A well-executed sweater from Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, or Tommy Hilfiger

Ninety-nine percent of hoodies look awful

Less is more when it comes to sweaters.
  • Less is more when it comes to sweaters.

Pretty soon, San Diego will return to its baseline of warm-weather semi-nudity. Your potato-bodied author considers this bad news.

Layer while the weather permits. Layering, or wearing multiple pieces of clothing on your torso, makes you look more stylish. Up to a point. Wearing a cardigan with a vest, a button-down, and a bow tie looks stupid. Wearing a sweater over a t-shirt doesn’t.

Outside of a suit, nothing makes you look quite so grown up as a well-executed sweater. Stick with visually simple crewneck or v-neck pullovers that fit you perfectly.

Hoodies are ubiquitous, and 99 percent of them look awful. There’s just something about the hood that can’t be compensated for with nice fabric or tasteful design.

Stay away from graphic sweaters, athletic outerwear, zip-up fleeces, cardigans, and sweater vests. All of these can be worn stylishly, but will rarely look better than the standard pullover.

Fit is crucial. It should go no lower than the middle of your crotch. The sleeves shouldn’t creep up onto your hands, and should also conform to your arm without much extra fabric. Same goes for the torso, which should hug your frame without crushing it.

Black, navy blue, and grays should be your first choices for color. Other neutrals are also acceptable. Solid colors are best, though you can get away with patterns if they’re muted. Any material is fine if the other variables are in place, but skew away from cheap-feeling cotton when you can.

New sweaters are obscenely overpriced. They’re easily found at thrift stores, which typically sell them for $5-15. I routinely thrift sweaters from Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, and similar brands.

Use them to layer, or wear them against your skin, like a shirt. This trick will let you wear them well into the warmer months.

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