threads connecting the bottom corners of the pocket to the body of the sweater. It comes off as cheap, and I have concerns about the long term durability given the string attachments lend themselves to snagging if you wear the sweater unbuttoned.
Pockets feel like an afterthought. Buttons are fine. Build quality is fine. Nothing amazing.
Overall, I do believe this is an improvement over the cotton shawl collar sweater from the fall, if only because it’s wool. The rest of the garment is fairly identical in how it fits, and it comes in just about as many colors. The burgundy and navy pictured here are true to the product photos, and offer a good base from which to build your outfit for the day. At $40, I would recommend waiting until the Amazon algorithms do their trick and drop this into the low $30 range, given the durability concerns.