Knitwear & Sweaters

One small change: Smarten up with a jumper

One small change: Smarten up with a jumper

Why make the change

We love a sweatshirt—and believe that yours can be both smarter than you'd think and a cornerstone of your wardrobe—but it's also true that a fine-gauge jumper can be all it takes to make an outfit twice as sharp.  

"The sweatshirt is relaxed and athletic, and you can earn style points by dressing it up a bit," says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. "However, with formal shirts or under a blazer, a fine-gauge jumper's the better choice."

Why this works

Photographed: Research Garments navy sweatshirt (£35), MVP navy jumper (£35), Peter Werth stone chinos (£69)

1. The fine-gauge jumper is more dressed-up. "In general, thinner fabrics are smarter. Case in point: trading your sweatshirt for a merino sweater can turn your heading-down-to-the-pub outfit into a dinner-with-the-parents ensemble, even bringing your trainers up to smart-casual level. That's true not just if you're wearing chinos, as here, but also with jeans or formal trousers."

2. The jumper on the right is more flattering. "A jumper's 'gauge' technically refers to the number of stitches per inch: the higher the number, the more stitches, which means the wool used must be thinner—and the resulting fabric lighter. This means it doesn't make your body look bulkier than it is, and it makes it easy to throw a layer or two on top."