20
Oct

I'm in the market for a plain, brown cardigan. You would think many of the retailers would have this staple fall color but I've looked everywhere but can't seem to find anything. Any suggestions? eBay has some (from Korea?) but I'm a little skeptical.

- Asked by Anonymous

This was a legitimately hard question to answer. I searched all over and only came up with one solution for you: Pendleton. Probably going to want to size down one, maybe even two.

ADDING: Also maybe Noluur? I just found them via a Google image search. No idea on their quality, etc.

ADDING from dieworkwear replied: 

Pendleton fits huge. Try John Smedley, Club Monaco and J Crew

I couldn’t find one from J.Crew that was in brown.

ADDING: transparentstyle replied:

He could try L.L. Bean’s lambswool cardigan. I have one and I love it. The closest thing to brown is the “dark camel” color. Cheers!

I noticed that one, but was looking for more “UPS” brown. Still, it’s an option and pretty affordable.

27
Sep

Hi. I need your help with regards to wool sweater sleeves. Should they be long enough to show a little shirt cuff or can they go beyond the wrist? Thank you for your help and keep up the great Tumblr.

- Asked by filipegomes

I suppose it depends on your arms and the make of the sweater, but I prefer for mine to show some cuff. Still, I wouldn’t sweat it if it went over or was slightly longer. You want to avoid the sweater sleeves going halfway down your hand though. That’s just not going to look right, ever.

23
Sep

It’s on sale: Brooks Brothers cotton-cashmere tennis sweater — For those wondering, the Brooks Brothers Friends & Family sale extends to sale items as well, meaning you can get some spring-summer gear pretty cheap. These tennis sweaters come to $46.88 with coupon code 09FRIEND.

08
Sep

What's the quickest way to take my style to the next level? I've got the basics down, but I'm severely lacking in jackets, knitwear and shirts. Any suggestions on the essentials to round this area of my wardrobe out?

- Asked by Anonymous

Kind of depends what your personal style is, but experimenting and trying stuff out might be the only way to discover it.

Here’s some stuff I’d look into:

Jackets: I think seasonal fabrics are a good way to go — but pay real close attention to the details and decide what you want (or what you want a tailor to add). For the colder seasons, I was really into tweeds last year. You could easily have suede patches added or look for options with a throat latch. And, given tweed’s almost infinite variety of colors and patterns, you can definitely find either a conservative or wild pattern.

This year, I’ve been sniping cashmere jackets on eBay. Feels great and for some reason it’s not being discussed as much right now (maybe because a lot of readily available brands don’t have 100%-cashmere jackets available?). I’ve got three I need to take to the tailor.

As for spring and summer, jackets in madras, linen and seersucker are worth hunting down right now in eBay. I think summer really encourages more outrageous patterns, especially on the weekend. Again, I’d be picky about details.

Knitwear: I’m pretty stuck on chunky knit shawl-collared cardigans. Derek at dieworkwear really likes shaggy-dog sweaters. I also think that a tennis/cricket sweater is pretty neat. Brooks Brothers has a few right now, but they’re also on eBay and Etsy quite frequently. Find a design and color you really like and buy a great one that’ll work with a majority of your wardrobe as a layering piece. That’s the logic I used behind mine and I have zero plans this year to buy more sweaters.

Shirts: Custom-made shirting. I’ve said this before, but I prefer MTM services where you have a tailor measure you in-person instead of submitting your own measurements (either off a shirt or self-measure). Study up and get nerdy about the details you want.

Other: Neckties. Edit your tie collection and build it into something great with quality pieces. This process will probably take years unless you’re filthy rich. I guess this advice could also be given for every element of your wardrobe.

29
Aug
It’s on eBay: Brooks Brothers vintage Shetland wool cardigan — Size 44, 100% Shetland wool, made in England, suede elbow patches, chunky knit, excellent condition. Damn, someone better jump on this, because the high bid is absurdly low at $20.50.

It’s on eBay: Brooks Brothers vintage Shetland wool cardigan — Size 44, 100% Shetland wool, made in England, suede elbow patches, chunky knit, excellent condition. Damn, someone better jump on this, because the high bid is absurdly low at $20.50.

26
Aug

Could you describe how to match v-neck sweaters, ties, and shirts with navy and gray blazers. Also, which sweater colors are most versatile?

- Asked by Anonymous

I think if you read the picking a necktie series I just wrapped up, then you’ll have a good idea. Adding a sweater vest is just another layer. I would seek to contrast hues and colors when adding the V-neck.

I don’t think you can go wrong with a burgundy or red V-neck sweater though for both navy and grey blazers. Neutrals in charcoal, grey and navy will also work, although I would avoid pairing those colors with similar colored jackets.

24
Aug

Chunky shawl-collared cardigan sweater roundup

For winter, I like chunky-knitted, shawl-collared cardigan sweaters. Above is one I picked up last year from Lands’ End Canvas on sale. It’s 100% donegal wool and feels great and definitely kept me warm.

I’m a fan of shawl collars because you have the option of leaving the collar down while indoors, or turning it up while outdoors to use it as a substitute for a scarf under another jacket to protect your neck. The cardigan’s buttons let you remove it easier if you want to shed a layer and the pockets are handy to keep stuff in (the best would be a button-closure).

