Editor’s note: To catch up with other Online Shopping Picks fit for each and every season, head this way.
Is it just me, or does this seem familiar? Well, we were here on Monday talking about the best men’s outerwear for spring. And now, we’re back with another Online Shopping Picks entry — yet, this isn’t déjà vu. Rather, today we’re tackling another somewhat overlooked but quite crucial facet of spring style — transitional layering outside of spring jackets. So for all those in-between times when it’s not breezy enough for a coat, but you’d feel more comfortable with another top layer. It’s a tricky time of year, yes? And there’s another crucial distinction to make here — while it’s great to wear something like a thick shawl-collar cardigan during the depths of winter, such a sweater is just too overpowering for the spring. We’re lightening things up, mixing in some trends and looking at a plethora of price points in the picks below — stay a while, won’t you? In the meantime, if you’d like to see anything on The Style Guide in particular, hit me up on Twitter.
#1. JackThreads The Reverse Sweatshirt — $59
Definitely a change of pace compared to a standard crewneck — but perfect for spring.
Maybe it’s just me, but yours truly feels that if you’re going to rock a sweater in the spring, it doesn’t hurt to take a bit of a style risk and go for a piece that’s distinctive… yet oddly versatile. JackThreads launched its full menswear line last fall, and the most recent crop of spring offerings nails it again in terms of price, quality and unique styling potential. The Reverse Sweatshirt uses on-trend colorblocking and some unique details, to be sure — but it actually leans more middle-of-the-road thanks to the neutral color palette. It’s not terribly expensive, and it would be a great change of pace when worn with lightwash jeans or tan chinos and white sneakers on weekend outings.
#2. H&M Fine-Knit Cotton Sweater — $24.99
We’re talking a very manageable price and a neutral, wearable color.
Spring is all about color, right? So why the pick of a heather grey cotton sweater here? Well, versatility is pretty critical, for starters. However, at a price like this H&M sweater here, you very well might be able to get away with grabbing the blue version of this piece as well. But sticking to what’s in the cards — H&M seems to do certain things very well for the price, and if you’re not looking to drop a ton of cash for a piece that might see limited use (particularly if you live in a warm climate), then it’s perfectly acceptable to spring for something a little cheaper — been there, done that. If you’re interested in a higher price point, though…
#3. Bonobos Linen Henley — $98
A switch from heather grey to a lighter blue that should pair quite well with dark denim or khaki shorts.
First things right off the bat — is this a henley, or is it a sweater? Both? For being a linen knit, the photos certainly make it look a bit thicker in terms of fabric. It’s certainly a higher price point, but the quality should definitely be there given Bonobos’ history of solidly constructed knitwear. The Cloudy Blue color strikes a different vibe than light grey or even a darker navy, so it would be a unique pick to pair with chinos and desert boots (know that for now though, it’s only available in the brand’s Slim fit). It could certainly be rocked on its own, but it could also complement a white Oxford for a spring-ready layered look.
#4. J. Crew Factory Textured Cotton Crewneck Sweater — $32
The textured cotton and chest pocket are nice visual touches.
For seasonal staples that pack in quality very similar to J. Crew, there’s just one place to turn — the big brand’s smaller offshoot. Crafted from textured cotton that looks soft and with some nix texture, this cotton crewneck sweater could definitely be a spring go-to, especially in that shade of khaki. It would work as a solid top layer with navy chinos and a blue Oxford for the work day, and it could also be thrown on over a simple white tee with linen shorts similar in styling to one of the outfits here for when you head out to a campfire or a rooftop barbeque. Toss in some white sneakers and you’re practically ready for evening after evening of fun.
#5. Billy Reid Fisher Crew — $145
From the maker of the Bond Peacoat — a seasonal sweater that’s splurge-worthy.
It wouldn’t be an Online Shopping Picks entry if we didn’t highlight a splurge-worthy entry from one of this site’s favorite American menswear designers. Billy Reid takes Southern sensibilities and mixes ’em with a dash of heritage style for seasonal offerings like this crewneck sweater, which gets a lot right. The raglan sleeves are cut to make your chest and shoulders look broader without the added bulk of, say, a winter sweater. The cotton-polyester blend should be lightweight and breathable, and the cream contrast cuffs are a nice-looking design touch. This just might be the dressiest sweater of the bunch based on sheer quality alone (although feasibly any of these pieces could be worn over an Oxford, for example).
So what’s your take on the spring sweater? Worth the hassle (and style points), or no? Keeping the principles of solid fit, versatile color and a price within your reach are all key when hitting the market. If you play your cards right, the above pieces could even be layered under a tough denim jacket in the fall — that’s definitely two-season style from one sweater (maybe even three if you toss on a great winter peacoat). Don’t forget about other spring style essentials to go along with this guy — to that end, we’ll have features on excellent spring sneakers and jeans coming up in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!
And most importantly — stay stylish,