Shetlands Sightings Fall 2015

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The other week I posted about a Mallard sweater over at Brooks Brothers Red Fleece line. Since then I have been patiently waiting for Brooks Brothers to roll out the rest of their Shetlands along with J.Press and their Shaggy Dogs. O’Connell’s on the other hand always has their Shetlands on display. All of the Shetlands I just mentioned are in the $150 and up range. However, I spotted two crewneck Shetlands in the sub-$100 market which is a rarity these days. So where are these Shetlands you ask.
Woolrich Shetland1. Men’s Kennebeck Shetland Wool Sweater ($89). This Shetland has the ever desirable saddle shoulder and comes in three heather colors (Olive, Charcoal, and Brown). It is described as lightweight with a fine 5 gauge knit. I don’t know how fine this is, but it was nice of them to list it. Overall it is a good looking Shetland. The collar does look a little bulky, but at $89 this could worth overlooking.
Pendleton Shetland

2. Next up is a Shetland Washable Crewneck from Pendleton. It too is $89, but it does not have saddle shoulders. On the plus side it is available in 9 colors and claims to be machine washable. This does make me question if the wool is Shetland, but it is a nice looking sweater. I am tempted to grab one of these.
Uniqlo Sweater
3. I didn’t mention it above, but I also found a third option from Uniqlo. Now this crewneck sweater is not Shetland, but Lambswool (See it here: Lambswool Crewneck Sweater). However, it features a crewneck, saddle shoulders, and it is only $29.99.  This could be a good deal for students on a tight budget or the frugal among this. The questions becomes, will they hold up?

I am sure that we will see more crewneck Shetlands appear as fall draws nearer. It will be interesting to see if this year’s Brooks Brothers Shetlands will have logos like last year’s batch or if they have heard the outcry from the logo-less crowd. I am also interested in seeing the price of this year’s Shaggy Dogs. The price of Shetlands of has steadily increased over the years which is why I was pleasantly surprised to see a few priced under $100. The real question is what color to get this year?

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is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

25 Comments on "Shetlands Sightings Fall 2015"

  1. fred johnson says:

    I still swear by the LL Bean Shetland. They should start appearing at the bean outlets around the end of the month for about $28. They are not the greatest nor what they used to be in terms of quality but the price to use factor makes them really cheap and they do last. I view them like the Bass loafer, cheap, adequate, well fitting and comfortable.

  2. oxford cloth button down says:

    Fred – Thanks for the comment. I don’t know how I overlooked Bean. They have currently have Shetlands available for $49.50 (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/70861?feat=594-GN1&page=shetland-wool-sweater-crew). I tried one 2-3 years ago and my only issue was size. A small fit like a medium-large. I was disappointed as I wanted to hang on to it.

  3. Robert E says:

    I was interested in that Woolrich until I saw the chamois elbow patches.
    I have a Pendleton I got for something like $30 at an end of the season sale last year. It has that great Shetland color but it fits huge. I’m going to have the sides taken in this autumn before the weather gets too cool. So if anyone is interested in Pendleton just be aware.
    The best low cost Shetlands I’ve found are either thrifted ones are the BB Red Fleece ones. I’ll have to give the Bean ones a try this year.

  4. Edward says:

    You might consider Bahle’s. They sell Shetlands from Harley of Scotland for $125 (http://www.bahles.net/category.php?category=Men%27s+Sweaters&brand_id=98). Many great colors are available. I agree with Fred’s remarks about L.L. Bean’s Shetlands. Though I’m fond of J. Press sweaters, I think the prices have been climbing faster and faster during the past decade, to the point that I view them as a very poor value (I only consider their sweaters when on sale). BB can’t help itself from plastering logos all over their clothing these days, and that’s unfortunate.

  5. RWK says:

    The real question is: who made the Shetland that’s featured in the close up picture at the beginning of the post?

    • Walter Denton says:

      One benefit of being an old guy is that it has given me time to collect a lot of Shetlands. My current favorites are Harley of Scotland as mentioned by others here and I generally buy them for well under $100 when Bahles puts them on sale in the spring. Buying out of season makes a lot of sense to me. Recently,, I have begun buying vintage Brooks Brothers Shetlands on EBay. They are plentiful in the fall and are generally available for under $40 – saddle shoulders, made in Scotland. Finally, there are good deals on sweaters made in the Shetland Islands. There are several sources, one such source is leithclothing.com. Their sweaters are about $118 so just over your limit.

  6. oxford cloth button down says:

    RWK – You are right!
    The picture is of a Shetland sweater that reader Edward (Thank you!) sent me from a thrift run back in 2013. It was a touch to large for me so I tried the old shrinking trick. This time it was a fail. However, my mother (Thank you, too!) saved the day by turning it into a couch pillows with a fine camel cord back. It was an argyle sweated, but the back was solid. It is a beautiful mix. I have the maker written down somewhere. Now I just need to find it.

  7. Lin says:

    Glad you like the pillow

  8. YoungSoulRebel says:

    I tried the Uniqlo versions last year and was VERY disappointed. They were a mix of lambswool and nylon and after about 3 outings they pilled and stretched out in a very unattractive way. I even bought a few on sale for $12 each after Xmas and I STILL think I overpaid haha! Never again.
    The Pendleton Shetlands on the other hand, are built like a brick wall. I know that the set in sleeves may be a deal breaker for some, but they look great and are amazingly warm! I purchased one on a whim and after wearing it a few times, I purchased 3 more. The colors are great and I can verify that they are indeed Shetland wool.
    My next favorite option are from Harley of Scotland. They are far softer than the Pendleton version, and remind me more of the Shaggy Dog (but not as thick). I purchased mine from UnionMade in SF for about $130 but they go on sale after the holidays for about $85.

