Hello and welcome. I hope this finds you safe and healthy. This week we are exploring the history and styles of the sweater.
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A sweater, called a jumper in British English, is a garment for the upper body that is usually knitted or crocheted. Originally knitted from natural wool, the garment provided protection from the cold for fishermen and sailors. First produced in the English Channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey, it was given the name jersey. Athletes in the United States began wearing the garment in the 1890s and called it a sweater.
This garment has come a long way since it’s beginning. It’s now made both of natural and synthetic fibers. Natural fibers like wool, cashmere and cotton will look and feel better in a sweater. The material from which a one is made can make it lighter or heavier, cooler or warmer. Although we think of sweaters most often for fall and winter, lighter weight sweaters are perfect for spring.
Sweater styles are often defined by the neckline- crew neck, v-neck, turtleneck, and cowl neck. For more details on which neckline flatters which body type, check out the Fashion A to Z post on necklines.
Sweaters can also be fitted or slouchy. Fitted sweaters are better for a preppy look or for a formal business outfit. Slouchy sweaters give off a more casual vibe.
Let’s look at a few main sweater styles:
1- Crew neck– A crew neck sweater is one of the most popular styles. They can be thick or light, fitted or slouchy. A crew neck is one of the most popular for layering with a collared shirt.
2- Cable knit- this one has a textured weave, originally thought to mimic the fisherman’s rope and tools for whom it was knitted. It’s a heavier sweater and a great choice for colder winters.
Cable knit- Gap
3- Cardigan– the ever popular open sweater. Read more about them in Fashion A to Z: C for Cardigans. Another great choice for spring!
4- Poncho – a poncho is unique in that it usually has just an opening for your head and no arm holes, or very large armholes. It’s usually worn as outerwear, over another top, but it’s knitted or woven and thus counts as a sweater.
Poncho- Cents of Style
What’s your favorite style of sweater?
Got an old sweater that has seen better days? Get your craft on and recycle it into another item like a stocking, pillow, scarf, or flowers.
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