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Cozy Commute: The Sweater Jacket

October 23rd, 2012

This time of year is all about heavy knitwear.

If you’re looking for a sharp but approachable “business casual” look,  swap out your suit jacket for a chunky sweater.

Not only will it keep you warm and comfortable, but it offers an appealing contrast against the rigid lines of a business look.

Here’s three examples for your Fall commute.

1. Knit Peacoat

A navy peacoat is an everyday essential in a man’s Fall/Winter wardrobe, as we discussed in our article “Re-Invent Your Wardrobe with 25 Essentials“.

This time of year, however, it’s too warm for a heavy wool coat.

Look for a lightweight knit peacoat, which is essentially a cross between a double-breasted cardigan and a classic military coat.

Treat it as outerwear and take it off in the office, unless you work in one of those buildings that keeps it brisk all year with heavy air conditioning.

Of course, when it gets colder, you can wear it as a sweater, layered under a heavier jacket.

Tips for wearing a tie bar:

– It should be worn around the sternum, just below the chest muscles.

– It should be the same width, or slightly narrower than the tie. Never wider.

– Sounds simple, but it’s purpose it to fasten the tie in place to the shirt! No floaters.

– Lift the top of your tie slightly before attaching it, creating depth with a subtle “bow” above the bar. To accommodate for this, you might want to fasten your tie a touch on the longer side.

– Don’t wear it with a waistcoat, cardigan or sweater vest – these already hold your tie in place.

  • Black aviator shades by Persol ·
  • Double breasted knit jacket by Armani Collezioni ·
  • Burgundy stripe tie Vintage ·
  • Silver 2″ tie bar by Tiffany & Co ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus ·
  • Black alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label ·
  • Grey herringbone socks by Marcoliani ·
  • Black tassel loafers “Grayson” by Allen Edmonds
  • · White oxfordcloth shirt by Thom Browne

White USA Oxford Shirt

2. Belted Shawl

This cardigan jacket is from my graduate collection for the Menswear Design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

For a number of reasons, it’s one of my favorite pieces. I wear it as outerwear, as a housecoat, and layered as a sweater when it gets really cold.

Belted shawl cardigans have always looked very regal and confident in my opinion, especially in contrast with a more formal context.

Take a three-piece suit and trade the jacket for a chunky sweater. From traditional corporate to non-traditional “business casual” in a matter of seconds.

I’m not a huge fan of traditional worsted pinstripes, but I love the texture of flannel chalkstripes. More on this soon.

The double monk loafer has become super popular in the menswear community, but don’t sleep on the single monkstrap!

These oxblood wingtip beauties are easy to slip on and stand out even amongst the most up-to-the-minute menswear crowds.

  • Burgundy chunky belted cardigan by Dan Trepanier (FIT Collection) ·
  • White/grey check french cuff shirt ·
  • Charcoal wool flannel tie by Ralph Lauren Black Label ·
  • Leather strap watch by Montblanc Timewalker ·
  • Grey flannel chalkstripe trousers ·
  • Grey herringbone socks by Marcoliani ·
  • Oxblood single monkstrap wingtip loafer by Scarpe di Bianco
  • · Grey flannel chalkstripe Vest

Donegal Tweed Vest in Monochrome

3. Vintage Cowichan Zip-Up

Same idea here, this time with a vintage number I found in the back of a Canadian salvation army.

I bought this sweater for a couple dollars and turned down offers of $300+ for it. It’s all about how you wear it!

If you’re a dedicated reader, you know we cheated here. This look was pulled from our old post: “1 Piece/3 Ways: Vintage Cowichan Cardigan“.

  • Vintage chunky “cowichan” zip shawl cardigan ·
  • Brown herringbone tweed tie ·
  • Leather strap watch by Montblanc Timewalker ·
  • Tan suede gloves by Uniqlo ·
  • Navy wool suit trousers ·
  • Brown leather wingtips by Scarpe di Bianco
  • · Navy wool Vest
  • · White oxford shirt by Thom Browne

Wool Flannel Vest in Navy

White USA Oxford Shirt

Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.