(800) 781-2088

How to Know if a Sweater Is Smart, Casual, or Business


Sweaters are an invaluable wardrobe staple that comes in handy when the temperatures drop. Just like the other garments, they are classified into various types meant for different styles and looks. In this style guide, you will learn the difference between smart, casual, and business sweaters.

Business Sweater Styles

Anything you wear to work or formal meetings should be simple. Vivid patterns and bright colors belong to the ski slopes and not offices. You also want to avoid bulky weaves and go for thin pieces. Here are the best sweaters for business occasions.

Quarter-Zip Sweaters

Quarter-zip sweaters are among the most popular business wear for men. They come in cashmere, merino wools, patterns, and lighter-weight cotton. For an office-appropriate look, you can wear a quarter zip sweater with a bottom-down sports shirt or under a jacket. The pieces are fashionable, comfortable, and easy to style, making them a great go-to option in low temperatures.

V-Neck Sweaters

A V-neck sweater with a solid color is perfect when worn with a necktie. It makes a great transitional wardrobe piece when you do not want to leave the house without an extra layer. V-neck sweaters are mostly made of cashmere or merino wool and sometimes cotton for warmer weather. 

When purchasing a V-neck sweater, be sure it fits well. It should hug your arms and torsos lightly without being too tight. You can layer it with a bright dress shirt and layer with a good coat.

Crew-Neck Sweaters

Also known as the basic wool pullovers, crew-neck sweaters have round, symmetrical necklines that are right against your neck. The knot of a necktie may show over a crew-neck sweater, but the tie and shirt color can look a bit constricted. We, therefore, recommend wearing them with open dress shirts or with thin turtlenecks.

Casual Sweater Styles

Casual sweaters are meant for informal occasions. Unless you are in a very relaxed working environment, you will want to avoid them in any professional setting.


You might be surprised to see this one here, but cardigans are casual sweaters. Although they look good when paired with dress shirts or dress slacks, they are not meant for professional settings. In case you are wondering, cardigans are sweaters that open completely in the front. Most of them are made of fine wool like cashmere.

The reason why cardigans are casual pieces lies in their construction. Any sweater that zips or buttons up is not formal. Usually, the visual clutter of the opening is slightly off workwear.

Ombre Crew Sweaters

Ombre sweaters are perfect casual pieces. They are often knit with decorative colors that result in an ombre finish. These types can be worn with chinos or denim. You can reserve them for casual Fridays in a laid-back workplace environment.

Sweater Vests

If you have a nice dress shirt, you can show it off with a sweater vest, especially in warm weather. A lightly patterned or solid-colored sweater vest brings a unique and eye-catching look than a basic V-neck or crew-neck pullover. 

Sweater vests come in V-necks, making them standard for an office appearance. You can choose to rock them with a tie or without it. Adventurous men layer them with coats, but you should be careful with your choice of colors. You will require restrained colors to pull off that look.

Smart Sweater Styles

Smart clothing lies between casual and business wear. Here are the sweaters that you can rock to achieve the best look.

Argyll V-Neck Sweaters

Wearing an argyll sweater is a great way of adding color to an ensemble. They offer a nice sporty alternative to a plain sweater. While most people wear them casually, they fall under the smart wear category. 

When wearing these sweaters, you want to be careful with colors. Ensure that there is color coordination, especially with the patterned argyll sweaters. If you are not careful, argyle can get loud, so sticking to solid colors is important.

Heavier Knit Sweaters

For the most part, a heavier knit sweater may look a little more casual. If you are in an office that is a little relaxed, though, you can consider a few options. A good Shetland crew neck or cable knit will not be too bulky to pull off indoors and can be dressed up for a smart appearance. As long as your underneath is sharp, you should look great.

Cable Knit V-Neck Sweaters

They display vertical patterns of crossing tables. They are thick and mostly worn during cold climates. You can suit up for the cooler weather by layering a cable-knit sweater between your shirt and coat.

Looking for the best designer sweaters to add to your wardrobe? Check out Family Britches. We have the best quality fabrics for all occasions at affordable prices. Our aim is to offer our customers a comfortable wardrobe and an updated classic style to meet the current fashion curve. Visit our website to place your order or contact us now for more information about our products.

Pin It on Pinterest