mens_fallwinter_essentials_sweaters_wordpress_ashley_weston

Men’s Crewneck Sweaters and Cardigans

My favorite sweaters for this time of year are crewnecks and cardigans – either regular or shawl collar styles. They’re great because not only do they keep you warm, but they allow you to create a bunch of new looks depending on how you layer them with the other items you own.

Before I go any further, I want to make sure you’ve already seen my v-neck sweater article and video, because:

  • You should already own some v-neck sweaters since they look amazing on every body type and can be worn year-round.
  • You know the do’s and dont’s with sweaters and how they should fit your body type because I’m going to discuss  crewnecks and cardigans as if you already know these guidelines.

Crewneck Sweaters

Brook's Brothers Golden Fleece Merino Wool Charcoal Crewneck

$300 – Brook’s Brothers Golden Fleece 3-D Knit Fine-Gauge Merino Wool Charcoal Crewneck Sweater

I like crewnecks because they can be worn over t-shirts, unlike v-neck sweaters which look weird with t-shirts under them, and they look great in casual outfits or can take a more dressy outfit, like a suited look, and dress it down, while still adding a nice, warm layer to your outfit.

The two things you have to do, though, and I’ll say this forever, is:

  1. Really nail the fit
  2. Know how to wear them, based on your body type.

If you are a broader guy, then crewnecks 100% of the time have to be worn as a layering piece only. So underneath a jacket, blazer or suit – never on their own because, otherwise, it’ll create a huge swath of fabric on your torso and accentuate your size. Trust me, you don’t want this. (Watch my video at the top for examples).

Fit

For any body type, you always want to make sure your crewneck sweater fits like a glove. Make sure you can’t pinch more than an inch of fabric on the back of your tricep and no more than 2 inches of fabric on one side of your belly.

As for length, ensure the sleeves generally stop around the bend of your wrist, and make sure it is no longer than just past your belt buckle area.

The thing that drives me nuts is when I see guys wearing crewnecks with big bunchy sleeves and rolled or rippled mid-sections. Bleh!

Budget Friendly

$26 – Zara Basic Fine Knit Sweater
$40 – TopMan Grey Ripple Textured Raglan Slim Fit Sweater 
$50 – H&M Merino Wool Sweater
$55 – TopMan SELECTED HOMME Black And White Woven Long Sleeve T-Shirt
$70 – H&M Textured Knit Cashmere Sweater 
$158 – J.Crew Lightweight Italian Cashmere Crewneck Sweater 

Designer

$190 – A.P.C. Bros Sweatshirt 
$230 – John Smedley Marcus Crew Neck Merino Wool Sweater (3 colors)
$300 – Brook’s Brothers Golden Fleece 3-D Knit Fine-Gauge Merino Wool Brown Crewneck Sweater
$375 – Vince Heathered Cashmere Sweater
$675 – Brunello Cucinelli Cotton Crewneck Spa Sweatshirt
$950 – Prada Cashmere and Silk Blend Sweater 

Cardigans: Regular and Shawl-Collar

J. Crew Slim Merino Wool Navy Cardigan

$90 – J. Crew Slim Merino Wool Cardigan Navy Sweater

Now let’s move on to cardigans – specifically, regular and shawl collar styles.

Just like crewnecks, they’re great worn over most shirts (even with ties) except v-neck t-shirts (unless it’s a really shallow “V”, otherwise it just looks weird with the double “v”) or polo shirts because the collars never lay or look right with cardigans.

Regular cardigans can pretty much be worn underneath everything up to a suit, while shawl collar cardigans, since they’re usually made of thicker wool or cotton, are typically worn on their own. Think of shawl collar cardigans as knit jackets, basically and wear them in their place.

If you’re a larger guy, regular cardigans are to be worn buttoned up AND only underneath another item as a layering piece. If you were to wear it on it’s own, it’ll make you look super big and wide. (examples shown in the video at the top).

If you have a regular or slim body type, then you can wear regular cardigans on their own, but almost always buttoned up – leave the bottom button undone so it lays nicely and doesn’t look bunched up while you’re sitting. I think when they’re worn unbuttoned, they lose their structure and get really floppy and messy looking.

