Saturday, June 11, 2011

Casual Winter Knitwear

Winter in Durban requires minimal layering. Normally a sweater, a trench or pea coat do the job. Keeping the cold out doesn’t require layers upon layers of garments – we Durbanites know that, even though at times we tend to dress inappropriately for the weather. I can suggest three light weight pieces of knitwear that will ensure comfort, warmth and a stylish appearance.

A v-neck sweater is your first option. It forms part of the casual man’s knitwear arsenal. You can’t go wrong here. Whether over dress pants or jeans, in the right combination, a v-neck can never look incongruous. I prefer it in a casual way, with chinos, a button-down shirt and open-laced bluchers. To transition to night time, I would recommend a tie of slim proportions. Even better, a knit tie, would fit in perfectly because of its style and slimming qualities. You get two types of v-neck sweaters; a high v-neck and a low v-neck sweater. They of course work differently. A low accommodates a tie more easily as opposed to a high.

This year my favourite piece of knitwear is, without a doubt, a crewneck sweater -round neck sweater to some. It serves warmth to the highest degree very well. At times I feel like gentlemen resort to the crewneck sweater because it requires less dressing up than a v-neck sweater. I’m not a proponent of a crewneck with a shirt. For me, it results in a busy and congested neck. A crewneck sweater is a casual piece I wouldn’t recommend with a tie as well. With slim fitting chinos, jeans or dress pants, a balance can be achieved. On a wet day I relish the combination of a crewneck sweater and a mackintosh coat.

Post Y2K has seen the resurgence of the cardigan as a wardrobe staple in menswear. Cardigans have been back in a big way, encompassing a plethora of designs, patterns, fabrics and textures. A cardigan goes both ways; casual and dressy. Wool pants, a plaid shirt and longwing bluchers, that’s how casual goes. Dressy doesn’t require much except for a tie, although it doesn’t end there, as a cardigan can also be layered with a suit as well.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

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