It’s March, which marks the beginning of the “not-quite-winter-but-not-quite-spring” micro-season here in the D. Temperatures can rise to a boiling 60 degrees one day, and drop back down to 40 or 30 the next day. This is encouraging, as it is signalling the beginning of a seasonal change, and the transition from a frigid winter to a long-awaited, pleasant spring. However, these cruel and unusual mood swings of Mother Nature can be a nightmare for those aiming to stay stylish. We here at LVD feel the struggle, and have found that there are a few key pieces that bridge the awkward gap between winter and spring. Some of the most essential pieces are sweaters and cardigans. We are aware that rocking only a sweater or cardigan can look nice, yet sort of bland; so we chose to show the sweaters in our closet that have redeeming qualities that allow to be the focal point of an outfit. By playing with pattern, fit, color, and style, sweaters and cardigans can stand on their own, and can play a dual role in these not-quite-spring days, keeping you warm and affirming your status as Captain Steez.
Avery: Simply put, I love sweater weather. These 50 degree days are my favorite as I get to style outfits around my beloved sweaters. While many believe that layering is what gives a man maximum style potential, I don’t think that is always the case. If the sweater has interesting detailing, or is plain and styled in the right way, it can stand alone and be fresh. Here are my 4 favorites:
Look 1: For this look, I went for a plain grey sweater, and tried to show how you can make a basic piece interesting. My signature has become mixing the rugged with the luxe and this outfit is the perfect example. I rock some slim cargos and a denim shirt to toughen up the immaculate gray crewneck. The chunk soled brogues finish it off for an outfit that is equal part panache and power.
Look 2: In this look, I go for a modern take on a classic. On paper, the combination of a black cardigan, gray trousers and white shirt sounds very plain and bland. However, I keep the look fresh by adding intricate details. This beautiful sweater from Détroit is the New Black adds the tonal varsity D which adds a classic touch, yet edge at the same time, reminiscent of Raf Simons’ fall 2016 line. My crisp white shirt is buttoned all the way to the top. The trousers are straight cut, cuffed and cropped, revealing the entirety of my black wingtip boots to finish the look. The look is trendy, yet rooted in classic pieces.
Look 3: This is my go to look for a busy day about town, or a day spent at the library. The simple navy crewneck is an absolute stunner as it gets elevated by the bold camel chest stripes. I pair it simply with medium wash denim and desert boots to complete a simple, stylish and comfortable casual outfit.
Look 4: At first glance, it may appear as if I am wearing a blazer; however, it’s actually a double breasted cardigan. I pair it with some burgundy chinos, a knit longsleeve, and my desert boots. This look takes all the Italiano elegance of an unstructured, double breasted blazer, and adds in the comfort of a cardigan. The piece is very unique, and comfortable, elevating my simple crewneck and chinos look.
Mason: I would have to agree with Avery. 50-65 degree weather is my absolute favorite for fashion. It is the time that enables you to essentially dress however you like; whether that be just short sleeve t-shirt or a full on overcoat. It is also of course the prime time for light layering with sweaters. I do not have too many sweaters, but I do believe that they are an essential piece in any man’s wardrobe.
Look 1: Because this look is all black and monochromatic, it had to be made more interesting not through color, but through texture and fit. The H&M skinny jeans are essentially the foundation for the outfit and don’t contribute much texture-wise, but proportionally contrast the much heavier top half of the outfit. On top, I started with this long and drapey thin black shirt, that sort of flows off of my shoulders like Severus Snape or some kind of “Gothic Prince of Darkness.” I love it. Then I put on one of my most versatile sweaters, it’s a chunky black knit sweater from H&M that can be dressed up or down in near infinite stylish combinations. The exact reason why I don’t own too many sweaters is because I get so much wear out of this one piece. It’s thick knit texture helps break up the monotony of any outfit, especially this all black one. For added warmth on the colder spring days, I added my Kenneth Cole blazer which also makes the silhouette a bit more angular and masculine with just the right amount of shoulder pad. To top things off I wore my pleather baseball cap from Urban Outfitters, leather brogue boots from Johnston and Murphy, as well as my Vitaly gold rings. I recently shaved my head, so the hat is mostly just there to keep me from looking like some kind of Anton LeVey-esque cult leader. Despite this, I think it really finishes off the outfit with it’s more casual appearance.
Look 2: This look is awfully reminiscent of the one from our fur article. Mostly due to the oversized green H&M sweater that steals the show. I paired this with a striped shirt I thrifted, and the same pants, rings, boots and cap from the first look. I do really like this look, and though this sweater is too outlandish and attention grabbing to be super versatile, it is one of my favorite pieces. I admit to being heavily inspired by one of Raf Simons’ insanely large sweaters he released for his F/W '16, though the one I own is much more toned down in comparison, as well as the entire Vetements “long-sleeves” aesthetic that has been trending for the last few seasons. Despite heavily drawing inspiration from other sources with this sweater in terms of fit, this lustrous evergreen color is one I have always loved, and it was what I had been seeking out in a sweater. In general I love the bright fall colors of evergreen, orange, yellow and red, and hope to add more of them to my wardrobe, but this piece was a great first step in that endeavor.
Shawn: Listen folks, sweater weather is my kind of game. Sweaters tie in a multitude of outfits ranging from a classic chic outfit one would wear in a night on the town and are a staple like a blazer. The beauty of the sweater stems from the variety that can be catered to one’s interests. In my case I dig the cardigan look. Here are my top three conglomerations ya filthy bastards:
Look one: “Retro” Here we’re looking at some retro classic steez that one can find me wearing on a big exam day, big first date ;) ,and of course simply when I hit the road for a night out with the boys. This look compiles a white, silk trim with a small collar surrounding the beautifully oriented blue hearts on the shirt underneath. Whole lotta lovin’ goin on there with this retro shirt. I layer this shirt with a thin blue Brooks Brothers cardigan that ties in the rest of the outfit and adds a classic chic element to the outfit that ya just can’t take your eyes off of. I love the different colored trim around the collar. I wear this with my brown corduroys, because it keeps the outfit tied together very nicely.
Look two: “Cream Puff” Out here looking like a twinkie when I sport the longline mohair cardigan from Zara. Given the amount of looks you’ll get when sporting this jawn, it is safe to not wear anything else with it that might attract too many eyes given that the eyes should be on the cardigan. Being simple is the name of the game when rocking this piece. I combine it with a white tee from American Apparel and throw on some cuffed blue jeans for the hell of it, while capping the outfit off with my signature PF Flyers.
Look three: “Native” Here I sport my tribal fit. This Urban Outfitters cardigan is no joke because no one expects it when you walk in the door. Throw on a knit henley like I did and some jeans or cargo pants of choice and boy you’ll look fly. Peace out.