January 16, 2012

Favorite Finds: Varsity Wool

This installment of Favorite Finds will focus on the (apparently) continuing trend of varsity-inspired jackets. As part of their new resort collection, Marc by Marc Jacobs has given us the letterman-style Horatio Sweater.

Even though they call this a sweater, I would definitely classify it as a sweater-jacket. The placement of the light gray (the sleeves, pocket slits, back of the waistband, and the body under the arms) has all the hallmarks of a traditional varsity jackets and the zippered front makes it feel to me a little more like outerwear than a sweater.

It is made from a roughly textured merino wool and the contrast of light grey on black is a really great combination. Another nice feature is that the pockets themselves are actually made of the same wool as the body of the jacket which is great for keeping your hands warm.

It is a standard fit, so your intended purpose will play a big part in your decision to purchase it. If I was buying this as a sweater, to wear over a woven or light knit shirt, then the fit is perfect. On the other hand, if I wanted it to wear as more of a jacket with layers underneath, then it would definitely be a bit snug and I would consider sizing up.

There are only two drawbacks that I could find to this piece and for many M by MJ fans they will probably not be deal-breakers. The first is that because of the rough texture of the wool, it seems to me that this sweater might pill rather easily. Not that big a deal, as all wool sweaters will inevitably pill and a sweater stone can easily remedy that, but something to keep in mind if you’re not big on clothing maintenance.

The second drawback is the price. At $418 it is absolutely reasonable for what seems to be a great investment piece that will last and keep you warm for years (remember it is 100% merino wool).  All my Marc Jacobs pieces have served me well with no signs of wearing out anytime soon and this sweater seems like it is of equal quality. The only reason I list the price as a drawback is that, for many people, it will push this piece out of their price range since I would not consider this to be a wardrobe essential.

Regardless, I would absolutely recommend this piece based on my past experience with the quality of the Marc by Marc Jacobs brand, the reasonable price for a designer merino sweater, and the interesting, simple, and understated take on a classic trend.

What are your favorite finds this week?

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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