Unlike jackets and shoes, which should carry a good amount of (your) personality, a fall sweater doesn't need to sing too loud to earn its place in your wardrobe. The process of scoring a good one is basically about triangulating the material, the price and the fit to find the right one for your frame and budget. Simple. And if you are one of those sweatshirt-clad bros who think that rocking a sweater makes you a dork, let me prove you wrong.
Let's start with the material. It's a little premature to break out the heavy wools and cashmeres, so peep the label and look for something in a cotton/wool blend or something that is 100% merino wool. Sweaters made from this stuff are not really investment pieces and are produced by all the cool, major brands you will find at the mall. Ralph Lauren and J.Crew both make dependable, handsome models for 150 bucks, tops. If you get three or four years of wear out of them, you got your money's worth.
Think about cool details like leather patches (professor vibes) on the elbows or a deep V-neck (urban rocker vibes) to give your look some splash. You can wear them with an oxford shirt for a preppy look or a point collar for a more dressy look. Maybe throw a blazer on top to really smash it.
Finally, make sure the damn thing fits! The shoulders need to fit on your actual shoulders. If the seams hit on your deltoid, it's too big. Sleeves should hit right at your wrist and not cover your hands. You can always do a slight roll on the cuff to cheat a bit and keep the line cleaner.
As for body length, above the belt is risky if you are not 135 pounds and a member of the Strokes. Conversely, it should not be so long that it covers your pant zipper. That's a fat dad look, and an unfortunate obstacle when you need to use the restroom. I'd say slightly below your belt is fine.
About the Author
Elliot Aronow is a tv personality, editor and music and style hustler living in New York City. He is the host/producer/editor/publisher of OUR SHOW with Elliot Aronow and the Co-Founder of music site RCRD LBL. All of his hair and opinions are his own. Follow Elliot on Twitter @youngelz. Check out the rest of his Playboy.com Self-Styled columns HERE.