The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

by Rachel Yeomans | February 24th, 2010   

By Kyle Mountain

For those tired of the monotony of wearing a shirt and tie to work everyday, a convenient alternative lives in the utilization of the sweater. However, not all sweaters are appropriate in the workplace. Understanding the fine line between sweaters that work at work and sweaters that don’t is very important.

work The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

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Guidelines for Wearing a Sweater to Work

When dressing for work people are inclined to keep their outfits conservative. The same will remain true when you’re wearing a sweater, but you can keep outfits conservative while still showing off some of your own personal style. There are countless numbers of patterns and colors you can get a sweater in, but when it comes to wearing sweaters to work, the goal is to keep it simple and sharp. We want to keep it as professional as possible, and doing that with a sweater is very possible.

Types of Sweaters to Wear to Work

Crew Neck
The crew neck is the most common type of sweater sold to men. When wearing it to work, wear a dress shirt underneath with your dress shirt collar inside the collar of the sweater. You can also wear a tie under the sweater.

crew The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

Crew Neck – Plain colored

V Neck
V Neck sweaters are a great option for the workplace as well. Wearing a tie under these is a great option too because you’ll get to see more of the tie, allowing you opportunity to match colors effectively, but wearing one without a tie works too.

vneckdress The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

Off The Cuff Blog – V Neck without Tie

Sweater Vest
A sweater vest is a great way to show a few colors at once. Wear one in a solid color with or without a tie for a great professional look.

svest The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

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Sweater Patterns to Wear at Work

Plain Colored Sweaters
It’s hard to go wrong here. Just keep the color in line with the rest of your wardrobe and you should be okay. Nothing too loud or bright. Navy blue, gray, or even black will work as solid, conservative colors.

plaincrew The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

Plain-colored crew neck

Argyle sweaters
Argyle sweaters are good because they provide a little extra color and design. With that being said, you don’t want too much extra when it comes to these sweaters. Simplicity is key with argyle, so stick with dark, conservative colors with maybe one contrasting color in the sweater.

argylework21 The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place argylework The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

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Cable Knit Sweaters
The cable knit sweater, which is a close relative of the Aran Sweater, is a very nice and comfortable sweater to wear especially in the winter months. With cable knit sweaters, stick with either white or navy blue, and since you’re wearing it in the work place you will want to stick with a crew neck.

cable The Working Man: Wearing a Sweater in the Work Place

Crew neck cable knit

Keeping it Professional

Overall, wearing a sweater to work is a great way to stay professional while showing off some personal style. Experimenting with sweaters will add a lot of diversity to your appearance, but with that in mind, when you’re experimenting with sweaters in the work place, make sure to stay on the conservative side and always remain professional.

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Kyle Mountain is a student-athlete currently living in Concord, New Hampshire, but he’s originally from right outside Philadelphia. He recently completed an internship with A Tailored Suit and is continuing to write and learn about menswear and style.

5 comments
WhatShouldMenWear
WhatShouldMenWear

Wearing a cable knit to work is kind of a new discovery for guys, until recently it has been plain and argyle sweaters mostly. This one in white is especially nice!

Patrick H. Ouzts
Patrick H. Ouzts

I often wear a baby blue cable knit sweater with no dress shirt underneath. I like the look because it is very "old man," but I'm pretty young. I like mixing alot, so I think it works well for me. In the Cable Knit photo, you would expect that look on a Boomer, but the model is very gen X. I like it alot.

Patrick H. Ouzts
Patrick H. Ouzts

I often wear a baby blue cable knit sweater with no dress shirt underneath. I like the look because it is very "old man," but I'm pretty young. I like mixing alot, so I think it works well for me. In the Cable Knit photo, you would expect that look on a Boomer, but the model is very gen X. I like it alot.