Jul 05, 2023
The 18 Best Men’s Sweaters of 2023
These are the best sweaters for all your travel needs. Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation.
These are the best sweaters for all your travel needs.
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We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
Travel + Leisure / David Hattan
Your mother was right, you should never leave home without a sweater. It’s a doubly handy bit of advice to remember when packing for any trip. Weather has the tendency to turn at the worst possible moment, so it’s always good to have your favorite sweater on hand, just in case. But what makes for a good quality sweater? According to Amanda Webster, business development consultant and founding member at Double-Major – a fashion and lifestyle consultancy – the first thing we should look at is the material: “100 percent wool, 100 percent cashmere, 100 percent cotton, those are your ideal [fabrics], especially for a sweater.” While polyester or synthetic materials aren’t necessarily a bad thing, it means the piece ”is not going to be as breathable,” says Webster. “When you get that weird, sweaty feeling inside of your clothes, it’s coming from those synthetic materials.”
Webster looks at materials and weight when picking out a quality sweater, as these things help determine whether or not it will be able to stand the test of time. For her, brands like Patagonia, Naadam, and The Elder Statesman are the best, and we tend to agree.
Our best pick overall is Patagonia’s Men's Recycled Wool Sweater thanks to its durability, versatility, and choice of environmentally friendly materials. But if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly or athletic-leaning, have no fear! We’ll include 19 other sweaters for every kind of traveler.
From materials to price to versatility, this sweater gets just about everything right.
While versatile, this isn’t the kind of sweater that’s fit for exercise or more adventurous outdoor activities.
Patagonia has managed to build a brand that’s trusted across the globe for its focus on sustainability, while competing in an industry known for doing the opposite. But while we’re certainly fans of their business practices, this sweater was our top overall selection for many other reasons. The price point is attainable, which can be a challenge in a category filled with designer brands, and the design is classic, which means it’s versatile and can pair with a variety of pieces.
We also love the four different color choices. Two are plain, hex gray and natural, while the other two have patterns, but no matter which you choose you’ll be able to use it in any season, thanks to the warmth of the wool. It’s extremely soft and durable, and the usual itchiness associated with wool sweaters disappears after a few wears.
Price at time of publish: $149
The Details: XS to XXL | 70 percent recycled wool, 26 percent recycled nylon, 4 percent other fiber
When it comes to sweat-wicking technology for an unbeatable price, this is the holy grail.
It’s on the thin side, so you may want something heavier on particularly cool evenings.
Available in 15 colors, this sweater is made with Fruit of the Loom’s EverSoft ring spun cotton, which keeps it soft wash after wash. The front pocket keeps your hands warm, while the two-piece hood does the same for your ears. While it’s not a sweater made for snow, it’s the kind of piece that’s perfect for fall and spring yard work that’ll keep the sweat from sinking into your clothes.
Price at time of publish: $30
The Details: S to XXXL | 60 percent cotton, 40 percent polyester | Machine washable
We love the classic, timeless look of this piece.
While the price is right, you shouldn’t expect it to hold up over time.
Uniqlo can trace its origin all the way back to 1949, but it wasn’t until 1998 that the brand opened its first store in Tokyo. Since then, they’ve expanded to over 2,000 stores located across the globe, and that’s because they provide quality basics like the Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Sweater. Available in nine different colors, this sweater is the definition of versatile and can be packed and worn almost anywhere without worry.
Price at time of publish: $50
The Details: XXS to XXXL | 100 percent wool | Machine wash cold on gentle or dry clean
It's perfect for before or after the gym and easy to care for.
Like many athleisure pieces, this isn’t a sweater that can be worn everywhere.
Nike is known for making some of the best athletic gear on the planet, which gives them an advantage when stepping into the athleisure world. This lightweight hoodie is made from the brand’s signature Dri-FIT fleece, which is designed to wick away moisture. It’s the perfect piece of gym clothing that will keep you warm on cool mornings and evenings before or after your workout.
Price at time of publish: $80
The Details: Small R, Small L, Medium R, Medium L, Large R, Large L, X-Large R, X-Large L, XX-Large R, XX-Large L, XXX-Large R, XXX-Large L | 92 percent polyester, 8 percent spandex, 100 percent polyester mesh contrast | Machine wash, tumble dry
A blend of cotton and linen, this sweater can be worn almost all year round.
Linen isn’t for everyone and wrinkles easily.
J. Crew-owned Madewell has managed to make a name all for itself thanks to its focus on well-made, classic designs that work for a variety of occasions. If you’re looking for something you can wear year-round that’s thin, easy to pack, and can be worn in a variety of different ways, this Cotton-Linen Long-Sleeve Sweater Polo is what you’ve been searching for. Linen is a temperature-regulating fabric, which means it helps you stay cool in summer and warm in winter, making this a piece that can be worn any time. It also pairs with just about anything or can even be worn on its own. It only comes in two colors but both are classics.