For shawl collar cardigans, if you’re a broader guy, you should absolutely wear them on their own, but never buttoned up. Leaving it unbuttoned breaks up your width nicely and looks great and hides those problem areas around the midsection and upper body. I really love them for this body type.

If you’re any other body type, you can wear your shawl collar cardigan buttoned or unbuttoned, but remember to leave the bottom button undone, of course.

FIT

As to how your cardigans should fit, the same crewneck rules apply:

Pinch no more than 2 inches on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch on the back of your tricep.

It should hit pretty close to past your belt buckle and the sleeves should end somewhere around the bend of your wrist.

Regular Cardigans

Budget Friendly

$30 – Zara Viscose Cardigan 
$90 – J. Crew Slim Merino Wool Cardigan Sweater (3 colors)
$120 – Club Monaco Soft Wool Cardigan

Designer

$230 – Club Monaco Cashmere Cardigan
$300 – Vince Mixed Rib Cardigan 
$415 – Boglioli Cotton Cardigan

Shawl Collar Cardigan

Budget Friendly


$30 – Only & Sons Shawl Neck Cardigan with Mix Yarn Detail
$118 – J. Crew Shawl Collar Cardigan Sweater
$150 – J. Crew Cotton Shawl Collar Cardigan Sweater 

Designer

 

$275 – Rag & Bone Avery Navy Shawl Cardigan
$275 – Rag & Bone Avery Shawl Army Green Cardigan
$598 – Brooks Brothers Cashmere Shawl Collar Cardigan
$1,590 – Tom Ford Iconic Shawl-Collar Cardigan

Colors

As for colors, I mentioned them in the series intro video, so check that video and article out for details about the colors that will go well with your skin color.

MATERIALS

And lastly, before I show you how I’d style these sweaters, let’s go over the best materials for your sweaters.

If you run warmer, you want your sweaters to be cotton blends, otherwise wool and cashmere are my two favorites.

Best ways to wear your sweater

fallwinteressentialsovercoatcamelsweaterashleyweston

H&M Double Breasted Coat
H&M Merino Wool Sweater
A/X Pima Tee
Burberry Slim Fit Wool Trousers
Johnston & Murphy Jennings Wingtip
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses

MensFallWinterEssentialsSweatersCardiganAshleyWeston

Topman Light Brown Wool Coat
Burberry Slim Fit Cotton Poplin Dress Shirt
The Tie Bar Webster Medallions Tie
J.Crew Slim Merino Wool Cardigan
John Varvatos Grand Sunglasses
J.Crew Ludlow Suit Pant in English Donegal Tweed
Johnston & Murphy Nolen Double Monkstrap Shoes

1Chiwetel Ejiofor Martian Style Ashley Weston2

Rag & Bone Avery Shawl Collar Cardigan
Brooks Brothers Milano Button-Down Collar Dress Shirt
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Decatur Ave Casual Belt
Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Chukka 

2016giftguidewordpressheader

2016 Holiday Gifts For The Women in Your Life

It’s that time of year again, just like the last two years (on this very site as well as PrimerMag), so I want to show you the gifts the women in your life will love to receive this time of year. Trust me, I know we’re a strange bunch when it comes to gifts, and shopping for all the women in your life can be tough – especially if that means you’ll be giving gifts to multiple women like your wife/girlfriend, mom, mom-in-law, sister, and female friend/co-worker/boss.

There’s a few things to consider in order to deliver a thoughtful, special present to the women in your life:

  • Who are you shopping for?
  • Should you splurge or not on that person?
  • What will she appreciate the most?

So let’s ensure you knock it out of the park when it comes to giving the women in your life an incredible present this holiday season – regardless of your budget.

FYI: If I can toot my own horn for a minute –  I’ve got a 100% perfect track record when it comes to helping my clients pick out gifts for their special ladies. Just saying 😉

Mother / Mother-In-Law

The goal with giving your mother or MIL the right gift is to find something that’s useful and will go with whatever her design/style aesthetic is. With that being said, I truly believe if you can, you should splurge on her. Show her how much you love and appreciate her.

