The main types of sweaters
- The main types of sweaters
- According to how they are worn
- Pullover sweater
- Cardigan (Open style) sweater
- According to the neckline
- Crew neck sweaters
- V-neck sweater
- Turtle neck sweater
- Mock neck Sweater
- Shawl collar sweater
- Full zip sweater
- Half zip/ Quarter zip sweater
- Cowl neck sweater
- Buttoned placket Sweater
- According to Patterns
- Cable sweater
- Fisherman’s Sweater
- Argyle knit sweater
- Tennis sweater
- Ski sweater
- According to styles
- Fanny sweater
- Sweater with a hoodie
- Boyfriend sweater
- Grandpa sweater
- According to sleeves
- Sweater Vest
- Raglan Style sweaters
- According to the fabric
- Hand knitted sweater
- Wool sweater
- Acrylic sweater
- Cotton Sweater
- Blend fabric sweater
- Donegal sweater
- Performance sweater
According to how they are worn
This is your typical comfy cozy sweater with a rib-knit crewneck, cuffs, and hem; the kind that you can wear over shirts, tops, and blouses and stay warm all over. In the UK a pullover sweater is also called a Jumper.
Cardigan (Open style) sweater
This is an open front sweater.
According to the neckline
Crew neck sweaters
This is a sweater with a round rib-knit neckline, sitting close to the neck. This is usually a pullover sweater.
As the name suggests this is a sweater with a V neckline.
Turtle neck sweater
This sweater will have a high close-fitting folded down collar. It is also known as a polo neck or roll-neck
Mock neck Sweater
This sweater has a neck that looks like the turtleneck sweater – but it will not be a turned down collar; the neck will stand up instead of folding over like the turtleneck.
Shawl collar sweater
This is usually a cardigan sweater with a flat collar combined with a continuous lapel on the front opening. It can be full front open ie open front with no closures or button up. These sweaters usually fall below the hip and is worn over t-shirts and blouses.
Full zip sweater
A cardigan sweater with a full front opening fastened with zipper.
Half zip/ Quarter zip sweater
This sweater has a high neck opening with a short zipper closure, which extends only till the chest (a short opening)
Cowl neck sweater
This sweater has a hanging neck which is similar to a turtle neckline but with a more draping effect – this cowl can be narrow or very broad and hanging (chunky cowl)
A sweater with a small placket opening in the front.
According to Patterns
This is a pullover crewneck sweater with pretty, detailed knitted patterns (cable knit ) that resemble twisted ropes /braids and other patterns. This sweater may have an all-over cable design or just on the front. Honeycomb pattern, Saxon braids, lattice and knots are the most popularly used cable knit patterns.
This is a type of traditional cable-knit crewneck sweater. Also called Aran Jumpers/ Aran cable-knit sweater/Aran Isle Knit sweater. This is an Irish origin sweater, with beautiful and specific patterns on its front – raised cable pattern and interlaced vertical diamond patterns. This sweater kind of denotes wealth and privilege unlike its name fisherman’s sweater.
Argyle knit sweater
The knit sweater with designs in different colored diamonds in outline and solid shapes.
A white coloured pullover sweater with V- neck and long sleeves and coloured narrow bands at the neck and wrists.
A heavy pullover sweater made of thick jacquard knit yarns with elaborate patterns.
According to styles
A long style of sweater whose hem will come under the hip level ( covering the fanny/buttocks)
Sweater with a hoodie
A hoodie is built into the neckline.
This is a pullover sweater with a loose, slouchy fit – which makes it seem as if you are wearing your boyfriend’s sweater.
Aircrew sweater /Submariner’s sweater
Both refer to a pullover sweater with a roll neck and deep welt (hem) and cuffs. It is fashioned after the sweaters worn by the airforce crew/submariners crew.
This is an oversized cardigan style sweater with a shawl collar and button opening which begins around halfway through the sweater.
This refers to two sets of sweaters worn together in matching colors, weave or fabric.
According to sleeves
This is a sleeveless sweater that looks like a vest, that is worn over other clothes.
Raglan Style sweaters
This sweater has raglan sleeves, not the typical set in sleeves. A saddle shoulder is a variation of the raglan sleeve.
According to the fabric
Hand knitted sweater
Hand knitted sweaters have a particular charm. Hand made sweaters will be chunkier and textured than machine knitted sweaters. You can buy wool fibers ( pure wool, acrylic, cotton)
If you can buy pure merino wool or cashmere wool sweaters, nothing like them. Pashmina sweaters with a blend of cashmere and silk tops it all in luxury. Then there are special wools like the Teflon®-coated wool which gives complete water-resistance.
Wool sweaters are the ultimate in softness and they are very durable. And very warm and breathable on your body. But wool sweaters are difficult to maintain and they may look bulky depending on its make. If you want to wash your sweaters every now and then, wool sweaters can be skipped. Though some wool sweaters may be itchy on the skin, if you buy good quality wool sweater you will be very comfortable and warm. Shetland wool is scratchier than merino wool. You can learn more about different types of wool here.
Acrylic sweaters are great alternatives to wool sweaters, as they are inexpensive. A disadvantage is that they can stretch out of proportion if they are not washed and dried with care. Inexpensive low-quality acrylic sweaters can pill like crazy and they may not last long and may even itch. If you can buy anti-pilling, colour-fast lightweight acrylic sweaters you can by-pass some of the disadvantages.
Cotton sweaters are made of lightweight cotton fibers which are breathable, comfortable, but not as warm as wool. Combed cotton sweaters are the most popular as they are super soft. Cotton fleece sweaters are also good.
Blend fabric sweater
The sweater fabric may be a blend of different fibers like cotton, polyester and spandex or acrylic and wool. The advantage of these blends is that they combine the good qualities of the various fibers mixed into it. An acrylic-wool blend may be warmer than a thin wool sweater or acrylic sweater.
Donegal Sweater is made of a wool tweed (100% wool) with colorful slubs knit (speckled wool) into the fabric – it has a traditional honeycomb Aran cable stitch. It is very soft and very durable.
This sweater is made of branded performance fabrics that have special abilities like moisture-wicking, water resistance, anti-pilling, etc
Updated on October 4, 2022 by Sarina Tariq