Price at time of publish: $128
The Details: XS to XXL | Cotton/linen | Machine wash
It’s a 100 percent wool turtleneck that doesn’t break the bank and is thin enough so as not to take up too much luggage space.
The look might be too basic for some.
Banana Republic makes quality, upscale clothing for a reasonable price, and it's a great place to get a classic item like a turtleneck. The lovely thing about turtlenecks is that they are always versatile and straightforward, and that’s the case here. Available in four colors, including black, this sweater is crafted from merino wool yarn by masters at Italy's Zegna Baruffa mill, which means it’ll keep you warm from fall to winter and into spring.
Price at time of publish: $100
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent responsible wool standard | Hand wash cold, dry flat, cool iron, or dry clean.
It’s elegant yet casual, and can be worn basically anywhere without feeling like you’re over- or underdressed.
This is 100 percent cashmere, which means it takes some care.
Founded in New York in 1997, Theory manages to toe the line between luxury and casual by making elegant, everyday clothing that seemingly works for all occasions. This crewneck sweater is a versatile addition to any wardrobe, and can be paired with jeans, chinos, or even sweatpants. It comes in five colors and is indulgently soft, so it’s perfect to wear through fall, spring, and even mild winters.
Price at time of publish: $295
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent cashmere | Hand wash cold, hang dry; or dry clean with any solvent except trichloroethylene
It has a classic look that still manages to maintain its individuality.
It’s intentionally oversized, so if you’re looking for something tight fitting, this isn’t it.
Since launching in 2014, Todd Snyder has managed to add a touch of New York style into every piece his brand makes. In this case that means embracing the city’s posher side with a classic cricket sweater. While only available in one color, that’s all you really need, and it’s the perfect sweater for dressing up any occasion. It’s sporty and oversized and therefore one of the more comfortable options when it comes to sweaters.
Price at time of publish: $248
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent lambswool | Dry clean
It’s reasonably priced for a 100 percent cashmere garment.
This is a bit on the pricey side for a hoodie.
Founded by college friends in 2013, Naadam gets its cashmere from Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, meaning this classic hoodie has been to places and traveled distances we maybe never will. Still, this piece doesn’t feel overdressed and is perfect for everyday wear. Suitable for errands and nights out alike, this is what all elevated basics should aspire to: it’s comfortable, breathable, and good looking. It comes in eight different colors, including smoke, denim, and olive.
Price at time of publish: $145
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent Mongolian cashmere | Dry clean or hand wash cold, lay flat to dry
It’s a classic cotton crewneck sweater that can be dressed up or down for any occasion.
This is not a wool sweater, so if you’re looking for something to get you through a cold winter, this probably isn’t it.
Made in America and designed to last more than a single season, Buck Mason manages to blend style with versatility. This cotton sweater is the perfect expression of that thought process. It comes in four classic colors and can be worn for just about every occasion.
Price at time of publish: $148
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent cotton | Machine wash cold on gentle, lay flat to dry
Feel free to pair this cardigan with just about anything as it’s versatile and is made to last.
It only comes in one color, an off-white, so it can get dirty easily.
J. Crew is everywhere and while they’ve had their ups and downs over the last few years, there’s a reason the brand continues to be available from stores in most countries. Case in point, this cardigan. We love this sturdy, machine-washable cardigan that will last for years if treated right. While it only comes in one color, cauliflower, it’s a classic that pairs with just about anything.
Price at time of publish: $158
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent cotton | Machine wash
A chunky wool sweater in a traditional Fair Isles pattern is not an everyday find.
It might be too warm for warmer weather.
For over 40 years, this Antwerp, Belgium-based brand has focused on making high-quality knitwear. The company launched its new label, Howlin’ (Scottish for “smelly”), in 2009 to focus on timeless, playful products, and that’s exactly what you get with the Before the Snowfall sweater. It’s made from a weighty wool and mohair-blend and both the blue and green options are easy to match. This sweater was made to style with everything you stick in your bag.
Price at time of publish: $245
The Details: S to XXL | 70 percent wool, 30 percent mohair | Hand wash or dry clean
It’s casual and laid back, while also environmentally responsible.
This is a hoodie, so it’s only suitable for certain occasions making it less versatile.
Founded by professional surfing icon Kelly Slater on the principle of sustainability, Outerknown continues to push the fashion industry in a direction of responsibility. This lightweight hoodie is designed to wear throughout the entire year. It’s made from responsibly sourced merino wool, which is a natural, renewable, and biodegradable fiber sourced from sheep.
Price at time of publish: $228
The Details: S to XXL | 100 percent extra-fine merino wool | Hand wash, hang dry
It’s water-repellent and wind resistant, making it the perfect choice for travel to places with more variable weather.
This isn’t a sweater you can wear to a high-end restaurant or to fancier occasions.
