The fisherman’s sweater has long been a men’s cold-weather staple, but it wasn’t until Chris Evans wore one in Knives Out, that people realized how ruggedly sexy the best fisherman’s sweaters could be. There was just something about that handsome jerk that made guys wonder, “Damn, do I need a fisherman’s sweater, too?”
They’re a sweater that can literally be worn with anything, and you’ll immediately look cool. Yes, even with formal plaid trousers. This article will touch briefly (there’s no quiz after) on where the sweater came from, and where you can find the best fisherman’s sweaters to wear now.
How Fisherman Sweaters Were Created
The fisherman sweater originated from the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland. Originally called the Aran Jumper, fishermen’s wives created it to keep them warm at sea. No one likes a soggy sweater (like carrying a wet dog on your back), so the wives used rough wool that still had the lanolin coating to create water and windproof sweaters. The Aran jumper, or fisherman sweater, featured different patterns depending upon the maker. Some had heavily patterned cables and/or bobbles, and some didn’t. They were often considered to be a lucky item, and according to tradition, wearing one meant you would find lots of fish in the water. It could have been because the heavy Irish wool sweaters allowed them to be out on the water longer, but we’re not going to quibble with myths.
These days you can find fisherman sweaters in cashmere, merino wool, silk and wool blends, cotton and acrylic. They come in turtlenecks, crewnecks, cardigans, and well, if you can think of a sweater style, there’s probably a fisherman’s sweater tucked in there. Some people will give the fisherman’s sweater AKA the Aran Jumper (or sweater) a third name, the cable knit sweater. However, that only applies to cable knit sweaters with more than one pattern. Fisherman sweaters come in many different colors and price points. Scroll on through to find a fisherman sweater or two to keep you warm and looking good this winter.
1. Aran Irish Fishermans Ribbed Sweater
This Aran AKA fisherman sweater showcases the lucky Aran Diamond pattern combined with a gorgeously traditional look. Made in Ireland with 100% natural, pure new wool, each sweater is numbered and comes with a signed and stamped certificate of authenticity. It comes in a number of striking jewel-tone colors you are sure to fall in love with.
2. The Irish Store Men’s Traditional Aran Sweater
MOST COLOR OPTIONS
Have a hankering for a fisherman’s sweater in Kelly green, light navy, white or black? The Irish Store’s fisherman sweater gives you 10 color options. This soft merino wool sweater uses the honeycomb stitch throughout — as mentioned earlier, honeycomb stitches are supposed to bring good luck to the wearer. This sweater is made in Ireland and usually goes for $139.95, but it’s on sale for $70 less.
3. L.L. Bean Men’s Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater
BEST AMERICAN INTERPRETATION
We always find ourselves going back to L.L. Bean for cold weather gear because they’ve been creating durable goods that stand the test of time. Their fisherman’s sweater is slim-fitting with raglan sleeves. Spun from cotton, it’s easy to layer over shirts and under jackets. Reviewers rave about how comfortable it is, and a few mentioned that it could be the style twin of the Knives Out sweater. It comes in beige or navy.
4. Los Angeles Apparel Unisex Fisherman Pullover
There’s no shame in adding a little bit of color to your wardrobe, is there? This fisherman sweater from Los Angeles Apparel has undergone a recent transformation that’s turned it into one of the most vibrant pullovers we’ve seen. The sweater has a worn broken-in kind of feel and a color (whether light, dark, muted or bright) that never washes off. No matter which color you pick, we’re sure this will become a fall and winter staple.
5. Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater
You can’t go wrong with navy, but navy with white specs? Well, that’s something we’ve never really seen before in a fisherman sweater, so consider us excited. This option is made from recycled plastic bottles and upcycled oyster shells for an exceptionally traditional creation. It has an old-school look with a new-school vibe, making this ideal for anyone of any age.
6. West End Knitwear Aran Button Men’s Sweater
BEST FORMAL TO CASUAL IN A FLASH
Thick and gorgeous, this Aran fisherman knit cardigan can be worn buttoned up as a sweater or unbuttoned as a cardigan. Made from soft 100% Irish merino wool, it provides warmth without bulk. The sweater utilizes a mix of traditional and modern stitches. It’s highlighted with vintage-style brown buttons. Made in Ireland, each sweater comes with a small gift from West End Knitwear.
7. Amazon Essentials Fisherman Sweater
Thick and chunky, the way all the best fisherman sweaters should look, no one would believe that you spent that little for a great-looking sweater. Made from a wool blend, it is decorated with authentic-looking Aran stitches. It also comes in a number of handsome, muted colors.