Unfortunately, LEC doesn’t have a chunky 100%-wool shawl-collared cardigan available yet. But not to worry, as there are plenty of other options.

J.Crew: $108

This is one of the cheaper options. The fabric used is boiled lambswool, which makes the fabric less itchy, according to the copywriting. I kind of prefer the itchiness, but maybe that’s what turns some people off. Regardless, I’m a fan of that extra chest pocket.

L.L.Bean Signature: $129

Made from 100% Shetland wool, this cardigan has some additional color due to the pattern in the fabric. Available in cream, brown and green.

Archival Clothing: $180

While lots of brands are adding suede patches to their elbows, this sweater has reinforced, double-knitted elbows that are almost invisible. Available in grey, navy, red and multi-weave.

Polo Ralph Lauren: $185

Lambswool and horn buttons with cable knitting. The classic look you’d expect from PRL.

J.Press: $450

Definitely one of the more expensive options, and the copywriting doesn’t provide much detail other than the fact it’s made in Scotland from 100% lambswool.

Howard Yount: $599

I posted this sweater a while ago when HY’s F/W preview arrived and consider this my grail sweater. It’s cashmere, got patches and just looks perfect. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to afford one anytime in the near future, but it’s certainly ideal.

ADDING from dieworkwear:

As long as we’re talking about ones nobody can afford, Drake’s has one that straight murders.

You can go ahead and convert £695.00 to U.S. dollars, but you’ll end up in tears.

09
Feb
I see your fair isle sweater and I raise you a Contra fair isle sweater.

I see your fair isle sweater and I raise you a Contra fair isle sweater.

(via geek-art)

17
Jan

Some thoughts on Lands’ End Canvas sweater sizing

About a month back I bought this Lands’ End Canvas donegal shawl-collared sweater. Between a few discount codes, free shipping, etc., it was more than half off, coming in around $65. I needed a heavier sweater to wear for quick trips to the store or the corner Italian place, when a jacket wasn’t necessary and I just wanted to throw on a parka rather than a full overcoat.

For that purpose, this sweater’s fine. It’s warm, it’s quality is about what I’d expected for the price (although I do think full retail on this at $150 was absurd). But my main complaint is the sizing and fit.

This is a size small. For reference, I wear a size 38 Long in jackets, have a 15.5” neck, 35” sleeve, weigh around 150 lbs. and am 5’11”. I was going back and forth between getting a medium and small, and decided to use the thought process of “when in doubt, size down.” And yikes, I’m glad I did.

I don’t consider myself a small, as my large arms often prevent that on most standard sizing — and I have a beer gut! But, LEC’s “small” sizing is huge. I could probably put another layer on underneath this sweater before I’d consider this constricting. Also, the length is a bit long in the sleeves and torso. Compounding the problem, I’m fairly certain just wearing it has stretched the fabric a bit.

So, if you’re going to go sweater hunting at LEC, definitely size down. If you’re typically a small, I’d suggest not bothering (or just get a small and expect to have to return it). For those of you with larger builds, you’ll probably find yourself at an advantage here.

Anyone else have a similar experience with LEC’s sweaters?

13
Dec

Cashmere sweater & scarf for $129 from Ireland? Yup.

While searching around for some donegal cardigans yesterday, I stumbled across the site for Blarney Woollen Mills and was rather shocked to find a rather incredible deal they have going on for the holidays: $129 for a crewneck cashmere elbow-patch sweater and matching scarf — shipped from Ireland — in colors of camel, grey and lavender.

They’re also running a deal on these donegal crewneck and v-neck pullovers for $100. And they have quite a bit of winter staple accessories, like these handknit aran gloves for $20. That sounds like a nice deal to me if you’re in the market for these things.

Granted, I have no idea about the fit, quality, etc., but I haven’t found anything negative about them yet with some initial googling.

Sadly, you’ve probably missed the opportunity to get items from them shipped to you before Christmas, but I thought I’d pass this find along.

29
Nov
Cashmere sweater at Lands’ End: $55 — On sale today with a Cyber Monday discount at $75, plus stack promo code NOV29 with PIN 7410 to bring down the cost another $20 and get free shipping. Not a terrible deal.
I’m not terribly certain of how good the cashmere quality is from LE, but maybe it’s worth a shot? Deal ends tonight at midnight.

Cashmere sweater at Lands’ End: $55 — On sale today with a Cyber Monday discount at $75, plus stack promo code NOV29 with PIN 7410 to bring down the cost another $20 and get free shipping. Not a terrible deal.

I’m not terribly certain of how good the cashmere quality is from LE, but maybe it’s worth a shot? Deal ends tonight at midnight.

21
Sep

This Fits: New Lands' End Canvas Sweaters

On the topic of business casual, thisfits has some great intel on the Land’s End Canvas line of sweaters that’s worth a read.

Why should you bother with sweaters, one might ask? Well, if your shirt’s a bit too baggy in the sleeves and/or torso, then a sweater is a great way to hide all that and still keep those shirts in rotation for your wardrobe. Plus, they always look great when you layer them up with a jacket.

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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