Patagonia clothing is environmentally friendly and well-made. In addition, the jacket can be packed into one of its own pockets, making it an excellent choice when trying to save on luggage space. When it comes to colder weather, adjustable cords at the bottom of the hood and hem allow wearers to seal in warmth, plus it’s insulated with 800-fill-power 100 percent virgin goose down. It’s the perfect jacket for all your outdoor adventures.
Price at time of publish: $329
The Details: XXS to XXXL | 100 percent postconsumer recycled nylon downproof ripstop; PFC-free DWR finish
This sweater offers just the right fit.
The price is a bit high for an everyday crewneck.
French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C. was founded in 1987 and is known for consistently delivering well-made classics in a minimalist style. Available in just two colors, off-white and heather putty, this is a classic piece you’ll be able to wear for years to come if you take care of it correctly. This unisex item is soft, warm, and made from 100 percent Scottish Shetland wool.
Price at time of publish: $430
The Details: XXS to XXL | 100 percent wool | Machine wash in cold water, delicate wool cycle, inside-out
If you’re looking for something that’s truly unique, this sweater will be the standout you’ve been waiting for.
While certainly an attractive piece, it’s worth considering exactly how often you might wear something so bold and pricey.
Bode is all about personal narratives and historical techniques. Made in a Fair Trade Certified woman-owned and operated factory in Peru, this sweater encompasses all the flair and style one might be looking for, while also giving wearers the added pleasure that comes from knowing they’re supporting a good business. The checkered pattern is bound to stand out, while remaining classic.
Price at time of publish: $650
The Details: XS/S, S/M, M/L, L/XL, XXL | 100 percent merino wool | Dry clean only
The pattern is timeless yet unique, and it’s jacquard – a type of fabric in which the colors and patterns are incorporated into the weave of the fabric itself.
A blend of synthetics and cotton, it will not be as breathable as you may be looking for. It’s also quite pricey.
If you’re looking for a cool pattern, you’re not going to find something better than the haute couture icons. This jacquard-knit piece comes in a Moroccan-inspired pattern that draws on North African traditions from the '60s. It's made from a soft and insulating blend and has relaxed raglan sleeves.
Price at time of publish: $850
The Details: XS to XXL | 43 percent polyester, 42 percent cotton, 15 percent polyamide | Hand wash or dry clean
The Elder Statesman
It’s a high-quality sweater made in Los Angeles that manages to push the boundaries of laid-back luxury.
The price is very high and the design is so unique you’ll only want to wear it on special occasions.
Made in Los Angeles, The Elder Statesman defines laid-back luxury. We have it on good authority that no other cashmere sweater is as painstakingly made, and this particular item comes in a heavyweight knit that somehow manages to make tie-dye fancy. While this might not be a sweater for every occasion, it’ll be an eye-catching piece whenever you do wear it.
Price at time of publish: $1,695
The Details: XS to XXL | 100 percent cashmere | Dry clean only
Sweaters come in a variety of different styles, so it’s important to consider what you intend to do on your upcoming trip before deciding which garment is right for you. If your trip is likely to involve more outdoor adventure activities, you should consider something warm and possibly waterproof. On the other hand, if you’re more likely to be stopping at a variety of Michelin-star restaurants or are off to a fancy event, then you might want to consider something more formal.
While fashionable sweaters can certainly be cool, you might not want to wear a heavy, wool sweater on a hot summer day or even during a warm evening event. Consider weights and materials of various sweaters and when you’re more likely to wear them before you decide which one fits you best.
Washing a men’s sweater depends on the fabric and will vary from sweater to sweater. While some are machine washable, others are dry clean-only, and still others demand hand washing. One almost universal rule for sweaters, however, is don’t stick them in the drier.
It’s all about materials and weight, according to Amanda Webster. She notes that buyers will want to ensure they're getting quality materials when purchasing a sweater. “That's where 100 percent wool, 100 percent cashmere, [and] 100 percent cotton are [ideal],” she says. “The second thing I would probably look for is just a material that feels substantial. Cashmere is priced based on weight,” she explains. “A $99 cashmere sweater is going to be thinner. Whereas if you got a cashmere sweater from Ralph Lauren, it's going to be a thicker knit. If you [touch] it, you'll actually feel a change in the density. And it's going to be more expensive because they're using more cashmere.”
For a traditional look, you want the cuff of your sleeve to hit just below your wrist, kind of like a men's button up shirt. For the waist, you want it to overlap with the top of your pants, so it fully covers a shirt underneath. Also be sure the neck isn’t too tight and gives you plenty of room to comfortably move around.
For this story, writer Christopher Friedmann, a frequent traveler who has climbed mountains on three continents and reviewed many of the world’s top bars and restaurants, evaluated men’s sweaters from top brands and spoke with fashion and clothing experts, including Amanda Webster, Business Development Consultant and Founding Member at Double-Major – a fashion and lifestyle consultancy – in Los Angeles.
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