Skip to Content

Men’s Knitwear Trends for 2021 and 2022

Men’s Knitwear Trends for 2021 and 2022

Although leather pants and sheer fabrics continue to push boundaries, winter 2021 is all about men’s knitwear.

This post may have affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission on purchases through the links (at no extra cost to you). This does not change our opinion but does help support the site. Thank you!

Sweaters in psychedelic prints are a logical starting spot and mirror what we’ve observed from camp-collar shirts over the past three years.

Still, you have options, from color-blocked and printed polos and sweater vests evoking the 1980s through chunky fisherman knits, turtlenecks, and luxury materials like cashmere.

Why Men’s Knitwear?

Sweaters are one of those garments you just don’t think about. You have one in your closet, likely keeping it around for its coziness. As a result, knitwear itself didn’t directly disappear but is receiving a greater deal of interest for winter 2021 and 2022 due to a few factors.

man wearing green knitwear sweater

One, more possibilities exist. Whereas a gray cable knit sweater firmly fits into your classics and wardrobe staples, an explosion of colors and prints means you don’t just reach for this garment out of necessity.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

Secondly, not everything has to be a long-sleeve sweater: layer over your button-down with a V-neck sweater vest or athletically styled cardigan, or let the color and cut turn it into the focal point of your outfit. 

Then, as a final factor, knitwear overlaps with the tech fabric trend. Tech garments have started moving away from synthetic materials coated to be waterproof, UV resistant, and moisture-wicking to more natural (and often longer-lasting) alternatives that deliver these properties by default.

Wool – particularly merino – presents a three-season combination by trapping warmth, diverting sweat, and controlling odors. As such, you’ll spot wool base layers, sweaters, cardigans, and gloves that offer a more practical alternative to acrylic and cotton fabrications. 


Polos saw their size expand and bag during the 1990s, likely influenced by the popularity of athleticwear.

Aligning with two more current trends, atheleisure and slimmer silhouettes have transformed the polo into a more casual-active piece enhanced with bold prints and colors.

As high-fashion brands revisit and rework preppy staples, the polo’s revival is right on track. Consider some of the following recommendations:

Polo Ralph Lauren The Luxe Knit Polo Shirt - Men's Knitwear Trends

Polo Ralph Lauren The Luxe Knit Polo Shirt

Based on Ralph Lauren’s 1972 silhouette, this updated, more refined version goes for a softer, more upscale hand-feel with a finer flat knit and casual-athletic character through nearly seamless cotton construction. 

Horton Ink:White Sand Silk Intarsia Knit Polo Shirt

Orlebar Brown Horton Ink/White Sand Silk Intarsia Knit Polo Shirt

Inspired by 1960s stylings, this tonal-patterned polo achieves full-on retro with groovy vibes and a wider collar.

A cotton-silk blend creates a softer, lighter, and more luxurious feel. 

Sweater Vests

Another revived preppy style, sweater vests bring up associations with the ‘80s, be it jocks or Ferris Bueller.

Now, though, this isn’t a slimmer layer added over a T-shirt or button down, enhanced with a V-neck, but instead has taken on a baggier form in line with streetwear trends from the past decade.

Consider some of these recommendations: 

Brooks Brother Fair Isle Sweater

Brooks Brothers Fair Isle Sweater Vest

For a preppy staple, go straight to the source. This multicolored sweater vest already starts elevated with a merino and cashmere blend.

A reworked Fair Isle print feels classic while popping with personality whenever you wear this over an oxford or polo. 

Fernweh Editions Candles

Urban Outfitters Tennis Vest

Urban Outfitters Tennis Sweater Vest

Traditional country club threads get reworked with this wider-cut, fully cotton sweater vest featuring a chunky knit and contrast stripes along the hem, arm holes, and V-neck. 


Although considered more of a “grandpa” than “dad” garment, the cardigan experienced a revival a couple of years ago and continues to go strong.

