Summer is over, and while undecided voter Ken Bone reminded us all that it’s officially sweater weather during Sunday’s train wreck of a presidential debate (the guy looks so cozy!), there are a lot of potential pitfalls to consider when you’re shopping for such garments. Foremost among them: making sure it doesn’t look like you’re wearing something that your grandma bought you last Christmas—or 10 Christmases ago.
Your Body Type: Average Build
Your Perfect Sweater: Crew Neck Sweater
You wouldn’t want to be called average in most instances, but in this case, it’s a good thing. Because you’re not too tall, wide, or short, your unremarkable body type works in your favor, allowing you to wear pretty much everything on this list. “Instead of focusing on the particular style of the sweater, focus on fit and material,” Simko says. And of course, you can never go wrong with a crew neck sweater, which you can wear from now until the day you die.
Your Body Type: Athletic Build
Your Perfect Sweater: Half-Zip Sweater
While the Half-Zip Sweater is favored by country club dads across the nation, don’t dismiss it as being uncool (also, we’re sorry to inform you that you’re not 22 anymore). “Athletic guys tend to have broader shoulders and narrower waists,” Simko says. “A half-zip sweater balances out your proportions by putting a zipper mid-chest to break the line of the shoulder—giving you the illusion of being less top heavy.”
Your Body Type: Tall and Lanky
Your Perfect Sweater: Cardigan
While bigger guys have to deal with buttons looking like they’re going to pop off their sweaters, tall and lanky dudes never have to contend with that problem, so if you fall into that category, take advantage of it and scoop up a few cardigans. Drake made them cool again, anyway. When buying cardigans, though, make sure you pay extra attention to the sizing. “Guys who are slim often end up looking like they’re swimming in the sweater they’re wearing,” Simko says. To avoid this, Simko recommends you buy your cardigan a size smaller, while still making sure it’s the right length (it should hit at the waist of your pants).
Your Body Type: Bigger Guy
Your Perfect Sweater: V-Neck sweater
If you’re a bigger dude, you’ve probably resisted wearing sweaters because they tend to cling to all of the wrong places. We feel you, but believe us—you can absolutely look amazing in a sweater if you do two things. 1.) Go with the V-Neck sweater. “A V-Neck sweater is THE sweater to wear if you’re a big guy,” Simko says. “The V neckline gives the illusion of a longer neck, which, in-turn, balances out your mid-section.” And 2.) Go with a finer knit. “Finer knit sweaters will lay flat and give you a slimmer, less bulky profile than larger knit sweaters will,” says Simko.
Your Body Type: Short and Skinny
Your Perfect Sweater: Cable-Knit Sweater
If you’re short and skinny, basically take everything you’ve just read above and reverse it. Swap the finer knit sweaters and go for a chunkier knit—you can afford the bulk. Also, “a vertical Cable-Knit will elongate the torso, giving the illusion that you’re taller,” Simko says, which is an easier way to add height than hanging out with only other short people.
Photo Credit: @corrinska/Twenty20