Few items of clothing are as versatile as the lightweight sweater. Balancing just the right amount of warmth and coverage with breathability and air circulation, a well-made lightweight sweater will be your go-to for effortless year-round layering — perfect for windy spring days, summer al fresco dining, or as a trusty bottom layer in the cooler months.
What to Look For in a Lightweight Sweater
The best men’s lightweight sweaters are crafted from breathable and breezy fabrics like cotton, silk or linen. Lightweight merino or cashmere blends may also be used for a luxurious take on the everyday staple.
Consider what style to opt for: from polo necks to pullovers, cardigans to crewnecks — lightweight sweaters encompass all variety of styles and silhouettes, so it really depends on the context that you’ll be wearing it in. Business meeting? Layer an elegant v-neck over an Oxford shirt. Summer barbeque? Reach for a casual crewneck when the warm day turns into a chilly evening.
Choose a fit that’s relaxed enough to layer over other garments but not baggy: you want to look smart, not sloppy. Shoulder seams should sit in the centre of your shoulder and the arm should reach just to your wrist.
Best Men’s Lightweight Sweaters to Buy in 2022
This lightweight crewneck sweater from Italian menswear maestro Luca Faloni will add a touch of understated elegance to any outfit. Made in Italy from an ultra-luxurious blend of cashmere and silk, it boasts a fitted but comfortable silhouette that naturally drapes around the body. Wear it as it is, directly against the skin, or over a collared shirt for an effortless business casual look.
Dutch label WAHTS has mastered the art of elevated sportswear, with a collection of versatile everyday staples that will serve you just as well in the gym as in the office. Case in point: this 100% piqué cotton sweater, a smart-casual style hero that you’ll reach for time and again.
London-based menswear label Percival is all about putting playful twists on timeless classics. That’s exactly what it’s done with its range of embroidered cotton tees and sweatshirts. Given that we’re always hungry, the ramen obviously gets our vote.
Crafted in an ultra-fine 24-gauge knit from 100% traceable extra-fine Merino wool, this polo sweater from Swedish label ASKET offers the best of both worlds: it’s naturally breathable yet insulating, so it will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Its cutaway collar and elegant mother of pearl buttons lend it an air of sophistication that makes it a smart casual staple.
Portuguese label ISTO. specialises in seasonless staples that are made to stand the test of time. Its ‘365-day-a-year sweater’ is true to its name, the perfect lightweight sweater for any time of year. Crafted from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and rib-knitted for a fine-gauge handle, it will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
A hoodie is a casual classic that should be a fixture in every wardrobe. For a sustainable take, look to Madrid-based brand Neutrale, whose Natural Dye Hoodie is made in Portugal from organic cotton and dyed using 100% biodegradable and biocompostable natural dyes. It’s a win for your wardrobe and a win for the planet.
Despite being best known for its denim, Japanese label EDWIN also works its magic with other laidback clothing essentials. Its Snap Polo is an oversized lightweight sweater made from a heavy unbrushed cotton fabric. With its metal snaps and subtle embroidery, it will add just the right amount of edge to your outfit.