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Our Favorite Fisherman Sweaters to Complete Your Fall Getup

Best Fisherman Sweaters 0 Hero

From Steve McQueen to Chris Evans, an endless number of people have worn the beloved fisherman sweater. However, the iconic, comfortable garment’s history dates much further back than your favorite celebrities — after all, where’d you think its name came from? While many clothiers do a great job of showcasing their artisanal knitting prowess with pieces like this, its primary purpose is to keep seafarers warm through strenuous days of reeling in a big catch.

Sure, some brands like to play up the stylish aspect, but we’re aiming to deliver a blend of traditional looks and optimized function. The sweater goes by many names, but we’ll delve into that later. Accounting for the garment’s oft-misconstrued origin story, we’ve narrowed down its roots with a brief history lesson, as well as a guide to the best fisherman sweaters that the fashion space has to offer.

Best Fisherman Sweaters

Fisherman sweater history

As we mentioned, the sweater has many different names, but the most traditional label is the Aran sweater. Roughly half a century ago, fishermen in the Aran Islands region of western Ireland needed something to keep warm through frigid boating trips, which is when these iconic pieces came into shape. The breathable sweaters are typically sewn using natural wool, which can absorb up to 30% of their weight in water while still staying warm, ultimately making it a favorite amongst seafarers. All that said, it is still a great piece to consider outside of its functionality, as the typical cable-knit pattern has become one of the most stylish designs in all knitwear.

what to look for

Stitch: Classic fisherman sweaters will have cable and Aran stitch patterns for both style and insulation. While many modern interpretations work just as well, if you want an old-school look, go for Aran stitching.

Thickness: The climate you’re in (and how harsh the colder months are) should determine the weight of your sweater. As you may have guessed, thicker sweaters are more warm, and lighter sweaters are better for milder weather.

Fit: Fisherman sweaters will come in a variety of fits (relaxed, slim, etc.), and it’s really up to you to decide which fit works best.

Material: For the classic look and feel, go for a sweater made of wool. And if you want a more premium construction, Merino wool is the way to go. 

Everlane The No-Sweat Ribbed Crew

Everlane The No Sweat Ribbed Crew
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Sustainably-made
  • N/A

Best Starter Sweater: Everlane elevates style essentials with expert craftsmanship and partners with ethical factories to create sustainable apparel. This sweater here is yet another environmentally-friendly entry from the label, made with organic cotton and EcoMade polyester, resulting in a super soft, minimal crew-cut sweater. It features a ribbed stitch for a textured look, and effectively wicks moisture thanks to the polyester.

Material: 60% organic cotton, 40% COOLMAX EcoMade polyester
Fit: See size chart

L.L.Bean Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater

  • Classic style
  • Available in four colors
  • Runs a bit large

Best Cotton Sweater: This option from L.L.Bean is undoubtedly the quintessential pick of all fisherman sweaters, as the brand has been crafting an incredible one dating back for decades. By taking inspiration from the iconic Irish garment’s eye-catching, textured design and implementing its signature touch of outdoor preparedness, the heritage brand delivers a long-lasting piece that is as cozy as it is timeless. The fully cotton-crafted sweater is available in four colors fit for a stylish fall.

Material: 100% cotton
Fit: Slim

Buck Mason Seafarer Cotton Rib Crew

Buck Mason Seafarer Cotton Rib Crew
  • Textured rib
  • Made with homespun cotton
  • Great layer for any season
  • Strays a bit from the blueprint

Best Jersey Knit Sweater: Like anything you buy from Buck Mason, the Seafarer Cotton Rib Crew is a prime example of good menswear. It is made from 100% homespun yarn-dyed cotton, resulting in a piece that’s soft to the touch and bound to bode well for three-quarters of the year. Luckily, summer is officially over, so you practically have 9 whole months to style it as you see fit.

Material: 100% cotton
Fit: Regular

Wellen Seawool Fisherman Crewneck Sweater

  • Sustainably-made
  • Quick-drying and antimicrobial
  • Great at regulating temperature
  • A little wide in the mid section

Best Sustainable Sweater: Depending on the size of the boat and outdoor conditions, the average workday on a fishing boat lasts as long as 20 hours. That said, it’s safe to assume most fishermen appreciate the big blue sea, which is why Wellen’s offering is a great, sustainable choice to have on hand. The brand crafts its proprietary Seawool fabric using recycled plastic bottles and oyster shells. Moreover, it boasts temperature-regulating, quick-drying, and antimicrobial properties, deeming it an eco-friendly choice that reduces ocean waste.

Material: 50% recycled polyester, 20% viscose, 20% nylon, 10% wool
Fit: Regular

Pendleton Shetland Collection Fisherman Sweater

  • Made of wool sourced from New Zealand
  • Classic look
  • Specific care instructions

Best Sweater Overall: When it comes to this space, it’s hard to overlook Pendleton’s track record, which is why the brand’s enviously soft Shetland Fisherman’s Sweater is a surefire hit amongst all other similar pieces. It is available in a single shade of gray that’s as subtle as it is chic and ready to withstand the unpredictability of fall weather, with a classic design to honor the history of the garment.

Material: 100% wool
Fit: Not listed

Taylor Stitch The Fisherman Sweater

Taylor Stitch The Fisherman Sweater
  • Thick and durable
  • Moisture-wicking properties from the Merino wool
  • Part of a small batch

Best Wool Sweater: When it comes to clean, high-quality basics, Taylor Stitch is among the best, honoring old-school American style and crafting modern interpretations of the classics. The label’s Fisherman Sweater keeps things clean and minimalist, with a Merino wool construction to give you that natural breathability and moisture-wicking. It features a thick, 1.5-gauge yarn, with thick ribbing around the cuffs and collar, resulting in the perfect weight for a cozy fall sweater.


N.Peal 007 Cable Crew Neck Sweater

  • Style inspired by Pierce Brosnan’s Bond
  • Crafted with Mongolian cashmere
  • Soft finish
  • Sells out quickly

Best Bond-Inspired Sweater: This collaborative piece is inspired by the sweater Pierce Brosnan’s Bond wore in Goldeneye, proving that cable-knit sweaters can even be appropriate for formal occasions. N Peal’s offering is crafted from nothing but luxurious cashmere and can be dressed up or down. While you might not have the DB5 to match, it still serves as a premium choice for fans of the series.

Material: 100% Mongolian cashmere
Fit: Not listed

Todd Snyder Inis Meain Boatbuilder Fisherman Sweater

Todd Snyder Inis Meain Boatbuilder Fisherman Sweater
  • Made in Ireland
  • Crafted with material sourced from Italy
  • Organic dyes
  • Pricey

Best Premium Sweater: While Todd Snyder is adept at crafting American staples, the label takes inspiration from overseas in Italy for this traditional take on the cable knit sweater. The New York clothier crafts the Inis Meain Boatbuilder Fisherman Sweater from soft Merino wool and cashmere, deeming it one of the most luxurious options.

Material: 70% Merino wool, 30% cashmere
Fit: Not listed

Best Cardigan Sweaters for Casual Warmth

Best Cardigan Sweaters 0 Hero

Cozy up to a number of other comfy sweaters with our guide to the best cardigans.