Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Shawl Collar Review

Posted on: March 26th, 2009 by Lesli Larson

“Durable as Grandma’s Knitting”

Montgomery Ward Winner

I’m moving into the planning phase of my all wool sweater project. Based on blog and email feedback, I’m working on a collaborative design for a shawl collar cardigan. As part of my research, I’m collecting images of model shawl collar styles and sweaters (from image archives, film stills, period print advertisements, online shops). Let me know which version/s you prefer. Also, please email me related web links and favorite sweater examples (living or dead).










Two historical examples not in consideration:

Coup de Grace (Schlondorff 1976)

Hannah and Her Sisters (Allen 1986)

And in a related note, here’s a sobering post from Chris Bray of BillyKirk on the closure of Baron Woolen Mills of Brigham City, Utah .


  1. phil varner on

    This is a bit odd– I just saved two images of shawl collared sweaters to use as inspiration for Christy knitting me one, before seeing that you’d posted this today. They are definitely beckoning me.

  2. Foster Huntington on

    I cant wait to see how these turn out.

  3. Schorsch on

    You left out any Steve McQueen, but I can see how his look is a bit more Mojave nights than what you’re going for. Plus the most readily available picture has that shock hiding in the bottom corner.

    Anyhoo, I’m glad you’re thinking thick, and not the fashionable thin cardigans on hipsters these days. I’ve read that such a sweater was a substitute for a jacket for those who couldn’t afford one, and I think that’s the direction you should go.

  4. Lesli Larson on

    Need to generate a few screen grabs of McQueen/Cincinnati kid just to document shawl collar sweater sans “surprise”!

    Good call.

    McQueen good model for sweater as jacket (over t-shirt).

  5. theo on

    D, G and H, definately my favourites. actually, the guy in the poster on the top right is probably my favourite overall, if it counts.

  6. Rat Trap Press on

    D, and E, although I agree with Theo, the top right sweater is my favorite.

  7. Isaac Buie on

    I own a 3 year old Polo cableknit shawl cardigan and I swear it’s my favotite piece of clothing…great images.

  8. Rally on

    I love the shawl collar sweater!
    great pictures!

  9. alford on

    I like the raglan sleeve in C. Not sure how much this would change the cost, but i think it looks better than the sewn in sleeve.

  10. Schorsch on

    I forgot to list my favorites:

    Pockets and shawl on A
    Awesome throat latch on C (easy to incorporate on any design, I’d think)
    Fit on G. The rest are a little baggy for my tastes.

    For a modern example, the Nom de Guerre version is very nice.

  11. Anonymous on

    There’s an amazingly cool shawl collar sweater (double breasted, I think) that the old Owl superhero character wears in “Watchmen”, wish I could find a screen grab of it.

  12. Japanese Fashion on

    G and E Beyond doubt my favorites

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