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Whether you dress it up for a night at the theatre or down for a cozy movie night in, a sweater is an enduring wardrobe staple. However, not all sweaters are created equal. Some are designed to be used often, while others are meant only to be worn once or twice. That’s why it’s important to make strategic choices when selecting a sweater.

Not to be confused with a sweatshirt, hoodie or jacket, a sweater is a knitted jersey for the upper body that can be layered or worn on its own. It can be either a pullover (like a shirt or tee) or a cardigan, which opens and fastens down the front. It can also be long-sleeved or short-sleeved, and there are even sleeveless versions, which are generally called sweater vests.

When choosing a sweater, look for fabrics that breathe and don’t retain too much heat. Synthetics like polyester and acrylic can trap odor and shrink easily, while natural materials such as cotton and wool are breathable and have good longevity.

Wool in particular is a hard-working fibre that’s ideal for keeping you warm and comfortable while also remaining soft on the skin. SIBLING, a knitwear collective, recently designed a men’s sweater from merino wool that’s printed with scenes that at first glance appear to be the blue and white pastoral landscapes associated with Toile de Jouy, but upon closer inspection actually depict scenes from London riots of 2011. This is just one example of the ways in which modern designers are continuing to explore and subvert the classic form of a sweater.


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