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.
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.
Made from 100% Shetland wool, this cardigan has some additional color due to the pattern in the fabric. Available in cream, brown and green.
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.
Lambswool and horn buttons with cable knitting. The classic look you’d expect from PRL.
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.
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.
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?
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.