Notebook

With that being said, I love Smythson and Hermes notebooks because not only are they extremely useful, but they’ll come beautifully packaged in their iconic blue and orange boxes, respectively. Your mother (or MIL) will be so excited when she sees the box because she’ll instantly know she’s about to receive a super special gift.

Scarves

Another really great gift is a scarf – I especially love (and own myself) the Louis Vuitton scarf. The fabric is beautiful, silky smooth, and will dress up any outfit. A fun alternative is the Kate Spade scarf that’s easy to wear and stylish.

Home

If she loves anything kitchen-related, then you won’t go wrong with a Vitamix or zoodle maker. More than likely, she doesn’t own these items, but will appreciate how useful and awesome they are. Also, I really like the sleek design of West Elm’s marble and copper serving board and Roar+Rabbit’s Free Form Terrarium which will look great on her desk or next to the sink – these are especially great gifts for your MIL because they’ll be appreciated by her regardless of her design aesthetic.

Food & Wine

Another crowd pleaser, and a gift that I had on last year’s list, is Cakebread’s red and white wine gift set. Any winelover will appreciate these fan-freaking-tastic wines. For something outside of the box, order her a box or 6-month subscription to TryTheWorld.com. Every month, she’ll get a themed box of gourmet foods from all around the world. I actually was given this last year by a client and I have to say the packaging alone was super nice and the items tucked inside were so unique and fun.

$590 – Louis Vuitton Monogram Shawl (Beige, Charcoal Grey, or Night Blue)
$78 – Kate Spade New York ‘Swan Around’ Silk Scarf
$320 – Hermés Ulysse Notebook
$80 – Hermés Ulysse Page Refill
$230 – Smythson Panama Collection ‘Soho Notebook’ (personalize with initials for $12/letter)
$18 – Moleskine Color Hard Cover Notebook (black, red, or navy)
$330 – Vitamix Blender 
$160 – Nutri Ninja| Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ
$200 for 6 months – Try the World ‘Signature Box’
$110 – Cakebread Cellars Treasured Classics
$60 – West Elm Marble + Copper Serving Board 
$50-$70 – West Elm Roar + Rabbit Freeform Terrariums
$24 – West Elm Mid-Century Turned Leg Tabletop Planter
$24 – WonderVeg Vegetable Spiralizer

Girlfriend or Wife

The challenge with finding the right gift for your girlfriend or wife is that you want to make sure she’ll think it’s thoughtful, special, and enough. Now when I say “enough”, I mean that we want to feel like we opened up something that feels representative of how much you love us because you better bet we’ll be doing the same when shopping for your gift. Buying us something like a pen or coffee thermos feels, well, cold.

Massage

For an incredibly thoughtful and unique gift, pamper her with an in-home massage. Trust me, she’ll love this. My fiancé got this for me as an anniversary present one year and it was so awesome that I don’t know what woman wouldn’t want this. I’m going against my “no gift certificates” policy for significant others because there’s almost no other way to give her something like this without it. Zeel or Soothe are amazing apps where she can order up a massage whenever she wants – they’re like Uber but for massages.

Jewelry

As for jewelry, if your woman is stylish and loves fashion, then I highly recommend Jennifer Fisher’s choker or a close second is Eddie Borgo’s pearl choker. The clean yet unique designs of both items will compliment every woman’s style – I’m definitely crossing my fingers and toes that I get one of these this Christmas. If your lady is more classic, then go with a necklace with her initial(s) – I personally love Jennifer Fisher’s mini gothic letter pendant with pave diamonds. A more budget-friendly option is by Kate Spade. Both are dainty and delicate and will be loved the moment she sets eyes on it.

Clothing

Other than jewelry, we’ll always appreciate a soft, warm sweater/cardigan or a silky robe that’ll make us feel sexy every time we wear it.

Fitness Trackers

If she’s health-conscious, I’d recommend a Fitbit or Apple Watch. If you go with an Apple watch, I would buy the one with the cheapest strap and then buy a couple of after-market watch straps on Amazon (listed my favorites and the ones I use all the time below) since they’re way cheaper and just as nice (think $12 versus $100 on Apple).

