In line with all the bright-colored prints we’ve been seeing over the past few years, menswear has become enamored with mohair. Kind of a retro material – it rose to popularity in the 1960s through sweaters and suiting – its texture adds a new dimension to knits in the present.
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!
Whether you’re opting for more vintage fare to reduce your carbon footprint or you’re curious about high-fashion’s newer offerings, understand more about what mohair is, and how you can wear it.
What is Mohair?
Mohair is a type of soft, lustrous wool that comes from Angora goats. Age plays a factor: younger goats produce thinner, finer hairs, which, when woven, result in a shimmering effect. The thicker fibers from older goats create a coarser, stiffer material that’s often reserved for upholstery and higher-end carpets.
Use of mohair as a textile dates back centuries, including for warmth in the mountainous landscape of Tibet. Today, the fabric is primarily produced in Turkey, South Africa, and the United States.
In terms of apparel, mohair is rarely used on its own. Instead, it’s blended with other fine fibers, including alpaca or merino wool, for a softer, almost furry effect with a distinctive shine.
However, beyond the appearance achieved, mohair tends to be pricier than wool alone due to how infrequently goats are shorn – just twice per year – and a more involved production process, which requires all dirt, grease, and debris to be removed before the fibers are spun into a yarn.
Once in fabric form, mohair feels soft and almost silky but provides a greater degree of strength and durability for its weight.
Mohair Trends in Menswear
Over the past decade, menswear has shifted from classic and heritage driven to maximal, from bold prints and less-seen colors to wider silhouettes.
Mohair falls in line with both: Its soft, vintage appeal through knits results in an almost dad-like nostalgia vibe – as if you’re wearing a technicolor version of Mr. Rogers’ sweater – and its impactful appearance can’t be ignored.
At the same time, the societal changes brought about by Covid-19 looped us back to athleisure, and the warmth and softness of mohair create a similarly comforting feeling. Here’s how you can get started:
Mohair Sweaters & Cardigans
Knits, at least when it comes to mohair, are where it’s at. Nothing’s subtle here, and what we’ve been seeing is akin to a big shaggy paint splatter, whether you’re spotting something deceptively subtle from Aime Leon Dore or wade into hypebeast territory with the colorful, more psychedelic interpretations from Marni and Supreme.
To some extent, mohair’s emergence in menswear feels logical. Knits – cardigans, sweaters, and vests particularly – exploded last year, influenced by interest in but a reworking of preppy sensibilities. More color and patterns surged forth, and cashmere gave certain garments a luxury angle. Mohair serves as an extension of this, piling texture on top of the expected warmth.
Then, there’s admiration with the ‘90s: Particularly, Kurt Cobain notably sported a baggy mohair cardigan – it later sold for over $300,000 at auction – that exemplified the comfort-first Grunge aesthetic.
Among these factors, you can spot a mohair sweater at a distance, often through the luminescent halo fused with a fur-like texture.
Get started and update your wardrobe with the following pieces:
This sweater marks an accessible starting spot when you want to experiment with mohair. The crewneck silhouette delivers a greater degree of versatility, and the solid color lets the fabric – created through a mixture of mohair, nylon, and merino wool – stand out with its fine, fuzzy texture.
1960s athletic influences – think letterman sweaters – serve as the template for this offering. It’s long, it’s slouchy, and adds a few pops of color reminiscent of a distant horizon.
A two-toned plaid pattern adds an innovative play on tartan while this mohair blend uses more sustainable, traceable sources. An oversized fit adds just the right amount of slouch on its own or as a layer.
A marbled, dithered effect comes through an intarsia knit with patches of gray among small blotches of purple and pink. Here, mohair is joined by acrylic and nylon for a more traditional feel accompanied by a touch of texture.
The fit, here, gives off a dad character that has been distorted through an ombre, sunset-like colorway and an oversized, slouchy fit with dropped shoulders and patch pockets. Made with mohair and wool.
What could be buffalo checks (or maybe a version of windowpane) gets blurred through a fuzzy, unfocused effect created through this mohair-style blend cardigan made of polyester and acrylic.
Add some texture to your stripes. This horizontal pinstripe pullover gets a softer treatment, thanks to a nylon/mohair/wool blend.
Argyle checks get shaken up through a tonal yet brilliant blue colorway that feels right from the 1960s. A mohair blend hammers the retro appeal while adding a tactile handfeel.
Celine’s menswear line has given us ‘70s rockstar vibes since its debut a few years ago. This mohair cardigan offers a ‘90s interpretation directly influenced by Cobain’s famous sweater while adding a subtle leopard print for today’s more adventurous dresser.
Candy stripes clash with dashes of yellow, acid green, and purple, showing that once Supreme strays from its box logo origins, it can effortlessly bridge classic menswear with streetwear attitude.
Sweaters are just the tip of the retro iceberg when it comes to mohair. Even more in the nostalgic direction are suits – a bit mod, a bit James Bond, and giving off a sophisticated sharkskin aura with its shimmering sheen.
Today, mohair suits fall squarely within the luxury camp, offering an elevated interpretation of traditional wool that’s crafted to last and stay sharp for three-season wear. Specifically, mohair, based on the age of the goat, provides varying degrees of thickness and stiffness without compromising breathability.
At the same time, the soft, silky material gives off a shine wherever you go, adding a less-than-ordinary touch. Enhancing this aspect, mohair suits frequently blend the fiber with a mix of cashmere, silk, and wool.
Get a few ideas for your own wardrobe:
This is the most accessible of our roundup. A modern interpretation of the classic sharkskin suit weaves in mohair to accent what’s a traditional, fully-canvased two-piece suit in solid blue with notch lapels.
This isn’t what you picture when you hear the phrase “khaki suit.” Suave and away from military assumptions, this classic two-button style with straight pant legs toes the line between dressed up (or is that dressed to kill?) and effortlessly unassuming.
You can’t quite tell if this suit is modernist – or simply mod – and that’s precisely what you look for when developing a classic yet distinctive wardrobe.
Easy fitting through the chest with a tailored waist and hip is referred to as tailored-fit, or Soho-Fit.
This suit is made in Italy from a versatile wool and mohair blend fabric for increased crease resistance. It has an ivory cupro lining and a washed blue tone, making it the perfect summer tailoring alternative.
Only you know if it’s shaken or stirred. Part of Dolce & Gabbana’s Narciso collection, this martini suit is intended to inspire through its deep-yet-warm burgundy shade.