Sweaters for Big Men

Crystal Schwanke
big man in sweater

Sweaters for big men can be a cure for winter wardrobe confusion. They can be worn almost anywhere at any time because they're easy to dress up or down. They also come in such a variety of weights, they can easily be that missing link between too cold and too hot when the weather is just starting to shift or when you'll be alternating frequently between indoors and out throughout the day.

About Sweaters for Big Men

The good thing about sweaters for big men is that they are available almost anywhere that sells a selection (large or small) of big men's clothing. That means they're available at price points to work with nearly any budget. From the $11.00 Walmart choices to the more expensive options at specialty stores, there's no reason for men who wear bigger sizes to miss out on this layering option when the temperature drops. Most sweaters will be made from wool or cotton. Be sure to check the care label before purchasing if you're concerned about running up a hefty dry cleaning bill.

Sweater options include:

Crewneck: This is a classic and will pair well with almost anything. If you hate trying to color coordinate your clothes in the morning, you'll get to worry about that less with a crewneck. If you're putting a t-shirt underneath, there's a good chance the whole thing will be hidden but you'll still get the extra warmth and moisture-wicking benefits a cotton shirt can offer.

V-neck: This is a classic as well, but you will usually be able to see a little bit of that undershirt, so keep that in mind. These aren't often worn alone, so a hint of another shirt will usually be present in the middle of the V shape.

Cardigan (sleeveless or long sleeved): These often button up about halfway and are dressier than many of the other options. These are often seen with button-ups and ties. They can be worn with jeans or slacks.

Turtleneck: If you want to look put-together without the hassle of pairing a button-up or tie with your shirt, a turtleneck style sweater is a good idea. It can be worn with jeans or slacks and can go anywhere from a café to the classroom.

Pullover: Pullover styles are generally crewneck or V neck. As the name suggests, there are no buttons or zippers. Styles, colors, and patterns vary greatly within this category because it's full of new takes on classics.

Zip-front: Zip front sweaters often give off a more athletic, casual appearance than other styles. They pair well with casual khakis, cargos, or jeans. Wear them with T-shirts to keep the casual look going.

Sweater vests: Sweater vests are just sweaters that have no sleeves. They're most often deep V necks and pair nicely with a button-up in a complementary color. Ties are optional as a general rule, but check with your workplace's dress code if you're adding them to your business attire.

Thick: Chunky knits, boucle, and other interesting textured effects fall into this category. They may make you look extra cozy, so if you're hoping to curl up with someone special these are worth consideration.

Thin: Thin sweaters are some of the most versatile and won't add a lot of unwanted bulk to big men. They're easiest to layer and come in several different styles, including crewneck, V neck, cardigan, and turtleneck.

How to Wear the Sweaters

To avoid adding bulk, choose thin sweaters without a lot of texture. Knit sweaters with chunky cable detailing are warm and cozy, but if the goal is to avoid looking larger, skip them in lieu of a thinner, simpler style or pair them with a thinner shirt, like a cotton undershirt.

Most men's sweaters pair just as well with jeans as they do with slacks, so they're one of the best layering pieces a guy can have in his wardrobe. Wear them to work with slacks layered over a solid colored button-up with or without a tie, or wear them with a trusty pair of blue jeans and a more visually interesting button-up or a t-shirt in white or a complementary color. Thin sweaters make excellent layering options because you can put on a shirt underneath and a jacket of any weight or material on top.

You don't have to worry about how one style pairs with a certain set of options while another style pairs with something else entirely. It's all about the weight of the sweater and the color and pattern. A cardigan can pair as easily with almost anything as a crewneck would. A sweater vest can be for work or play. There are no rules as long as you don't put two patterns together or choose a shirt to wear underneath that clashes completely.

Where to Shop

Sweaters for big men are fairly easy to find when the weather turns cooler. Find them everywhere from stores like Walmart to the stores that specialize in big and tall men's clothing. Check out:

Sweaters for Big Men