Almost every clothes conscious guy has a few finely-knit merino sweaters somewhere in the back of his dresser – the ones that are solid colored and smoothly finished, and typically worn over collared shirts. If you’re looking for some new ones, I think Club Monaco’s are a great value once on sale. They’re slim fitting and hold up reasonably well. The crew- and v-neck versions are on discount right now, and you can take an additional 20% off if you’re a student.
I occasionally wear solid colored merinos with sport coats, but find that textured or patterned knitwear often goes better with casualwear. They can add a little visual interest when a plainer knit might be too boring.
Will in Chicago demonstrates this well. In the first photo, he’s combined a chunky, black, cabled mockneck with wool flannel trousers and hefty brown boots. In the second image, he’s wearing a cream-colored gansey (a type of fisherman’s knit) with canvas chinos, leather boots, a black, over-dyed shirt jacket. Both make for great cold-weather combinations.
For slightly warmer weather, Will wears a fuzzy mohair sweater with a colorful plaid shirt, a pair of micro-cord trousers, and some sockless loafers. You could do a similar version of this in the springtime by swapping the corduroys out for something less autumnal (some twill chinos would do nicely).
All three looks heavily rely on textured knitwear for their point of interest – whether that’s the chunkier weaves, subtle patterns, or unique materials. Solid-colored merinos are often thought to be simple enough that you can incorporate them into anything, but sometimes it’s the complicated designs that are more versatile.