The result isn’t soft or fuzzy but instead baggier, pocketed, and delivering statement appeal through contrast elements. Consider some of these recommendations:

Burberry Monogram Motif Argyle Intarsia Wool Cashmere Cardigan

Burberry Monogram Motif Argyle Intarsia Wool Cashmere Cardigan

Everything about this cardigan is a luxurious statement. Burberry begins with a wool-cashmere blend for a soft feel and lightweight warmth.

Across the body, a contrast-heavy argyle print creates a geometric appearance that’s further accented with a repeating embroidered monogram motif. 

JCrew Wool blend V-neck cardigan in plaid

J.Crew Wool Blend V-Neck Cardigan in Plaid

Get updated Seattle style from this wool-blend cardigan covered with a flannel-like buffalo check print.

Pair with a T-shirt and ripped jeans for a modern interpretation of Grunge style. 


With minimalist menswear on the rise, turtlenecks seem like a logical choice, both for their coverage and often neutral appearance. Like cardigans, the turtleneck has moved beyond this association, offering slouchier and more colorful alternatives. 

Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Sport Double-Knit Turtleneck

Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Sport Double-Knit Turtleneck

Ralph Lauren revives a ‘90s staple with this fine, double-knit, slimmer-fitting turtleneck sporting an embroidered logo near the collar. 

Fernweh Editions Candles


Hugo Boss Relaxed-Fit Virgin-Wool Sweater with Two-Tone Structure

A two-tone effect highlights the chunkier knit on this casual, slouchy turtleneck knit made from virgin wool and featuring a fold-over collar. 

Fishermen’s Sweaters

Picture yourself standing by the sea, on a rocky, almost barren landscape, about to head into the water. That thin polyester jacket won’t protect you from the chill.

Rather, for warmth and the ability to shed water, these chunky sweaters, often with thick, winding cable-knit patterns, deliver on both ends:

Construction designed to keep body heat close, and the ability to repel water, so that the material won’t be soaked through. 

Polo Ralph Lauren Speckled Aran-Knit Wool-Blend Sweater

Polo Ralph Lauren Speckled Aran-Knit Wool-Blend Sweater

Layer up and head toward the sea in this fisherman’s sweater made from recycled wool. A speckled appearance and cable texture nod to classic Donegal knitwear. 

Hugo Boss Regular-Fit Sweater with Cable-Knit Structure

Hugo Boss Regular-Fit Sweater with Cable-Knit Structure

Add a heavy dose of texture and prepare for colder weather with this chunky cable-knit combination. While the exterior looks classic, Hugo Boss constructs it with ultra-soft yarn made with recycled wool and cashmere.

Bold, Patterned Knits

Checkers, stripes, florals, and landscape prints, the patterns added to fine to chunky knits show that not all sweaters have to settle for being a neutral layer. Make a statement while continuing your summertime momentum into winter.

Burberry Statue Print Wool Cashmere Jacquard Sweater

Burberry Statue Print Wool Cashmere Jacquard Sweater

Truth be told, we’re getting Versace vibes from this sweater, due to the motif influenced by the bust of Antinous. Whatever your perspective, the wool/cashmere blend with tons of detail ups the luxury appeal both in terms of construction and visuals. 

Hugo Boss Relaxed Fit Sweather with Two-Tone Houndstooth Pattern

Hugo Boss Relaxed-Fit Sweater with Two-Tone Houndstooth Pattern

A houndstooth pattern maximized on this slouchy, chunky-knit sweater creates a two-tone geometric appearance. Alpaca yarn blended in with wool delivers a softer feel. 

Luxury Materials

An upgrade to wool, cashmere feels lighter, softer, and less itchy and, at the same time, provides the same amount of warmth and moisture resistance. 

Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cashmere Sweater

Polo Ralph Lauren Cable-Knit Cashmere Sweater

This design inspired by fishermen’s ropes takes on a classic character that’s been elevated with full Italian cashmere construction for peak softness and warmth. 

Burberry Check Cashmere Bomber Jacket

Burberry Check Cashmere Bomber Jacket

Attesting to the possibilities of knitwear, this bomber from Burberry has it all – an athletic silhouette, a bold pattern based on the brand’s classic checks, and luxurious cashmere construction. 

Pin On Pinterest

men's knitwear trends