Sustainability is a growing movement, and while higher-end or more quality clothes are not accessible for everyone, or at least not as accessible as fast fashion, there are few items of clothing that are worth the investment. Sweaters, or jumpers as they are also known, are one such item. They can become an important wardrobe staple that you can wear for years to come – if you choose a high-quality brand and a timeless style. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend a tonne of money, but the cheapest brands simply are not going to last. Let’s get into it.
You do have choices when it comes to picking a quality material for your sweater. If you can, you should always opt for natural fibres; if you have to include synthetic fibres, try to look for sweaters that contain 15% or less.
You should also try to look for sweaters that are composed of as few materials as possible. If they are made up of multiple different fibres, then the composition of the fabric tends to be less comfortable to wear, and it can also indicate an inferior quality.
You can choose from the following:
Each option has its own selling points. Cotton can mold to your body and have a great shape; however, they are not as warm, and they do not last as long as other materials do. Cashmere used to signify luxury, but it is now much more accessible; it is really delicate, but it can be prone to pilling.
Alpaca is a great option, it can mimic cashmere, but it is usually more affordable and less prone to pilling. There are several forms of wool, including everyday merino and synthetic, wool overall is incredibly warm, and it can last really well if you look after it properly.
Before you start shopping, you should learn more about the different variations of sweaters that you are going to be choosing from. There are so many different resources out there covering each type, from turtlenecks to v-necks to mock-necks or half-zips, like The Sweater Shop’s guide to crew neck sweaters.
You should always try on your sweaters; obviously, you cannot try on the ones that you are purchasing online, but you should never remove the tags until you are sure you are going to keep them! Try them on with a few items that you would wear them with layering and wearing them alone; you need to know if they are going to be itchy or not.
Lastly, try to choose brands that are known for or specialise in knitwear. These brands really know what they are doing and have perfected their approach. You are also far more likely to find quality pieces that are designed and made to last. However, this craftsmanship will be reflected in the price, so bear that in mind.
If you can, it is always worth choosing a natural material over a synthetic one, although vintage pieces do tend to be more robust than newer garments. The ‘purer’ the material, the better; try to opt for sweaters that are made up of fewer materials. Always try on the sweaters and make sure to try them layered and by themselves so that you can tell whether or not they will be itchy. Lastly, buy from brands that are known for their knitwear because the quality is superior to other brands.