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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
 
4.0

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • High quality (17)
  • Stylish (16)
  • Warm (16)
  • Versatile (12)
  • Comfortable (11)

Cons

  • Itchy material (5)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (18)
  • Everyday (14)
  • Going out (7)
  • Travel (7)
  • Office (3)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      75% 

      (15 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      75% 

      (15 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      74% 

      (14 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Comfort-oriented (11), Practical (9), Classic style (7), Stylish (5), High-end shopper (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (12), Yes (9)

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 27 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Love this sweater!

By Kram

from Northern Illinois

About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • High Quality
  • Stylish
  • Versatile
  • Warm

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Casual Wear
    • Everyday
    • Office
    • Travel

    Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

    I'm going to get the vest too!

    • Chest Size:
    • Feels true to size
    • Length:
    • Feels true to length
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels true to length
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    sweater was everything I hoped it would

    By Kram

    from Northern Illinois

    About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical, Stylish

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Breathable
    • Comfortable
    • High Quality
    • Stylish
    • Warm

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Everyday
      • Travel

      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

      Shipped quickly. Wonderful sweater.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      I Love the sweater

      By Granpa Sweater Addict

      from Stouffville, ON

      About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, High-end shopper

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • High Quality
      • Stylish
      • Warm

      Cons

      • Itchy Material

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Everyday
      • Going Out

      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

      I really enjoy the sweater. It fits very well and feels to be of very high quality. I have paid a lot more for less sweater before.

      Enjoy

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Wonderful Warmth

      By DavaoJoe

      from New York, NY

      About Me Comfort-oriented, Practical

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Breathable
      • Comfortable
      • High Quality
      • Stylish
      • Versatile
      • Warm

      Cons

      • Dry Clean Only

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear
      • Everyday
      • Museums
      • Theaters
      • Travel

      Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

      I love this sweater. I ordered it in the natural color (an unusual choice for me) and I love it.

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

      (5 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      not true to size

      By Peeps

      from St George UT

      About Me Comfort-oriented

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • High Quality

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Casual Wear

        Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

        shipping is ridiculous

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

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Nice product

        By DG

        from Star, Idaho

        About Me Comfort-oriented

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • High Quality
        • Warm

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

            Nice sweater, but too small, had to return for larger size haven't heard back from NG so far.

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

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Beautiful Sweater!

            By WestSeattleite

            from Seattle, WA

            Pros

            • Classic
            • Comfortable
            • High Quality
            • Stylish
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Casual Wear
              • Everyday

              Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

              I bought this as a gift for my husband and just received it today. He tried it on and it fit him perfectly AND he loves it! This versatile sweater has both met and exceeded my expectations and is all the more valuable because it is a product made in Ireland and the purchase supports National Geographic.

              Thank you to National Geographic for offering this beautifully-made garment. I believe it will wear extremely well and my husband will receive years of use from it.

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

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Beautiful Sweater!

              By WestSeattleite

              from Seattle, WA

              Pros

              • Classic
              • High Quality
              • Stylish
              • Versatile
              • Warm

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Casual Wear
                • Everyday

                Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                I bought this as a gift for my husband and just received it today. He tried it on and it fit him perfectly AND he loves it! This versatile sweater has both met and exceeded my expectations and is all the more valuable because it is a hand knit product from Ireland and the purchase supports National Geographic.

                Thank you to National Geographic for offering this beautifully-made, traditional garment. I believe it will wear extremely well and my husband will receive years of use from it.

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

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Outrageous shipping and handling-$53.90

                By Peter

                from Calgary, Alberta

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                Due to the outrageous shipping and handling charges; I have no product comments.

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Husband Loves This Sweater!

                By The Loving Wife

                from Madison, WI

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable
                • High Quality
                • Stylish
                • Versatile
                • Warm

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Men's Aran Shawl-collar Cardigan:

                    My husband is thrilled with this sweater - so much so that I bought another one in another color for him! He has received a number of compliments when wearing his new sweater this winter.

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

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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