Source for Norwegian Sweater w/o Norwegian Designs?
November 14, 2016 6:05 PM   Subscribe

I like heavy, Scandinavian sweaters in the winter (e.g., from Norwegian company "Dale"), but most are way too "ski-y" looking to wear in a business casual environment. Dale actually started offering Merino business casual pieces, but they're thin and not nearly as warm as their more traditional sweaters. Could someone suggest a company that makes thick (preferably Merino) sweaters that could be sneaked into an office environment by offering more of a classic, simple look? (To me, this means solid colors and lack of oversized ribbing or ornamentation in the knitting, which 'ruins' much of Dale's stuff.)
posted by Jon44 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My life hasn't been the same since someone on Ask MetaFilter introduced me to Woolovers. The link is to their 100% merino sweaters, but you might also want to check out their 100% wool line as well if you're looking for maximum warmth.
posted by DrGail at 6:40 AM on November 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

What is it that you like about the sweaters? Typically it is the colorwork designs that are the hallmark of a traditional Scandinavian sweater, otherwise you just have a fairly ordinary sweater. Professional office wear also tends to be universally thinner, since its expected you'll be in a climate controlled environment, and layering, for better or for worse, is also the current "in" style, so there will be very few places that cater exclusively in heavyweight sweaters, but you can still find things out there in the heavy gauge you crave.

Colorwork contributes a lot to Norwegian sweaters' characteristically "sturdy" feel, since it entwines several different strands of wool together to make the pattern. It's also what makes the sweaters look so busy, but you can sometimes mitigate that by sticking with a single all-over theme, like this or this.

Single color sweaters generally don't have the same thickness as a colorwork one, with a few exceptions. Aran/cable/fisherman's sweaters tend to be heavier and warmer by virtue of their construction, and to my eye, they often read as more classic and professional than your typical Scandinavian sweater, even though they have a lot of ornamentation. They're also very popular at the moment, so you can find them almost everywhere, and they wouldn't look out of place in an office.

And if it's just the thickness you miss, LL Bean will let you sort sweaters by weight, but it may be worth pointing out that weight is not necessarily an indicator of warmth. Multiple thin layers will do better at keeping you warmer, and cashmere and alpaca, for example, are generally lighter and softer than sheep's wool, but also trap heat more effectively.

I'm a lady type who knits, so I can't really speak to the quality of the specific sweaters, but hopefully this provides a useful jumping off point.
posted by Diagonalize at 10:28 AM on November 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @Diagonlize

Thanks for your response. FWIW, Dale does offer fairly thick sweaters where the colorwork or ribbing doesn't seem to contribute to the thickness. E.g., "Nordlys" sweater advertises itself as "2-ply" and is quite warm (but, alas, quite "busy")
And layering is great, but often looks more informal and for us skinny/scrawny folks, there's an appeal to just sticking on a single piece of very warm clothing.
posted by Jon44 at 6:13 AM on November 16, 2016

I take it you mean that the sweater has 2 layers? Just as a warning, "ply" has a very specific meaning in textiles and refers to the number of strands twisted in the yarn. Usually the larger the ply, the thicker the finished product, but alas, not many places will list that kind of information. Sometimes this is conveyed as "gauge" instead, as it is here.

Any kind of texture will likely result in a slightly heavier knit, so that's something else that may help in your search, and I might also give a look to classic menswear places like Orvis or Barbour or J. Press to see if they have anything that fits the bill.
posted by Diagonalize at 11:34 AM on November 16, 2016

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