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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 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

76%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • High quality (13)
  • Stylish (12)
  • Warm (12)
  • Versatile (10)
  • Comfortable (8)

Cons

  • Itchy material (4)

Best Uses

  • Casual wear (14)
  • Everyday (10)
  • Going out (6)
  • Travel (4)
    • Chest Size:
    • Feels too small

       

      Feels true to size

       

      72% 

      (13 reviews)

      Feels too big

       
    • Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      72% 

      (13 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Sleeve Length:
    • Feels too short

       

      Feels true to length

       

      71% 

      (12 reviews)

      Feels too long

       
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Comfort-oriented (7), Practical (6), Classic style (4), Stylish (4), High-end shopper (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes (9), No (8)

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 23 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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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
     
    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
         
        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
           
          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

            (1 of 1 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.

             
            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
                 
                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

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  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

                              Displaying reviews 1-10

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