Shawl Collar Sweater with a Tie

Today1

I have been wearing a tie and jacket to work twice a week for over two years. When I began I was asked all the usual questions about meetings, job interviews, yada yada yada (Inspired by my trad-ish friend George Costanza). Those days are now in the distant past and my tie wearing ways now go unnoticed. During the course of the last two years I have tried quite a few different combinations and I have found that wearing a tie with a shawl collar sweater may be the easiest way to wear a tie in a business casual office.

What do I mean by easy? What I mean is that it will not elicit as many unwanted comments about why you are wearing a tie (at least it did not in my experience). Perhaps this is because a sweater is much more informal than a blazer or sport coat, but also because the tie is mostly covered with a sweater so that it does not garner the same amount of attention that it would when worn with a jacket. Instead only a glimpse of the tie is given which is the perfect opportunity to wear an interesting emblematic ties such these: Ivy League Humor.
Shawl Collar Sweater with a tie and corduroysDuck Tie and CordsNot only does it make wearing a tie easy, but it looks good too. In general, I am not a fan of the sweater and tie look. I don’t like it with a crewneck, because there is rarely any tie exposure and the knot usually makes the neck lay funny. A V-neck Shetland can look okay, but the shawl collar’s strength is that it provides a background for the tie that is similar to the lapel of a jacket.
Shawl Collar Sweater and Tie with grey wool pantsBrooksgate neat tieIn preparation for this post I wore this look twice last week.  The first time I wore it with cords and a wool-silk emblematic tie with ducks. I was very comfortable in this look. In my second example I went for look that is more city. This time, I wore grey wool pants and an old silk Brooksgate neat tie. Overall I found the sweater to be versatile.

The shawl collar is a good option for when you want to wear a tie in a business-casual setting such as an office or a nicer restaurant, but not a jacket. So, If you were contemplating wearing a shawl collar sweater and a tie I say go for it. If you want to wear a tie to your office, but are put off by the fuss it will receive try sneaking one in under a shawl collar sweater. If you want some cover for your Chipp FU tie it could be for you as well!

oxford cloth button down
is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

2 Comments on "Shawl Collar Sweater with a Tie"

  1. George says:

    Thumbs up for a casual or business casual Friday. The shawl collar, as you point out, creates a visual funnel to the head and neck. I like that. Plus, jackets are so busy when compared to the visual cleanliness of the sweater: no buttons, pockets, flaps, holes, left/right sides, vents, etc. My only caution is to watch out for things that pull, such as cats or women’s rings or chairs that are worn with bits and pieces poking out. Pulling a sweater is traumatic. Great look!

  2. Charlottesville says:

    Nice job! I am reminded of Rex Harrison’s cardigan and tie in My Fair Lady, although sans shawl collar. I occasionally wear a cardigan under a tweed suit or sport coat, but rarely alone with a tie, except sometimes at home. However, with temperatures in the single digits, I may adopt your look for work tomorrow.

I would like to hear from you