Versatility and utility are two crucial components of any wardrobe filled with men’s clothing essentials, as we love to talk about at WERD.
After all, it’s not as much fun to get dressed (and yes, it can definitely be fun!) if you’re sifting through a closet packed with items that are just a bit too similar to each other.
That certainly goes for your rotation of men’s sweaters, especially when the best half and quarter-zip pullovers are yours for the taking.
Quarter and half-zip pullovers check a couple critical boxes in your fall and winter sweater game. The zip design is both a way to incorporate more cold-weather protection into your wardrobe, as they feature a taller design at the neck. The silhouette also functions as a unique layering piece, plain and simple.
Unlike, say, a crewneck sweater, a stylish quarter zip or half-zip sweater makes it easier to show off the buttondown shirt or henley you might be wearing underneath.
The best half and quarter-zip sweaters are also a visually interesting, casual layering piece – feel free to wear one beneath anything and everything from a field jacket to a leather flight jacket for a touch of extra coverage and style.
Best of all is the fact that half and quarter-zip sweaters are both a performance-minded move as well as a stylish one. Many are made out of soft cotton or cotton blends, but some incorporate moisture-wicking fabrics or soft fleece – we say avoid the sporty logos of athletic brands and instead look to trusted retailers to find a stylish pullover. These are our favorites at the moment.
It’s sometimes a nice feeling to splurge a little on a slightly unexpected item, like a quarter or half-zip sweater. Luxe design details separate the good from the great, and Billy Reid’s Diamond Quilt Half Zip Sweater is the type of premium style upgrade that ensures even your more laidback looks are of the highest quality.
Even the most seemingly subtle style moves take on a different air thanks to Billy Reid. The designer adds an air of elegance to the half-zip sweater with a stylish diamond quilt exterior and premium construction, the kind that can pair seamlessly with one of the brand’s famed Oxford shirts for expert business casual style.
Sometimes, you just want a cozy sweater you can throw on and not think about too much, like a reliable fleece made in sustainable fashion. Patagonia delivers on all fronts, and they’ve even incorporated some eye-catching retro pattern options into the mix with this stylish quarter-zip, just like the old days.
Brushed cotton makes this quarter-zip pullover soft to the touch and ever-so-slightly breathable when worn atop a cotton Ralph Lauren tee or a lightweight flannel shirt. Better still is the even-vented hem for a comfortable fit and ease of movement.
Lands’ End successfully bridges the gap between form and function, taking combed cotton and turning it into a thermal knit piece for added warmth. Small details like a leather zipper pull offer understated style, and you’ve got your pick from a range of versatile colors and patterns.
It doesn’t get much more luxe than cashmere, which is ideal as a mid-layer or as a standalone sweater on breezy (but not insanely chilly) days. It also doesn’t get much more accessible than this version from Huckberry.
Buck Mason’s quest to take over your wardrobe continues, with this suitably casual, well-made quarter zip. The brushed-back French terry cotton should prove super-soft, while the ribbed wrist cuffs and hem give it a feel similar to a more classed-up, cooler crewneck sweatshirt. Bonus points for cool touches like a brushed nickel zipper and crisp color options.
If you’re searching for a serious upgrade to your sweater rotation, it’s best to look closely at what J.Crew has in the works. Cashmere is the way to go with this ultra-comfortable, super-soft, stylish half-zip sweater for men, especially in classic colors like Navy.
Perhaps best known as both a heritage British retailer and the maker of James Bond’s favorite polo, Sunspel offers a decidedly premium take on the quarter-zip sweater. Italian recycled eco wool should prove exceptionally comfortable whether layered over a cotton tee or Sunspel’s Riviera Polo.
Some of the best, softest fabric on the market is a hallmark of New York’s Faherty, whether used in garment-dyed chinos, flannel shirts or this handsome quarter-zip sweater. The blend of cotton, nylon and other fibers makes this sweater warm, stretchy and durable, able to bounce back with ease after repeated wear.
Recall what we said about quarter and half-zip sweaters as a sort of performance and style hybrid? Well, this Everlane version, with moisture-wicking, anti-microbial merino fabric and a minimal look and feel, is a perfect example of how cool the style can get.
Frigid, snowy days tend to call for your best pair of duck boots – and days like that are also an ideal time to layer up with this cozy, burly waffle-knit sweater. It’s made from the company’s heaviest cotton fabric, then done up in a waffle weave for texture and durability. Consider it the perfect winter weekend companion.
“Quiet luxury,” the art of understated dressing and premium materials, is all the rage these days, and this Bonobos cashmere half zip walks that line quite nicely.
Luxe cashmere should prove impossibly soft and comfortable, while diagonal jersey stitching and a ribbed collar deliver plenty of style points for a night on the town.