  9. CAY says:

    What is the “old shrink trick?” I have a couple of sweaters that are too large and would love to be able to shrink them a bit and wear them.

  10. oxford cloth button down says:

    CAY – It is far from science and I have had more failures than successes. I only advise this method if you are okay with ruining a sweater.

    A Trad Experiment: Shrinking Wool Sweaters (http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2012/10/trad-experiment-shrinking-wool-sweaters/)

  11. ChildDoc says:

    Ditto on the recommendation of Edward re. Harley of Scotland Shetland sweaters and esp. from Bahle’s Department Store in Suttons Bay, MI. I spend part of each summer in upper Michigan, have visited their store and experienced their sweater inventory first hand. Harley Shetlands are beautifully knitted, of medium weight and density, actually manufactured in Scotland (imagine that!), and at the relatively affordable price mentioned ($125 plain, non-cabled knit). They are offered in a wide variety of colors per their website. Be aware that they are generously sized and as an individual of 5’9″ stature, 39″ chest, and weight 150 lbs., I would do best in a small. If in doubt call their store for pit-to-pit measurements. A small would be about 20-21″ for reference. P.S. I own no stock in Bahle’s–just a very friendly and well run operation!

  12. SFSteve says:

    Jeez, all this talk of Shetland sweaters mysteriously motivates me to go and order one from Bahle’s. In August. When it’s 75 degrees and sunny out. Yikes. Maybe it’s my way of entreating the rain gods to bring some Fall precipitation to Northern California. (We need it.)

  13. DLW says:

    I’m looking to buy a Shetland sweater or two this fall, what would be the top classic six colors to consider?

  14. Markus says:

    I will give a try to Uniqlo this winter :)

  15. oxford cloth button down says:

    DLW – Here is my short list of classic colors: Navy, Burgundy, Mid Grey, Charcoal, Oatmeal (tan), and Green (from olive to forest).

  16. Jim says:

    I don’t want to veer too far from the topic of Shetlands, but I have had one happy experience with Woolovers. Their basic line of lambswool sweaters has the benefit of a) being cheap – $38 for a crewneck, b) being even cheaper with constant -10% promotions and similar, and c) coming in a very wide palate of different colors.

    Last Christmas, I ordered a lambswool crewneck in pea green, and have mostly been happy – I may try to shrink it a bit, as the XL I chose tends to run large, and the neck hole is a bit large for proper collar display, but otherwise I have no complaints – beautiful sweater!

  17. Matthew says:

    The Uniqlos may have been a nylon blend last year, but this year’s models are in fact 100% wool.

    They also come in V-necks and cardigans, if you prefer.

  18. James says:

    I think I need to invest in a shetland this year. I have lambswool sweaters and cardigans, however my go to sweaters tend to be fine knit merino wool, probably because they are so versatile, warm yet light and with layering wearable for majority of the year. Do you wear merino wool sweaters Jerrod?
    Thanks
    JAmes

  19. oxford cloth button down says:

    Jim – Thanks for mentioning Woolovers. I haven’t given them a try yet, but they have been on my list for past few years.

    James – I only have 1 merino sweater and it is Brooks Brothers Saxxon wool which is merino. In general, I am not drawn to merino, because of how fine it is. The BB sweater I mentioned is thicker and cabled. I have thought of picking up a merino vest to wear with a sport coat. They look they would layer well.

  20. oxford cloth button down says:

    James – I do wear them. Well, I only have one, but it is a Saturday favorite when cool weather arrives. It is an ll bean number that I have had for a while in tartan. I want a dress gordon version. Bean had one last year, but I was too slow on the draw. Maybe I will add one this year.

    *I forgot that I also have a an J.Crew Dress Gordon flannel, but it is so thin that I don’t really consider it a “flannel shirt.”

  21. Duncan says:

    Hi There,
    I am relatively new to this blog but just wanted to write to second the opinions of those supporting th LL Bean shetland. I bought two of these at Christmas 2014, and to be completely honest, they are my favorite all around shetland. Good thickness (not light weight, but not really heavy), minimal pilling, and best of all to me–they hold their shape. All that said, they do run large, so a slender guy like Jerrod would have trouble, as he noted. I am 6’4” and 240 lb with a 48 chest, and pretty fit. I like my sweaters snug, and even at my size, I order a large!

    Also, I find the Pendleton Shetlands underrated. There are myriad sites (STP, Backcountry, Zappos/6PM) where these can be had for around $59 routinely, and sometimes VERY cheaply on Pendleton’s own site (I bought a beautiful red one in June for $18!). I will admit that the material is thinner than it was a few years ago, but they hold up well and fit nicely, though do run large (again I wear a large in these for a snug fit). They do not pill at all in my experience. Also, they are not made in China, if that matters to you, they are made in Mauritius. LL Bean shetlands are made in China, but as I said, they are good quality.

    Finally, if you are going upmarket, check out Jamiesons of Shetland. They often stock fairisles for british retailers (look at End clothing in the UK), but also make solid color ones. I have three Shetlands from them, and they are bullet proof–thick, vibrant, and robust and are actually made in the Shetlands! One small point, the cuffs on one of mine did seem to slacken a bit, but on the whole I adore them.

    Hope that helps.

  22. oxford cloth button down says:

    Duncan – Welcome to the blog and thank you for the contribution!

I would like to hear from you