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Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan

Price: $159.00

Item#:1076183

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In just a century since they first appeared, the textured wool sweaters of the Aran Islands have become “as tenacious an international symbol of Ireland as the harp and shamrock,” writes fashion historian Deirdre McQuillan. It wasn’t until the home crafts movement in the early 1900s that Aran’s distinctive patterns became known around the world. Today, from tourist shops to fashion shows, one can find sweaters based on stitches that were invented by grandmothers and great-grandmothers only a few generations ago.


100% wool with brown resin buttons. Made in Ireland. Men’s sizes M (38–40), L (42–44), XL (46–48), XXL (50–52).


Dry clean.


In just a century since they first appeared, the textured wool sweaters of the Aran Islands have become “as tenacious an international symbol of Ireland as the harp and Shamrock,” writes historian Dierdre McQuillan. Women on these small, craggy islands in the mouth of Galway Bay had always made clothing by hand, but it wasn’t until the home crafts movement at the end of the 19th century that this practical skill blossomed into an iconic design known around the world. Then as now, the sale of handcrafts was encouraged as a way to continue local traditions and bring extra income into poor farming and fishing communities. Knitters from Donegal, the Channel Islands, and even emigrants returning from America traded techniques, and sweater patterns became more complicated as local women worked together to master new stitches.


National Geographic first commented on the sweaters in a 1931 article, referring to “the blue jersey of the fisherman.” Eventually white became the most popular color for Aran sweaters, and many children on the islands wore a design made just for them for their first holy communion. Early efforts at exporting sweaters through nearby Galway were a challenge until the craftswomen got the hang of standardized sizes rather than knitting for the way their family members were built.


Today, from tourist shops to fashion shows, one can find sweaters based on stitches that were invented by grandmothers and great-grandmothers only a couple of generations ago: cables, diamonds, blackberry stitch, crooked road, half-eights, bird’s eye, honeycomb, and many more. As they say on the islands, Go máire tú is go gcaithe thé—May you live and wear it well.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan
 
3.8

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stylish (9)
  • Warm (9)
  • High quality (8)
  • Versatile (7)
  • Comfortable (6)

Cons

  • Itchy material (4)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (11)
  • Everyday (8)
  • Going out (6)
  • Travel (4)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      77% 

      (10 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      69% 

      (9 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      69% 

      (9 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Practical (6), Comfort-oriented (5), Classic style (4), Stylish (4), High-end shopper (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very well made in Ireland; a classic!

This is a classic sweater in the button up cardigan style, made in Ireland by Carraig Donn, a highly regarded maker of Aran sweaters and other wool garments. It's highly versatile: It can...Read complete review

This is a classic sweater in the button up cardigan style, made in Ireland by Carraig Donn, a highly regarded maker of Aran sweaters and other wool garments. It's highly versatile: It can be worn with a dress shirt and tie in all but formal business environments, yet it looks equally good with a black T-shirt and jeans. The sweater is 100% wool. As such, it has the best properties of wool, such as warmth and moisture-wicking. I find it ideal for use in the 35-55 degree Farenheit range, with no jacket on top of the sweater. (For lower temperatures, a jacket over it would work fine). Note that it does not have any man-made fibers such as acrylic or nylon; some makers make their sweaters with 10-20% of these fibers to lower costs, but they also can have the advantage of adding strength or helping a sweater keep its form. Bottom line: Very high quality, made with nothing but pure new wool -- but you do have to treat it nicely (dry cleaning is best, as is keeping it folded and away from moths!) The only (minor) negatives about this item are: Because it's 100% new wool, it is a bit itchy against exposed skin - but not a problem at all so long as you wear long sleeves underneath. Also, the buttoms are resin. Hardwood would make it a real classic, but also much more expensive and the resin buttons are almost indistinguishable from hardwood unless you examine them closely. All in all, a very nice item that you won't easily find unless you travel to Ireland. It's worth the price, as it will probably last 10 or 15 years if you take care of it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Too small

We ordered the medium charcoal color, it was shipped in the white, we sent it back, we got the charcoal, but the medium was too small. We then ordered a large, this...Read complete review

We ordered the medium charcoal color, it was shipped in the white, we sent it back, we got the charcoal, but the medium was too small. We then ordered a large, this was also too small. So now we await an ex large. The medium white one fit just perfectly, I don't understand. Anyway, I ordered this back in NOvember of 2012 for a christmas gift, My husband has NOT been able to wear his christmas gift due to this!

Reviewed by 17 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Exactly what my husband wanted

By K8theSk8

from Chicago, IL

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Warm

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Casual Wear
    • Everyday

    Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

    It's been a cold winter and my husband often works from home writing in a cold place in the house. This sweater was REALLY helpful this year.

