The Shawl Collar Sweater


Shawl Neck Sweater by H&M and a Bow tie by Countess Mara

Today, I will crown the shawl collar pull over sweater as the item of the year in men’s clothing. Not only has it taken the world by storm, designers and brands like Ralph Lauren, Theory, Michael Kors and H&M have made the shawl collar sweater their front runner for many looks this fall/winter season. Depending on your style preference and price points there is a shawl collar sweater out there for you.

Shawl Collar sweater by H&M. plaid Shirt by Gap. Boots by Asos

The shawl collar has the great ability of framing your face so well that people can not help to be drawn to looking right at you (which is a plus when you are trying to the subject of someone’s eye). People will be more drawn to look you in the face because of the structure of the sweater. Also, if you happen to be wearing a bow tie, the opening of the shawl collar really put your bow on display. If you have watched the show Mad Men, you will have seen a few characters wearing these sweaters on their casual time (while drinking scotch, of course) at home. As you can see in the first picture, a shawl collar can be dressed up and work appropriate or dressed down with denim in the next picture.


Polo by Ralph Lauren contrast shawl collar at (via

There are a variety of colors and fabrics that these sweaters can be made  from. The most common fabrics you will see these sweaters made of are a woven wool or cotton (sometimes a cashmere blend too). The thickness and style of the sweaters is merely a preference of the wearer and sometimes depend on the brand. For your warmer styles go with the cable knit style of sweater. Not only will the cable knit keep you warm it will have a bit more character because of the design of the knit. Shawl collar knit sweaters give you a very university/collegiate aesthetic without going overboard on the prep. Be on the look out for cardigans with a shawl collar as well because they are a great alternative from the traditional cardigan than can tend to be a bit boring for some.


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Categories: Fabrics, Men's Style, Shawl Collar Sweater

Author:Sabir M. Peele

Founder & Creative Director of menswear style & lifestyle blog Sabir serves as an independent brand consulting working with brands like GQ, AskMen, Indochino & Z Zegna (among others). Selected as #GQFall Best Dressed in 2013 & one of Esquire Magazine Best Dressed Real Men in America in 2010. Follow @MensStylePro on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Email with your inquiries.

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2 Comments on “The Shawl Collar Sweater”

  1. December 9, 2010 at 1:45 AM #

    You know my stance on this sweater. Its in my winter arsenal.

    • December 9, 2010 at 4:10 PM #

      Of course. I think the Shawl sweater will become a mainstay of many brands for the next 2 to 4 years.

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