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.
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 fall/winter transitional season.
If you're still struggling for inspiration, peruse our list of the best half-zip sweaters for men below.
Famed for its androgynous style, Raf Simons elevates your knitwear collection with this half-zip sweater. Getting experimental with yarns is nothing new for Simons. This time, he mixes wool with chenille trims and delivers a refined brown half-zip sweater.
As the name suggests, lifelong cashmere staple pieces are what Extreme Cashmere does best. The Amsterdam-based brand prioritizes great quality while still offering style and comfort. No matter the weather, this half-zip cashmere sweater is a timeless piece to invest in.
J. Crew's new look isn't that much of a new look. Although Brendon Babenzien has certainly brought some more attention to the label, it continues to be our top purveyor when it comes to prep staples like this cashmere half-zip.
Continuing with another cashmere maestro, Loro Piana's sophisticated pieces transcend the repetitive trend cycle. This cable-knit sweater differs from your scratchy knitwear collection because of its premium baby cashmere composition. Opt for this bright blue colorway to brighten up any serious muted fit.
Sure, Johnathan Anderson's surreal designs are admirable on and off the runway. This time, he keeps it simple by bringing us this faded gray cotton half-zip sweater. Besides its interesting worn-in effect, the only detail to see is the pull tab-inspired zipper.
While Axel Arigato is best known for its streetwear-leaning luxury, it's riding the preppy wave, too. The Swedish brand is a master when crafting staple pieces, and this classic Team Half-zip Sweater is the perfect addition to complete your preppy look.
Juicy Couture has been threatening a comeback for some time now. Could its recent collaboration with streetwear royalty Aries be the spark that lights the fire?
Taking cues from military garments, WTAPS has mastered technical craftsmanship. Fleece fever is still running high, and this relaxed half-zip sweater brings you that cozy feeling to take on any day.
Known for its architectural influences, Ader Error’s deconstructed pieces are nothing new, and we still can’t get enough. Keeping its minimalistic essence, details such as the yellow lining, thumbhole at the cuffs, and contrasting hem make this a unique acquisition for your collection.
Known for its graphics and distorted typography, Brain Dead hops on the fleece train and brings us this bright neon sweater to turn some heads.
If you are looking for long-lasting timeless pieces, Sunspel is the right place to go. This black cotton half-zip sweater is a must for layering when the weather gets chillier.
Breaking away from its tropical swimwear goodies, Frescobol Carioca helps us transition seasons with this half-zip sweater. The Henrique Sweater is ideal for everyday use because of its cotton composition and loose fit. Spring is just around the corner, so hurry and bag this transitional piece.
Famed for its iconic goggle-decorated pieces, C.P. Company brings its technical expertise to this half-zip sweater. Besides its soft cotton fabric, this piece has multiple compartments and a thumbhole at the cuffs, perfect for any sporty activity.
Want to keep browsing? Download the Highsnobiety app for all the hottest products and brands from the the Highsnobiety Shop. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.