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It’s easy to vividly picture the stereotypical embarrassing dad. He’s standing there holding court at a family gathering, sipping on a Bud Lite, haplessly misjudging the room while cracking awkward jokes about politics. But wait! As words slur out his mouth, a slightly jarring thought occurs to you that, despite his questionable humor, controversial beliefs, and the fact he is drunkenly humiliating himself in front of the entire room, here is a guy who knows how to dress.

The signifier is not his ice-white Nike Monarchs or Levi’s 501s, but his classy half-zip sweater.

When it comes to foundational basics that every guy should keep in their wardrobe, the half-zip sweater is often criminally overlooked. Unfairly associated with rapidly aging dudes like the one I imagined above and Silicone Valley bros who inexplicably wore it with a shirt underneath, the half-zip is a layering dream. Think of it like the fleece’s little, altogether lighter brother — the outerwear piece you reach for when doing the hungover bodega run and it’s still balmy out. Conversely, if it’s cold and you require some extra insulation, wear it under a jacket. Throw in the fact it looks good with both sneakers and smart shoes, and you have a secret weapon to be reckoned with for the problematic spring/summer transitional season.

Finding a nice half-zip sweater needn’t break the bank. For example, walk around the Highsnobiety office at any given time of the day and you’ll see, like, 47 different people wearing this $30 staple from workwear king Dave’s New York. If you do want something slightly more exorbitant, however, Acne Studios, Maison Margiela, and (for those who really want to nail that DILF-enjoying-himself-at-a-ski-lodge-fondue-party-in-Saint-Moritz vibe) Bruno Cucinelli all have dope options. My favorite, however, is Ezra Koenig’s navy blue Dries Van Noten bad boy that he’s been wearing a ton, often with no T-shirt underneath, on Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride tour. What a vibe!

If you’re still struggling for inspiration, peruse our list of the best half-zip sweaters for men below.

Han Kjobenhavn Half-Zip Sweat

Half Zip Sweat

Half Zip Sweat

$214

Han Kjobenhavn

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Subscribe To Retailer Newsletter To Get 6$ Voucher

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Denmark’s most Danish sounding brand comes through with a slightly baggy, ’90s-inflected take on the classic half-zip sweat. Bring the rave!

Carhartt WIP Walker Half-Zip Sweater

Walker Half Zip Sweater

$124

Carhartt WIP

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Subscribe To Retailer Newsletter To Get 6$ Voucher

Buy at HHV

If Carhartt WIP was an automobile, it would be a Land Cruiser, i.e. the ultimate workhorse. This $120 half-zip will last for years.

Champion Polar Fleece Half-Zip

Polar Fleece Half Zip

Polar Fleece Half Zip

$113

Champion

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Subscribe To Retailer Newsletter To Get 6$ Voucher

Buy at HHV

And the heritage names just keep on coming. Let this olive green baby from Champion be your secret weapon when drunken summer days in the park segue into slightly chilly evenings.

PacSun Half-Zip Polar Fleece Pullover

Half Zip Polar Fleece Pullover

Half Zip Polar Fleece Pullover

$50

PacSun

FREE SHIPPING

FREE SHIPPING

Buy at pacsun

We never knew we wanted a caramel polar fleece until now. Huge Werthers Originals energy!

Prada Half-Zip Cotton Sweater

Half-Zip Cotton Sweater

Half-Zip Cotton Sweater

from $1170

Prada

(Available at 2 Merchants)
(Available at 2 Merchants)

This chunky cable knit looked great on the SS19 runway. It’ll look even better on you.

ADER Error Oversized Half Zip

Oversized Half Zip

$208

ADER Error

Buy at Slam Jam

Is there anything cozier than an oversized half-zip? Take advantage of the unintentional modular construction by using it as a sleeping bag.

C.E Block Fleece Half Zip Sweatshirt

Block Fleece Half Zip Sweatshirt

$140

C.E

Buy at Slam Jam

Quite simply, you won’t find a better quality fleece for the money anywhere. In fact, we’d probably spend more on a night out.

Brain Dead Half-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt

Half Zip Hooded Sweatshirt

$162

Brain Dead

Buy at Slam Jam

Not even the ropey styling in the photo above can detract from the fact this half-zip is a banger. Talk about a roomy pocket!

Norse Projects Alfred Half-Zip Pullover

Alfred Half-Zip Pullover

Alfred Half-Zip Pullover

$110

Norse Projects

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense

A reasonably priced alternative to Ezra’s Dries half-zip (see image above), this minimalist offering from Norse Projects can be layered with basically anything. Yes, even a leather jacket.

Martin Asbjørn “Andrew” Zip-Up Sweater

Andrew Zip-Up Sweater

Andrew Zip-Up Sweater

$93

Martin Asbjørn

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense

The “Andrew” Zip-Up Sweater from Martin Asbjørn is a considered mix of collegiate and high-fashion cues, making this piece perfect for just about any occasion.

Rassvet Fleece Zip Pullover

Fleece Zip Pullover

Fleece Zip Pullover

$143

Rassvet

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Free Express Shipping On Orders Over $300

Buy at ssense

Last but not least, Russian skate brand Rassvet comes through with this woolen beauty. Soft to the point people will be forming a queue to hug you.

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