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Choosing the best sweaters to wear can be tough. There aren’t any real timeless staples — no sweater is as ubiquitous as those perfect blue jeans — and sweater trends tend to ebb and flow with different cuts, necklines, materials and patterns. But the best black sweaters get close, always making an appearance in our year-round wardrobes.
With the best black sweaters, you’re getting more than an easy layering tool. They can bring unique sophistication that’s great for dressier attire, and the black color lends slimming powers to flatter almost any body type.
Just look at Daniel Craig’s James Bond for inspiration: he regularly rocks a slim-fit black sweater, either dressed up or in combat gear, expertly showcasing the piece’s dapper versatility. For us non-secret agents, that wearability might mean season-appropriate office looks, elevated weekend outfits or a comfortable, pulled-together Zoom appearance.
The Best Black Sweaters for Men
You’ve already got the color decided, but you’ll also want to consider neckline, fit and fabric. In the current fashion climate, just about any neckline goes: V-necks, crewnecks, cardigans and zip-ups are all part of our rotation. Same goes for fit, with plenty of guys rocking a baggy nineties cut and others looking sharp in slim-fit sweaters. As far as fabric, we like something that’s both grown-up and cozy; cashmere and merino wool are the best. See our selection of the best black sweaters below.
1. Fred Perry Cable Knit Sweater
Somewhere between Ivy-league student and rockstar is this V-neck sweater from Fred Perry. Made in England, the sweater showcases a classic, chunky cable knit wool build. In all black, it gains some modern edge that’s great for pairing with work pants and sneakers or slacks and winter boots.
2. Rag & Bone Harlow Cashmere Sweater
This Harlow sweater from Rag & Bone manages to subtly spice up the ultra-versatile crewneck with all-over white flecks. The sweater’s 100% cashmere fabric, meantime, makes it as soft as possible. We suggest rocking this one with throwback sneakers and black chinos, or with dark jeans, boots and a leather jacket.
3. Uniqlo Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater
Pieces like this cashmere turtleneck remind us why Uniqlo has a cult following. The sweater is made of high-quality cotton that’s processed to prevent piling, and, even better, it can be hand-washed at home to save a trip to the dry cleaners. Use it as a go-to for dressed-up looks, whether that’s date night, office meetings or just stylish lounging.
4. Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter Zip Pullover
If you’re headed on an outdoor adventure — or just want to nail outdoor streetwear style — pick up this Patagonia quarter zip. The fabric is a durable yet soft fleece that works as a layer or a standalone piece, and it even wicks sweat when needed. Features like the quarter-zip, stand-up collar and chest pocket add some welcome functionality for adventures or chilly commutes.
5. Nordstrom Washable Merino Crewneck Sweater
This black crewneck from Nordstrom’s in-house brand is basic in the best way. It’s absolutely bare-bones, save for ribbing on the sleeves and collar, and the fabric is a soft, sophisticated merino wool. And here’s the kicker: the sweater can be machine washed after each use. Needless to say, you can wear this with just about everything in your wardrobe.
6. S.N.S. Herning Epigon Textured Virgin Wool Cardigan
Shawl collar cardigans — the wood paneled, fire-lit libraries of clothing — are quietly having a moment as grandpa style thrives. We like this one from S.N.S. Herning, which brings a modern wavy texture that effectively traps heat. It looks great dressed-down (say, with sneakers and baggy jeans), but it also shines with crisp button-ups, slacks and loafers.
7. Pendleton Shetland Fisherman Sweater
You don’t need to be a wrinkled sea farer to rock this killer Pendleton Shetland Fisherman sweater. It’s made in the USA using 100% wool and showcases all the texturing details of a classic fisherman sweater. A chunky feel makes the sweater ideal for lounging in the cold, running errands or layering under a big winter coat.
8. Carhartt WIP Dillon Stripe Cardigan
This Carhartt WIP Dillon sweater uses a nylon, acrylic and wool-blend fabric that creates a uniquely slouchy, silky fit. The color, a slightly faded black, is complemented nicely by green and white stripes on the body and sleeves. Its a casual, easy statement designed for modern outfits — as with most pieces from Carhartt’s upscale WIP division.
9. Canali Slim-Fit Merino Wool Rollneck Sweater
For dressy occasions, pull out this slick rollneck sweater from Canali. As expected from the Italian designer, build quality is top-notch. The sweater is knitted using extra fine, long-staple merino wool that’s smooth and durable for years of wear. And you’ll need that longevity; a sleek business sweater like this one is unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.