Tara Irish Clothing guide to the most popular Irish sweater styles
Classy, elegant, and amazing in their simplicity, Irish sweaters date back to the 19th century when they were worn by fishermen in the Aran Islands as they went out to sea. Since then, fisherman sweaters have earned a reputation for being not only warm but also breathable and resistant to bad weather and cold water. According to the local folklore and history, back in the day every family from the Aran Island had its own pattern and that every stitch had a special meaning. For example, the most well-known cable stitch is believed to represent the ropes of the fisherman and was intended to wish him good luck in the sea. The basket stitch symbolized a plentiful catch, the honeycomb represented the villagers' hard work, and the diamond denoted health and prosperity.
Irish sweaters are gaining popularity these days not only for their mesmerizing history and heritage but also due to celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Pattinson, who have worn them in the last years. Now, the best quality Irish knit sweaters are made of Merino wool, which is highly appreciated for being soft, warm, breathable, and water and odor resistant. It is also versatile and multifunctional, as it can be paired both with a white t-shirt and jeans for a casual look or with a button-up and trousers for a classier, more formal outfit. They also come in a variety of colors and designs, so that everyone could find their perfect Irish sweater.
Crew Neck Sweater
The crew neck sweater - the original Irish sweater- is a truly timeless piece of clothing. It has a circular collar and is loose fitted, and in the past, it was made in the Aran Islands of untreated local wool, which made it highly resistant, water-repellent, and heavyweight, perfect for the fishermen who sailed out to sea. These days, Tara’s garments such as this Irish crew neck sweater are made of Merino wool, which makes them more lightweight, durable, and comfortable, thus the perfect option for layering with thinner garments underneath or with trench coats and overcoats. Soft, cozy, and stylish, they are also recognized for their strong Celtic tradition, owing to the unique honeycomb and cable stitches used to knit them. Thanks to the collar and the hip-length, they are providing excellent protection against the cold. The crew neck sweater can be worn both with a formal and informal outfit and can be very easily styled with nearly every piece of clothing, including jeans, trousers, t-shirts, button-ups, overcoats, or other sweaters.
The men’s zipper Irish sweater is marked by its characteristic raised collar that makes it look more preppy and fashionable. This sweater represents the perfect balance between sportiness, masculinity, and elegance, which makes it stand out in the crowd. This particular zipper Irish sweater is made from Donegal wool and is not only soft and warm, but it also has a lambswool appearance and is machine washable. It has a clean look thanks to the ribbed trim on the collar, cuffs, and hem, and the zipper makes it even more attractive, breathable, and comfortable, making it the perfect option for a casual, everyday look.
Shawl Collar Sweater
Traditionally designed for men, the shawl collar Irish sweater offers protection from the cold weather while also looking elegant and classy. This type of sweater comes with a button closure, which is usually made of wood, metal, or even leather. Tara Irish Clothing offers a large range of these sweater styles and this peculiar shawl collar Irish sweater is a customer favourite. The distinctive collar and the traditional button make it the go-to choice for a cold, snowy, or rainy day. Made of thick Merino wool, it is soft and durable and, if properly taken care of, can last for years, which makes it the perfect gift for your loved one. Just remember to wash this Aran sweater by hand in tepid water, using a mild detergent, and lay it flat to dry, in order to keep it from stretching and to preserve its original stitches and patterns.
The Sweater Vest
Another men’s classic, the Irish sweater vest, although not as adaptable as the original sweater, keeps the warmth and makes you look neat and chic. Sweater vests became particularly popular in the last few years, since they are lightweight, versatile, and easy to pair with the rest of the wardrobe. Consider adding at least one to your wardrobe, especially right now, when fall is just around the corner, and combine it with a button-up shirt on a warmer day or pair it with a trench coat for when the weather gets colder, to create the trendy layering effect. The button front and the side pockets of this Irish knit sweater vest make it look timeless and appropriate for all ages, while the classic pattern and neutral colors such as navy, charcoal, gray, and army green make this sweater style suitable for a walk in the park, a day in the office, or even a trip outdoor.
V-Neck Sweater Cardigan
An Irish V-Neck sweater cardigan, although it looks perfect on both men and women, is generally preferred by the latter ones. This sweater cardigan takes its name from the distinctively shaped neckline with straight sides meeting at a point to form a V-shape. It was originally worn in the 20th century by men who played tennis in the USA and then it quickly became popular all over the world. Big and chunky, it can be worn with a t-shirt during warmer days or layered with something warmer in the winter, such as a long sleeve or a thin sweater. Cardigans are popular with customers because they allow other clothing items to be seen, which is essential for fashionistas. The polished wooden buttons of our Tara V-Neck cardigan for women make it look charming and give it an antique appeal, while the large front pockets make it more practical, suitable even for a short trip outside the city. This cardigan is made in Ireland and is knitted of 100% Merino wool. It is not only soft and gentle on the skin, but also a durable and overall wonderful addition to your wardrobe that can be worn in every season. The neutral hues of white and denim marl, which this Irish cardigan is made of, are remarkably easy to match with the rest of your clothing, giving your style a little more classic, interesting look. Cardigans are versatile enough to be worn with jeans, trousers, skirts, dresses, and even school uniforms, making them great for people of all ages and occupations. They can also be paired with sneakers, classic Oxford shoes, as well as high heels if you’re going for a bolder look.
The classic turtleneck sweater is a fantastic addition to any wardrobe, especially whether you're trying to put together a capsule wardrobe or just want to stock up on the essential pieces of clothing that everyone should own. This sweater is usually tight and has a close-fitting collar that covers the neck. It gained its popularity in the 19th century, when due to its practicality it became part of the uniform of the working class. Since then, turtlenecks have been worn by both men and women and became a symbol of strength, style, and discretion. A turtleneck jumper is elegant and feminine, but not as thick as a cardigan, making it a perfect garment for layering, mainly with a V-neck trench coat. It is sleek, cozy, and made of wool, thus it will serve you for a long time without losing its original shape and form. The traditional Aran patterns give this women Aran turtleneck sweater an undeniable charm, while the oversize cable stitches highlight her femininity. Knowing your specific measurements is the key to choosing the right turtleneck sweater. Check out our website to learn more about how to select the best-fitting garment for you.
Funnel Neck Sweater
The funnel neck sweater is a stylish sweater with a looser, chunkier neck than the conventional turtleneck, giving it a more unique and memorable look. This funnel neck Irish sweater is made of 100% Merino wool and is soft, water repellent, as well as odor-resistant, making it much easier to care for than sweaters made of synthetic materials. Just like a classic sweater, it can be paired with everything, be it a pair of jeans, your work trousers, or even a skirt. The traditional Aran cable knitting used in this sweater is considered to bring luck to those who wear it, while the deep green color makes the sweater distinctive and adds vibrancy to your outfit. Just like any other garment made of Merino wool, the funnel neck Irish sweater is guaranteed to be of excellent quality and will last you for many years.
Even though Irish wool sweaters have always been a timeless classic, they have undoubtedly grown in popularity in recent years. This is thanks to many classic styles having been revamped and given new variations, making them more intriguing, fresh, and fashionable. The versatility and durability of Aran sweaters are the main reasons for their popularity. They all have distinct designs, making it easy to select one that is appropriate for your own style and occupation. Irish sweaters are highly qualitative and made of 100% Merino wool, therefore if properly cared for as described above, such a sweater may last a lifetime. Whether you're looking for a zipper sweater, a vest, or a classic crew neck jumper, Tara has a wide assortment of Irish sweaters for everyone. Welcome shopping with us!