Fair Isle Sweaters + Suits?

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Wesslyn, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Wesslyn

    Wesslyn Practically Family

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    I've read before that any kind of sweater shouldn't be worn with a full suit, but rather a sport coat, or tweed.
    However, I wear a combo of sweater and suit pretty frequently. Am I breaking a fashion rule? Does anyone else do this? What's your thoughts?
     
  2. Guttersnipe

    Guttersnipe One Too Many

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    I've never heard that guideline. There are tons of old photos of men wearing sweaters with their suits. By vintage etiquette, Fair Isle sweaters were considered informal, and only thus considered appropriate to match "country" or "sport" suits. Is that what you're asking?
     
  3. Patrick Hall

    Patrick Hall Practically Family

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    Houston, TX
    Exactly what Guttersnipe said. Fair isles would be fine with fuzzy, patch pocketed casual suits - tweeds, flannels, the like. Probably a bit incongruous with a dark worsted city suit. For a suit such as that, I think you can still very much do knitwear, but it has to be a dressier sweater - no pattern, so cricket sweaters and fair isles are out. Probably would even avoid cable-knits. Crew-necks are also too casual. But perhaps a smooth merino cardigan or vest. Maybe a soft, cashmere V-neck.
     
  4. Wesslyn

    Wesslyn Practically Family

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    I suppose that is what I'm asking.
    Usually I go with the "if it looks good, it looks good" sentiment, but often read sweaters are too informal to wear with a proper "city" suit. Although these days, I doubt many would follow that rule or know about it. So I'm interested in others' take on it.
     
  5. Claudio

    Claudio Vendor

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    Italian living in Spain
    Ditto.

    However I would add that a city suit (pin stripe blue, black or grey worsted) i would not wear with any sweater to be honest, it just screams 'formal' too much. If the occasion is formal then keep it that way (and thus you should naturally avoid a pin stripe worsted). Adding a wool solid colour sweater or vest on a formal occasion is not ideal IMO. However if it is a plain colour worsted, then sure, as stated above, solid colour knits are fine.
     
  6. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    Excellent advice from Patrick and Claudio.
     
    Claudio likes this.
  7. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

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    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    Definitely you should follow what has already been suggested.

    I would also add, just for the sake of being picky, that even among "town" suits you can have variation in the level of formality. It depends mostly on the fabric, the cut having less significance if we are talking about "town" cuts.

    For example, I would never wear any kind of sweater, no matter how dressy it is, with a dark navy smooth worsted, but I would wear a dressy sweater with a dark navy flannel.
    Also, I have a cashmere blend suit in lighter grey and peak lapels; even if the peak lapels are considered formal, wearing it with a dressy dark sweater is not out of place because the fabric is chunky and fuzzy. On the contrary, I have a glen-check suit which, despite the pattern of the fabric could be taken as "country", wouldn't look good with a sweater, since the fabric is smooth and lightweight.
     
    Zoukatron, Patrick Hall and Wesslyn like this.
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    21,349
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    London, UK
    It's probably also worth noting that back in the day, even when these fashion "rules" existed, the average man on the street broke them all the time, whether because it was "just clothes - who cares anyhow?" or, though we often forget itg these days, because he didn't have that many options. It's all very well to say 'no brown shoes with black trousers', for example, but if your only suit is black and your only shoes brown....
     
  9. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    590
    Location:
    UK
    I'm sure this is true, and in those circumstances such choices should never be unfavourably judged. "Fashion rules" are usually attempts at aesthetic judgments, and nowadays far more people have the means to make such judgments to the enhancement of their appearance.
     
    Mean Eyed Matt, Edward and Wesslyn like this.
  10. Mean Eyed Matt

    Mean Eyed Matt Practically Family

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    Location:
    Germany
    Funny: Currently today I wear the anthracite suit I showed some time ago (above)
    with an almost smooth woolen slipover in the same grey color with whit dots.
    I like this combination.
    Also with some other sports coats I wear slipovers.
    Depends on material, fabric and color - both suit/coat and sweater, like you said.
     
    beckster, Patrick Hall, Hal and 2 others like this.

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