2021 was a year marked by layering and the proliferation of knitwear. As we head into 2022, it seems that a fascination with colorful pieces and power clashing between a myriad of different materials will continue to become more popular. With artists like Tyler, the Creator and ASAP Nast popularizing a more formal genre of streetwear in the past few years, many forms of knitwear—from cardigans to sweaters and vests—are going to continue to find their footing in the fashion landscape.
13 of the Best Men's Sweater Vests to Shop in 2022
And some advice on how best to style them.
I personally have found sweater vests to be one of the more versatile garments in the game. You can pair one with something short sleeved in the less brisk months, or include it in a layering heavy outfit during the frigid days. With that in mind, here are 13 of the best men's sweater vests on the market right now, from the entry level options to some more expensive grail pieces.
How to style a sweater vest:
There are a lot of ways to incorporate sweater vests into your daily outfits, from the casual to the downright formal. One of the easiest ways to style a colorful vest is by layering it on top of a more muted shirt. This works in the warming spring months as an option slightly warmer than just a tee shirt, but not as bundled as a full jacket. I also personally like how certain patterns mesh with each other, so a vibrant sweater vest can pair nicely with an interesting hat or scarf, as long as the rest of the outfit is relatively muted so you don’t overstimulate.
More simple sweater vests are the easiest option to style, as you essentially use them like a scarf or cardigan to add another layer of color, material and texture to an outfit. Don’t overthink it. Pair a button down shirt with a plain vest and an overcoat. Or if you opt for a button up vest, it can be paired loosely buttoned with a graphic tee shirt to show off your vintage collection. When it comes to styling sweater vests, there are truly so many options. Have fun.
Also, traditional fashion guidelines suggest that you never button the bottom button of a vest, as you’re supposed to leave it open for mobility. That said, rules are meant to be broken. Do what you want.
The 13 Best Men's Sweater Vests
It's clear how to style them; it's clear they're trending. Now let's take a look at some good options, from the more entry-level to the high end.
Also, knitwear is often very expensive. So if these options are all out of your price range, I definitely recommend checking out your local thrift store, as you can often find high quality pieces from brands like Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers, Land’s End and more for an incredibly low price. Look out for cashmere, wool blends and other soft materials.
1. Everlane No-Sweat Sweater Vest
This is such a good entry-level option, especially considering the big markdown right now. For the price, Everlane boasts really great quality, and the chalk colorway is a great vest for dipping your toes into sweater vest styling.
2. Land's End Men's Fine Gauge Supima Cotton Sweater Vest
This is as simple as it gets. If you want your sweater vest to operate as an element to a developed fit, as opposed to the eye-catching piece in your composition, any of these simple options from Land's End would fit the bill. The cloudy blue colorway is also a nice standout choice.
3. Brooks Brothers Fair Isle Sweater Vest
This one won't necessarily be for everyone, but if you're looking to build an outfit around a highlight piece, this Brooks Brothers vest is a killer option. The vest is 90% wool and 10% cashmere, meaning it'll be exceptionally warm with an added bonus of delicate softness. Consider styling it with a pair of jeans, plain black shirt and a navy overcoat.
4. Comme Des Garçons Homme Deux Lochaven Of Scotland Edition Vest Cardigan
At its current markdown, this option on the list is probably the best bang for your buck. It's part of the Comme des Garçons Shirt x Lochaven of Scotland collaboration, and comes in a beautiful olive colorway perfect for the spring or fall. One thing to note, however, is that this piece is 100% acrylic, so it may not feel as soft to the touch as some of the other fancier knits on the list. But the cut, color and brand make it a great option.
5. COS V-Neck Knitted Vest
This piece from COS is comprised of an organic cotton / wool blend, making it both warm and relatively easy to maintain. The gray colorway is easy to style, while the texture of the garment makes it a bit more visually interesting than a plain cotton rendition. This is a great piece for layering and warming up in the cooler months.
6. Alex Mill Bleecker Sweater Vest in Merino Wool
This option from Alex Mill is perfect for those who want to leave their vest loosely buttoned to show off a shirt underneath. The color options are beautiful, and the pockets are nice bonus place to store either your hands or your everyday items. This is classic cool.
7. Andersson Bell Black and Off-White Unisex Hippie Long Vest
Designer Andersson Bell is well known for its knitwear pieces, and this wool and mohair-blend is a beautiful, slightly more eccentric option that what's been on the list so far. The stripe pattern makes for a nice highlight of an otherwise muted outfit, or consider combining it with another pattern for a cool clashing effect.
8. J. Crew Cashmere Sweater-Vest
This is one of the most balanced options on the list. The pink colorway would make for a great highlight piece in an otherwise simplistic outfit, while the navy is a perfect basic to style however you see fit. J. Crew's cashmere is well-known for its softness and quality; odds are you won't want to take this one off.
9. Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Wool-Cashmere Sweater Vest
If you're looking for something stylistically more basic, but with supreme quality, then look no further than this entry from Ralph Lauren. The wool-cashmere blend is going to make this one of the softest and warmest options on the list, and the button-up style opens up more styling opportunities to show off a shirt or article under the vest itself.
10. Noon Goons Purple Kingston Sweater Vest
Alright now we're getting into the expensive options. These are the grail type of pieces that you would buy with some ideas already in mind for how best to style an outfit around them. This purple option from Noon Goons is gorgeous, and could be a perfect centerpiece to an otherwise mellower outfit. And if a $240 argyle vest isn't the right option for you, consider using it as styling inspiration for a similar vest you pick up at the thrift store.
11. Nanushka Off-White Ervin Fleece Vest Cardigan
It doesn't get more timeless than this. While the price tag is certainly daunting, the fit and endless styling opportunities provided by this piece's minimal style (and button up feature) make it an amazing high-end minimalist option.
12. Raf Simons Purple Oversized Knit Vest
This list wouldn't be complete without something from Raf Simons. This is one of the more fitted vests on the list, making it a good option for wearing solo as more of a tank top. You could also consider sizing up and utilizing the beautiful merino wool garment as an accent piece.
13. Maison Margiela Grey Blurred Fair Isle Vest
This is actually the vest that ASAP Nast is wearing in the image at the beginning of this article. When it comes to Margiela, you can expect supreme quality and eye for detail, and this vest is no exception. At first glance, it may just look like a fair isle pattern, but it's actually a weird blurred rendition of the classic pattern; it almost feels like an optical illusion when you stare at it.
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