Flowers or Perfume

If flowers and perfume is the approach you want to take, I’d recommend Maison Margiela’s perfume below – It literally smells like freshly laundered sheets mixed with white flowers. The scent is so magical and light! There’s also Eric Buterbaugh’s perfume kit which is pricey, but totally worth it. His scents are extremely high-end but you understand why because they perfectly capture the scents of various flowers.

I feel like every woman I know is lusting over Venus et Fleur’s roses – and for good reason! The company has somehow found a way to make their roses last a year! Yep, a full year! They’re beautifully packaged in a box and are the perfect item to sit on her desk every single day for the next 365 days. These roses are definitely expensive, and I’ll always maintain that flowers should be a supplementary gift, so if you don’t want to splurge on the below collections, then get the Venus et Fleur Le Mini Round ($39) as it’ll be the perfect size to sit on her desk all year long without taking up too much room.

$1,475 – Jennifer Fisher Abstract Line Choker (Yellow Gold or Silver Plated)
$275 – Eddie Borgo Pearl Hinged Choker (Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, or Silver)
$20 – Topshop Double Bar Choker
$1,300 – Jennifer Fisher Mini Gothic Letter Pendant with Pave White Diamonds (Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, or White Gold)
$60 – Kate Spade ‘One in a Million’ Initial Pendant Necklace
$500 – Venus et Fleur ‘The Eternity Marble Collection’
$140 – Venus et Fleur ‘Lé Petite Eternity Arrangement’
$385 – La Perla Silk Satin Short Robe (Pink)
$385 – La Perla Silk Short Robe (Black or White)
$50 – Victoria’s Secret Satin Kimono (Clover Green, Bright Cherry, or Ink Blot)
$315 – Eric Buterbaugh Discovery Kit
$125 – Maison Margiela “Replica” Lazy Sunday Morning
$270+ – Apple Watch
$27 – Apple Watch 38 mm Leather Band (Brown, Black, Blue Jay)
$23 – Kartice for Apple Watch 38 mm Band (Double Tour Brown, Double Tour Blue, Double Tour Black)
$12 – Apple Watch Stainless Steel 38 mm Bracelet Strap (Champagne, Black, Silver, Rose Gold)
$150 – Fitbit Charge 2
$200 – J. Crew Italian Cashmere Cardigan Sweater (Charcoal, Camel or Midnight)
$80 – J. Crew Tippi Sweater (Deep Copper, Navy, Vintage Cabernet, or Heather Smoke)
$160/60 min – Zeel Massage Gift Certificate (price varies based on your city)
$100/60 min – Soothe Massage Gift Certificate (price varies based on your city)

Sister or Friend

I always think shopping for your sister or friend is the easiest because their gifts are less pressure-filled and you can have more fun with it. There’s really no need to go all out – save that for your mother or girlfriend/wife.

Hats

If you’ve ever noticed your sister or friend wearing a hat, then the two options below are the best and most wearable hats out there. I’m personally a huge fan (and owner!) of the Rag & Bone hat, but I’m tempted to pick up this burgundy J.Crew hat because the color (and price!) is 10 out of 10. BUT, if you’ve never seen your sis/friend wear a hat, then DO NOT get them this because it’s for a very specific woman. Instead, go with the bag or wallet and add a nice, personal touch by getting her initials monogrammed on it.

Skincare/Haircare/Makeup

Every woman loves anything makeup or skincare-related which is why the Foreo Luna facial scrubber, Fresh spa set, and Urban Decay eyeshadow palette are so perfect. The eyeshadow colors will compliment every skin color and the Foreo Luna or the Fresh spa set will work wonders for even the most sensitive skin.

Probably the most exciting news that came out of the hair world this year was the official launch of the Dyson hair dryer. Trust me, your sister or friends will know what this is and they’ll will be so excited when they lay eyes on this beauty. If the Dyson is a little too steep, then the Hot Tools blow dryer is one of the BEST budget-friendly tools on the market.

Headphones

If you want to get her something tech-related, gift her Bragi’s earphones. They’re super minimal looking and it’s one of those items that she probably doesn’t have/won’t think to pick up until she’s forced to but will really appreciate how useful they are while working out or riding the subway or walking around town.