    • Chest Size:
    • Feels true to size
    • Length:
    • Feels true to length
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels true to length
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
     
    3.0

    Sizes don't match up

    By ZL

    from Arizona

    About Me Practical

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Sizes Are Off

      Best Uses

        Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

        I liked the sweater, but the thing was way too small. I would think that a XXL would be plenty big enough for me, because I usually wear an XL. I couldn't even get the sweater on it was so small. It was probably truer to size L.

        • Chest Size:
        • Feels too small
        • Length:
        • Feels too short
        • Sleeve Length:
        • Feels too short
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Great sweater - warm & comfortable

        By Paddy in Mpls

        from Minneapolis, MN

        About Me Comfort-oriented, Practical

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Versatile
        • Warm

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Casual Wear
          • Everyday
          • Office

          Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

          Love this sweater! Very warm and comfortable. The size fits exactly as listed. Very versatile - It can be worn with ties in the office or with jeans and casual shirts for every day wear around the house. I've worn it both at the office and at casual family gatherings & have gotten multiple compliments on it. Perfect for these chilly Minnesota winter evenings.

          • Chest Size:
          • Feels true to size
          • Length:
          • Feels true to length
          • Sleeve Length:
          • Feels true to length
          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          4.0

          Delightful to own

          By Arthur

          from New Canaan, CT

          About Me Stylish

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                Shawl does not naturally fold wide

                • Chest Size:
                • Feels true to size
                • Length:
                • Feels true to length
                • Sleeve Length:
                • Feels too long

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                It is good workmanship

                By nadir

                from calgary, alberta

                About Me Comfort-oriented

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • High Quality
                • Stylish

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Casual Wear

                  Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                  This is oversize. I ordered medium, but looks like extra large. It was too big for my Freind who wears large

                  • Chest Size:
                  • Feels too big
                  • Length:
                  • Feels too long
                  • Sleeve Length:
                  • Feels too long
                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Not that great!

                  By Woodstock

                  from New York, NY

                  About Me Comfort-oriented

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Color
                  • Stylish

                  Cons

                  • Doesn't Button High
                  • Itchy Material
                  • Pockets Not Deep

                  Best Uses

                  • Casual Wear

                  Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                  For the money, I wish I had bought something different. Pockets aren't deep, material is very scratchy, and doesn't button that high.

                  • Chest Size:
                  • Feels true to size
                  • Length:
                  • Feels too long
                  • Sleeve Length:
                  • Feels true to length
                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No
                   
                  1.0

                  Too small

                  By Cathy Kelly

                  from Gwinn, MI

                  About Me Practical, Trendy

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • High Quality
                  • Stylish
                  • Versatile
                  • Warm

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Casual Wear
                    • Everyday
                    • Formal Events
                    • Going Out

                    Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                    We ordered the medium charcoal color, it was shipped in the white, we sent it back, we got the charcoal, but the medium was too small. We then ordered a large, this was also too small. So now we await an ex large. The medium white one fit just perfectly, I don't understand. Anyway, I ordered this back in NOvember of 2012 for a christmas gift, My husband has NOT been able to wear his christmas gift due to this!

                    • Chest Size:
                    • Feels too small
                    • Length:
                    • Feels too short
                    • Sleeve Length:
                    • Feels too short
                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes
                     
                    1.0

                    Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardian Stinks

                    By Jeff

                    from Morristown, NJ

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Seems Well Made

                    Cons

                    • Amazing That Ng Sell This
                    • Dry Cleaning Did Not Work
                    • Smell Is As If From Farm
                    • Sweater Smells Badly
                    • Would Not Buy Again

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                      Not sure I will be able to use product without multiple dry cleaning cycles and it is not yet clear if that will work.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Aran is as good as it gets

                      By Craig

                      from Calgary, AB, Canada

                      About Me Classic, Practical

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable
                      • High Quality
                      • Stylish
                      • Warm

                      Cons

                      • Itchy Material

                      Best Uses

                      • Casual Wear
                      • Everyday

                      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                      Warm and stylish on those cool fall eveings or sitting around the fire readng a book.

                      • Chest Size:
                      • Feels true to size
                      • Length:
                      • Feels true to length
                      • Sleeve Length:
                      • Feels true to length
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Beautiful sweater, but what's "Aran?"

                      By Grandma in Idaho

                      from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

                      About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish, Trendy

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable
                      • High Quality
                      • Leather buttons
                      • Stylish
                      • Two pockets
                      • Versatile
                      • Warm

                      Cons

                      • Have to dryclean
                      • Itchy Material

                      Best Uses

                      • Casual Wear
                      • Everyday
                      • Formal Events
                      • Going Out
                      • Good syle for all
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                      I bought this for a dear sweet man who is suffering from cancer. He's generally chilly in his big house, so this will keep him warm.

                      • Chest Size:
                      • Feels true to size
                      • Length:
                      • Feels true to length
                      • Sleeve Length:
                      • Feels true to length
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • Yes

                      Displaying reviews 1-10

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