Buying new sweaters probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list in the twilight of February. But we’ve got news for you: there’s still a sizeable chunk of cold weather left. So if you’re exhausted of your stuffy old winter layers, we’d like to direct your attention to some of the coolest pre-spring knits that are just hitting the market. These sweaters are light and transitional, and their color palettes are mercifully springy—not autumnal. We've compiled the best of the best right here, and they all come in styles that will stay with you for years to come. And while you’re boosting your wardrobe, don’t miss The 20 Definitive Style Rules for Men Over 40.
The Striped Sweater
$129; Buy now at endclothing.com
PSA, fellas: If you don't have this closet basic, get one now. It goes with pretty much everything, it can be worn year-round, and there’s no other sweater that can take you from aprés ski to cruising-on-a-yacht quite so seamlessly.
We recommend opting for striped sweater with a dark background, like this Armor-Lux 2915 Fouesnant Raye Wool crewneck knit. The light-on-dark color scheme is the most flattering for any body type. And if you’re in the market for a ski outing soon, be sure to check out our 5 Best Luxury Ski Trips to Take This Spring.
The Lightweight Henley
$230; Buy now at ovadiaansons.com
Right when you thought you had every kind of sweater you could possibly need, along comes the super cool knit henley. This Ovadia & Sons Zack Black Heather Knit Henley is amazingly versatile and can be worn as a layering piece in cold temperatures or as a shirt on its own in warmer ones. Plus, it’s a luxe upgrade on a closet basic favored by younger guys. Think of it as your favorite henley, but all grown up. For more great cold-weather style advice, don’t miss our 10 Foul-Weather Boots That Will Last Forever.
The Graphic Sweater
$511; Buy now at farfetch.com
Wild graphics are a major knitwear trend right now, but if you’re looking for more of an investment piece than a one-season-wonder, we’d recommend going for something bold—but isn’t so over the top that you’ll tire of it after a few wears. A darker color scheme and geometric pattern, as shown in this Neil Barrett Panelled Intarsia Knit Jumper, will keep things on-trend but age appropriate—and for some great timeless sweater recs, here are the Modern Sweaters that Steve McQueen Would Buy.
The Cashmere Hoodie
$140; Buy now at everlane.com
This Everlane Cashmere Hoodie is the best of both worlds: comfortable and luxurious. This spring, feel free to pair it with any weekend wardrobe: chic joggers, a set of great jeans, or even more polished khakis.
The Sporty Cardigan
$1,750; Buy now at thombrowne.com
It's easy for a thinly-knit cardigan to look overly academic, but the sporty stripes on this cashmere Thom Browne V-Neck Cardigan take it from boring and bookish to statement-status. If you work in a creative industry, this piece is a total essential for the office, and if not, save it for dinners out, drinks with the guys, and weekend errands.
The Non-Chunky Cable Knit
$1,250; Buy now at loropiana.com
A more substantial cable knit sweater will carry you through the most frigid days, but a lighter version of that style is a necessity for late-winter’s more mild weather. It will undoubtedly come in handy in early fall, too, so go ahead and splurge on this quintessential piece (for the record, you can’t dobetter than this Loro Piana Girocollo Cable Baby Cashmere sweater) that you’re guaranteed to keep around forever.
The Shawl Collar
$875; Buy now at mrporter.com
Shawl collar sweaters are a style we can really get behind, since there’s something about them that exudes laidback sophistication. We recommend opting for a neutral color like navy. Of course, any luxe details are an added bonus, like the brown leather buttons on this Kingsman Shawl Collar Ribbed Wool and Cashmere Blend cardigan.
The Grey Crewneck
$260; Buy now at acnestudios.com
A grey crewneck is the most adaptable and essential sweater style in existence. But in preparation for early spring, you should be swapping out your heavier-knit one for one with a finer weave that can be your go-to through the warmer months. (There’s nothing worse than getting overheated when you’ve got a carefully calculated layering situation going on.) Do yourself a favor and scoop up this Acne Studios Kort Medium Grey model.
$140; Buy now at mrporter.com
Warning: the iconic half-zip style has the potential to go really fratty, really fast. But choosing an unique and unusual color, like burgundy—shown here on this Club Monaco Merino Wool Half-Zip—can make all the difference. A more deluxe fabric, like merino or cashmere, will also set you apart from the red Solo cup toting pack.
The Bright Sweater
$510; Buy now at paulsmith.com
Fair warning: You’ve got to be confident in your choice of hue to try this one. It’s also important to note that the same eye-catching shades don’t work well on everyone, so take your hair color and skin tone into consideration when picking a vibrant sweater, like this Paul Smith Red Cashmere Sweater. Finally: stick with powerful colors like red, cobalt, and emerald green, rather than veering into pastel or neon territory. Though it takes some effort to get this style right, it can add some well-deserved fun to an overall elegant and neutral wardrobe.
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