We’ve all been in this situation before.
Someone’s gone through all the trouble of buying us a new piece of clothing. Sometimes, as most notoriously is the case with Christmas sweaters, they’ve even gone through the trouble of making it themselves. While you know full well that the article of clothing staring you in the face is five sizes too big or could stop a clock with its off-kilter “design,” the fact of the matter is that all of this could have been avoided if everyone simply remembered one of the cardinal rules of clothes shopping – everyone intrinsically knows what they want.
It’s always best to craft your own look. With that in mind and autumn just around the corner, here are a few things you’ll want to consider when it comes to choosing wool sweaters and vests.
First thing’s first – you know what colours work best for you, which colours don’t, and most importantly, which don’t work for others. Malvolio can’t quite figure out that Olivia hates the colour yellow in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and it doesn’t exactly help his already-doomed courtship prospects. For the cooler weather which tends to go with autumn, you’ll want to go with darker colours anyway, with the notable exception of holiday colours, which can add a festive touch to any sweater or vest.
No one likes ordering something only to get it home or receive it in the mail and find that it’s actually two sizes too small. If you’re buying in person, always try an item on. If you’re buying online, check customer feedback – a Size 8 for one brand might not be the same size as another Size 8 elsewhere. Sweaters tend towards the warm, baggy, snuggly side anyway, so when in doubt, air on the side of bigger as opposed to smaller with respect to sweaters, while something like a lush Merino Snug wool vest should fit like a glove by comparison.
Returning to the perennial festive horrors which are Christmas sweaters, have you ever had a particularly itchy one? (Of course you have – they’re Christmas sweaters!) The fact of the matter is that while washing sweaters and vests before wearing can reduce some of that itchy-scratchy-friction which is not so nice with respect to your skin, much of this could be avoided in the first place by simply looking into the type of fabric before buying. Softer wools are in right now, and are far more comfortable on average than their wiry counterparts, so opt for sweaters and vests which are soft to the touch.
Finally, you’ll want to take some style points into consideration. Are you going for a rounded, squared, or V-neck look? Are you looking for a smoother, more uniform sweater or vest, or one with a woven-in pattern? Which colour combo works best for you? If you opt for a vest, are you going for a more formal look, or something a bit more artistic and casual?
Consider all this and more, and select a sweater or vest which you’ll want to wear come the autumnal season for years to come!