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I’ve written a lot about companies using wool in inventive ways, but I haven’t lost my affinity for a good old wool sweater. This garment is still one of my favorite winter layers because it’s warm, stylish, and has a thousand uses. On any given winter day, you’ll find me wearing one while hunched over a laptop in my too-cold office or dawn-patrolling up the ski area before my first Zoom meeting. Below are four of my new favorites.
Wills Speckled Merino Crewneck ($98)
During a recent camping trip, I wore this ultrasoft merino sweater 24 hours a day for five days straight (I changed my undershirt) because it was the perfect layering option for the wide range of temperatures and conditions. It kept me warm in my sleeping bag when temperatures dipped into the teens, breathed well when I started sweating on a mild hike, and felt comfortable in the truck as we cruised for more than 1,500 miles. This sweater is also a mainstay of my day-to-day wardrobe. The speckled knit can be dressed up or down, which is why I don’t have to change my outfit for online work meetings.
Flint and Tinder Highlands Waxed Elbow ($128)
I love this medium-weight lambswool sweater for its elbow patches. They look iconic and remind me of the sweaters my grandpa used to wear that were too old or moth-eaten to be passed down. Flint and Tinder smartly mixed in some nylon (20 percent of the overall build) to make the sweater a bit more durable, so I don’t have to worry as much about it tearing or falling apart after the fifth wash. Like all wool sweaters, this one can go weeks, if not months, without a wash and still smell fine.
Fjällräven Lada Shawl ($155)
Wool sweaters exude coziness, but this one from Fjällräven takes cozy to a whole new level with its raised shawl neck. This extra bit of fabric acts like a built-in scarf and keeps my neck and chin warm even when the wind is howling. I also like that the Lada is built from thick yet soft lambswool, which gives it bulk. Fjällräven uses traceable wool in its apparel, which means the brand works to ensure the sweater’s fabric comes from sheep that were humanely treated.
Filson Wool Fisherman’s ($400)
Each of these Filson sweaters is carefully hand-knit from Scottish wool. I don’t know how much my sweater weighs, but it’s at least a couple pounds—a testament to its build quality. It’s hands down the warmest wool top I’ve ever worn, and assuming the moths don’t get to it, this sweater could easily last me 50 years.