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REVIEW: O'Connell's Shetland Wool Sweater

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    REVIEW: O'Connell's Shetland Wool Sweater

    from O'Connells, $165 retail.

    The shetland is one of the most classic sweater styles around. It is a casual sweater, you could even say rugged. They typically feature a saddle shoulder and Scottish wool. Many companies make their own version, but the company I kept hearing about was O'Connells. Est. in 1959, they have a reputation of offering quality sport coats and sweaters. I was looking for a well-fitting, warm, and casual sweater to complement my navy cashmere cable sweater, and to take the place of my charcoal fishermans sweater.

    This is 100% Scottish wool. I've only owned one other shetland sweater (from J.Crew two years ago) and I can say this wool is noticeably thicker. This is no cashmere or merino, so it has a rougher feel, but it is still soft at the same time (if that makes any sense). In comparison to the WoolOvers sweater, I like this material better. The color is medium charcoal. They also offer medium gray, and dark charcoal, among several other colors. Made in Scotland.

    I ordered the size 36 (I usually wear small or extra-small in sweaters, 5'7'', 125 lbs). The collar was tight when first putting it on, but I don't notice it anymore with a collared shirt underneath. This is a classic fit, although I don't think it is too baggy. It feels nice in the chest also, not too tight. Probably the best part of the fit, was the length of the sweater and sleeves. I usually have the problem of excess length in other sweaters, since I am shorter, but this seems to be the correct length.

    I really like this sweater, and I am going to keep it. I know it is overpriced, but I think you are paying extra for the quality (and thickness) of the wool, and I found it fits me better than some other sweaters. Probably just those two features make it worth it for me. Hopefully, the extra thickness will translate into more warmth, but I will see. This will likely be a staple sweater for me this winter, alternating with my navy cashmere cable sweater. My charcoal Wool Overs sweater will be going to Goodwill.

    Any reason for this over the fisherman's sweater?


      Don't these have a tubular construction as well? Not a neccesity but definitely a very nice detail. I'm looking at getting one in the oatmeal color.

      Also, what is your normal jacket size? I've heard to size up one from your normal jacket size for a regular fit and to go with your normal size for a slimmer fit.


        [MENTION=12061]Jshackleford[/MENTION], actually it's a closer call than I made it out to be. The fisherman's sweater is good, too. But for me, it was too long in the length even for an XS, and I like the texture of the shetland better. It is more distinctive, and I think it has a more traditional (American) look:

        [MENTION=4305]Jazzocaster[/MENTION], I'm not an expert in its construction, so I will need to research this more. I wear a 36R in jackets, too. So I would agree with what you said -- use your jacket size to get a slim fit.


          UPDATE: This sweater is working out great for me, and I am wearing it very frequently. I most like the fit, the thickness, and the warmth. It is slightly scratchy, but that s not bothering me yet. I am seeing the first hint of pilling at the left elbow, so I will have to see how that goes.

          I just bought the same model in the navy color:


            I have recently become interested in Shetland Crewneck Sweaters. Shetland sweaters appeal to me for a few reasons. First, I think their casual and preppy style make them easier to wear than dressier knits like v-neck merinos and cashmere sweaters. Those styles look better layered under tailored clothing, in my opinion. Second, I feel that Shetland offers much more visual depth than other sweater options, at least at a reasonable price point. Personally, I dislike the very flat look of most inexpensive merino wool sweaters that are sold today. There is just very little interest and are bland.

            I found a few reviews that tout O'Connell's in Buffalo being the best Shetland sweaters around (see below):



            and this one!

            Does anyone else have recent experience with Shetlands from O'Connell's? I found what appears to be a great deal on eBay for a lot of nine their sweaters.




              oconnell's sells super nice stuff.


                Nice! I like the color. It gives the sweater a bit of "texture", but it's still smooth enough to be dressy enough for work.

                Unfortunately, my skin has become more irritable over the years, so I generally stay away from Shetland wool sweaters; they're just to itchy for me. I have to stay with erino wool, cashmere or cotton.


                  I received an O'Connell's shetland sweater for Christmas last year. The review from Die, Workwear! is spot on. It is a great sweater.

                  Very well made, but not as thick as my Bill's Khakis shetlands. I went by their sizing charts to figure out the size.