Cookbook

Every girl who is half into cooking has been raving about this one cookbook by Chrissy Teigen, who wrote all about her favorite comfort food dishes.

Shoes

And lastly, I’m actually getting my sister this for Christmas, and that’s the classic Adidas Stan Smiths, but with a twist! I’m going to take the shoes to my local mall where they have those stalls that monogram items with gold foil and I’m going to have the right shoe monogrammed in small letters (see photo for example) with her initials. It’s such a chic, stylish yet minimal touch that I know she’ll appreciate.

$400 – Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
$50 – Hot Tools Turbo Ceramic Salon
$250+ – Bragi The Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones (White or Black)
$200 – Rag & Bone Floppy Brim Fedora (Black or Pecan)
$75 – J. Crew Wide-Brimmed Italian Wool-Felt Hat (Cabernet or Camel)
$200 – Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin
$95 – Fresh Mini Mask Spa
$130 – J. Crew Signet Bag in Italian Leather (Roasted Chestnut, Festival Red, or Black) – (get initials monogrammed for $10)
$22 – J. Crew Zip Wallet (Bistro Blue or Pink Flamingo) – (get initials monogrammed for $10)
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (get initials on one shoe)
$54 – Urban Decay Naked3 Palette
$20 – Chrissy Teigen ‘Cravings’ Cookbook

For Everyone Else Or The Hard To Shop For

For everyone else in your life, whether it’s your aunt, cousin, co-worker, boss, etc, it’s important you select gifts that are useful, yet feel personal. I don’t feel it’s necessary, nor expected, to splurge on pricey gifts for these women in your life unless she’s your boss or a significant person in your life.

The Most AMAZING Food Basket

First up, an easy gift that everyone will love and use right away is a Harry & David gift basket. If you’ve never heard of the company, they’re known for their perfectly ripe, juicy pears wrapped in gold foil. Their food is seriously a work of art and their gift baskets are a true holiday classic that’s not cheesy and stuffed with lackluster food. I’m so excited when clients get me these, you have no idea!

Tea & Coffee Samplers

Other great alternatives are a tea or coffee set. I’m a huge fan of the two companies I featured and personally use their products on a daily basis. Any tea or coffee lover will enjoy these!

Candle Sets

A great gift for you boss, aunt, or cousin is a Diptyque candle set (the BEST luxury candles out there IMO!) or the stylishly designed RBT wine carafe.

Skincare & Water Bottle

For your cousin or co-workers, they’d definitely appreciate goodies from cool-girl brand, Glossier, or a sleekly designed rose gold water bottle. Glossier offers gift sets, but I put together 4 of their must-have items that’ll create the perfect beauty kit for her.

Carbonated Water Maker

Another great gift, and one I’ll be getting some ladies this year, is a SodaStream carbonated water maker. I love carbonated water and how easy it is to use this machine. She can also make her own sodas, too.

Leather Pouches

Every time I travel, I use a smaller dopp kit to store my cords/plugs, but it’s also great at protecting makeup and sunglasses. If I’m going to a coffee shop to get some work done, I store all of my cords and chargers in their cable rollup – it’s an easy and stylish way to stay organized.

$200 – This is Ground Tech Dopp Kit (Bomber, French Grey, or Black)
$55 – This is Ground Cordito Cord & Plug Rollup (Bomber, French Grey, or Black)
$100 – RBT Carafe Decanter
$100 – Diptyque 3 Holiday Mini Candles Set 
$95 – SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit in Black (or White)
$70 – SodaStream Jet Starter Kit
$40 – Drop Bottle Rose Gold Infuser
$40 – Harry & David Harry’s Gift Box
$40 – Teavana Ultimate Tea Collection
$35 – Stumptown Blend Trio
$22 – Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack (get all of the below Glossier items for the ultimate gift set)
$18 – Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
$12 – Glossier Flavored Balm Dotcom
$12 – Glossier 3 Pink Pouches 

 

Think these are crap? Check out the previous years for other great gift ideas for the women in your life.