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Knitwear & Sweaters

Four layering jumpers

Four layering jumpers

There is no harder time to get dressed than right now. The weather changes every hour across a range that's almost impossible to deal with in one outfit: it rains when you leave the house, the sun’s out by the time you’re at work, then you head home in a gale. The only thing you can guarantee is that you’ll spend part of the day frozen and the rest roasted. Unless you make like a Boy Scout.

“Preparation is the most important thing in spring,” says Thread stylist Alexander McCalla. And that means layering. "It’s the best way to balance your outfit and deal with changeable weather.” What layers offer that, say, a big coat doesn’t, is variety. If you’re wearing a t-shirt and jacket, you’ve got two options: on or off. But with four lighter layers, there are eight variations. That flexibility has you covered for everything from snow to sunshine, and every point in between.

Great layering lives or dies by your jumper. A lightweight coat handles rain, but not warmth; your knitwear needs to provide insulation without bulk. But they play a more than practical role. "Jumpers are impactful and draw the eye, so they hold an outfit together,” says Alexander. "They’re also easy to take on and off.” Which you choose depends on where you’re heading and what else you’re wearing. With this quartet, you’re covered for any situation.



Photographed: MVP sweatshirt (£24); Wax London coat (£195); MVP shirt (£22); Paul Smith jeans (£135); Boden boots (£160); Hammond & Co scarf (£28)

The jumper: Cotton with a crew neck. “Neutral colours work with anything in your wardrobe,” says Alexander, “but avoid grey. It feel too much like sportswear.”

The look: Though originally designed for athletes, the sweatshirt works outside the gym these days. “But it’s still quite casual, so don’t try it with anything too smart.” Light wash jeans are more relaxed than darker denim but the shirt and tailored coat add some refinement. “You could wear this to the shops or Sunday lunch in a nice pub.”

Knitted crew neck

Knitted crew neck

Photographed: MVP jumper (£38); Wax London mac (£195); Fred Perry polo shirt (£120); MVP chinos (£30); G.H.Bass & Co boots (£180); GANT beanie (£80); Anonymous Ism socks (£25)

The jumper: Wool is smarter than cotton, and warmer, so go for something lightweight. “Always look for natural fabrics like merino,” says Alexander. “It breathes, so it will moderate your body temperature.”

The look: Though this works well with jeans, wool also dresses up. So is perfect for smart-casual looks. “The crew neck looks great with a polo if you want something more relaxed, but also works with an Oxford or even a t-shirt.” Match the weight of your chinos to the weather then opt for a lightweight coat. “Your jumper will be warm enough.”

Knitted V-neck


Photographed: Nigel Hall jumper (£95); Nigel Hall overcoat (£150); MVP shirt (£22); Clarks boots (£110); Officine Generale scarf (£229)

The jumper: That twist to the collar makes your knitwear office-ready. “V-necks look better with formal shirts and ties,” says Alexander. “It should fit quite snug so that it won’t bulge under a suit jacket.”

The look: Most men avoid colour at work. But your jumper is a good way to introduce something subtle, but different. “If you do start to feel uncomfortable, then you can always take it off.”

Chunky knit

Chunky knit

Photographed: Jamieson’s of Shetland jumper (£89); MVP jacket (£80); MVP shirt (£22); H&M Edition jeans (£49.99); Yogi Footwear moccasins (£129); Oliver Spencer socks (£19); Howlin scarf (£79)

The jumper: Thick and tactile, this is your defence against unseasonal cold spells. “The texture means you can be punchier with the colours," says Alxander, because the fabric softens them.”

The look: A heavy jumper isn’t ideal if you’re going to be indoors a lot. “It’s better when you’re out and about. Then you can just wear a jacket that’s easy to take off and store in a bag, if it warms up.” A scarf is handy to have, just in case it doesn’t.