Whether you shop designer wear or chain store fashion, the zip-front knitted top is a must for gents both for this season and the ones to follow. This item is essentially a long sleeved knitted cardigan (jersey or knitwear) with a front zipper that zips through from top to bottom. Variations on this style will determine it’s appropriateness for causal, smart casual or business casual dress codes.

The zip-front cardigan is a win for gents because it is…

  • Practical – it is easy to put on and take off, and doesn’t mess up your perfectly scruffy hair in the process.
  • Comfortable – it’s in a knit which is always soft, stretchy and warm.
  • Versatile – depending on the styling, the zip-through top can be worn over T’s and collared shirts, and underneath jackets/blazers.
  • Flattering – the vertical statement of the zip creates the illusion of a longer and leaner line, thereby acting forgivingly over the tummy area. Styles that have “a double zip” (a zipper that has 2 sets of zip tabs) allows the bottom zip tab to be pulled up as well, creating a slimming effect over the midsection.
  • Diverse – the item is available in many variations – raglan or set-in sleeve, turtleneck or hood, knitwear or jersey, plain or printed and casual or smart.

Zip-through-tops should have a fairly snug fit and should end above the crotch point. If they are baggy you’ll loose that slimming effect. There is scope for gents to have a good assortment of this item in their wardrobe. It’s going to be around for a while.

Macy’s, Nordstrom and Banana Republic have a good selection of zip-front cardigans.