Style on Trial: Cowl necks for men

River Island grey laddered cowl neckWhat do you think of cowl neck sweaters for men?  We love a man in a polo neck or a v neck, or even a classic crew neck for that matter.  We weren’t even aware cowl necks for men existed in the real world (undoubtedly Mark from Ugly Betty will have worn one at some point) until we spotted a couple of options whilst browsing the men’s collection at River Island.  The image above is one example.  We can’t think that we have ever seen a man on the street in a cowl neck and we are not sure we like the idea very much.

But what do you think?  Are cowl necks the next big thing in menswear?  Or is this a style that should be reserved for women’s sweaters only?  You decide.  If you (or your man) likes the sweater above it can be purchased here for £34.99.

31 Comments

  • August 13, 2010

    Lína Langsokkur

    I absolutely love it! These are for masculin men who aren’t afraid of dressing up a bit. A really nice change from preppy polo shirts.
    This wouldn’t work in another colour than black, grey or brown though –
    I also like the wide thing around the wrist and waist. It’s a really flattering sweater

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  • August 13, 2010

    Rebecca

    Not for me at all. But to be fair I like my men in more traditional necklines. Those really deep v-necks can just go die.

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  • August 13, 2010

    Mousy

    Love it. 😀 I agree with everything Lína said. I’m studying menswear design and actually drew up some jumpers that looked a lot like this.
    I agree with Rebecca about really deep v-necks though; I think they look nasty. 😛

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  • August 13, 2010

    Andrea

    I’m not really a fan of this look. I think that cowlnecks are meant to accentuate feminine curves.

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  • August 13, 2010

    Dial V for Vintage

    This is totally acceptable! I think it looks good, it’s still masculine. And yes – death to deep v-necks!

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  • August 13, 2010

    Couture Coco

    No, no, no!

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  • August 13, 2010

    Denise

    The model looks good – I mean, for him it was OK – but I wouldn’t really like to go out with someone wearing it… sorry, just my opinion…

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  • August 13, 2010

    Theresa

    I think it looks a little sloppy. Women definitely pull off this look better because they are softer in appearance. On a man it just kind of hangs.

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  • August 13, 2010

    Kelly

    I like it. It’s fashion foward and something fresh for menswear.

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  • August 13, 2010

    b.

    Not a fan of this look on either men’s or women’s wear.

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  • August 13, 2010

    Kiddalee

    It is new to me, but it works. It doesn’t look much different than a scarf. There’s nothing wrong with something different. Men should have some flexibility without having to scream, “I’M SO METRO!” What about pants for women?

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  • August 13, 2010

    Rhiannon

    I quite like it, although that particular jumper pictured is gruesome. I think a plain black one would look really good.

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  • August 13, 2010

    Jaynie

    I really don’t like cowl necks at all, on men or women. They always give this weird combination of sloppy and snobbish to me…IDK, but of course what other people want to wear is no business of mine!

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    • August 13, 2010

      Amee

      I agree. I hate them regardless on who it’s on. But it makes a man look prissy, and they remind me way to much of lady parts. I don’t know.

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  • August 14, 2010

    Serinde

    its quite acceptable (around here) for men to wear scarves, even looped up ones, this is basicly legal stuck-together clothes

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  • August 14, 2010

    mademoisellepearl

    My very closeted (since you can still be termed as ‘closeted’ but be sleeping with a man, go figure) male friend has at least 2 cowl neck jumpers: one in khaki and one in grey. He thinks he looks ‘gawwwjus darlin’ but I think he just needs a pair of breasts, a smaller waist and heels of at least 3 inches to complete the look. In short, this is an area reserved for females only. The cowl neck is a slouchy roll neck meant to show off cleavage. It’s a bit wrong…do we not think?!

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  • August 15, 2010

    Spark

    I don’t like cowl necks on anyone.. ever really (especially after reading what Maddox had to say about them–namely what they look like), but on guys it’s way worse.

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  • August 15, 2010

    aishwarya gulati

    if my date turned out wearing somethin like that,i’d be running for the door!

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  • August 15, 2010

    cowel neck forever !!

    i LOVE THEM!! there great i think that as much as people dont like menswear is always going to develop , and there will be a more feminine shapes and designs ! ..look at john galliano’ spring/summer menswear there were corsets! and rick owens is know hor his skirt belts !…. im sorry but we cant judge people and wear a cowel neck !!

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  • August 15, 2010

    caz

    I have this thing about cowl neck tops making you look like your head is emerging from a giant…female genetalia….
    so..no…not for men. not for women. just no.

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  • August 15, 2010

    Laura

    I think it looks like he’s wearing a scarf. It’s not a bad look for him at all. Cleavage tops for men on the other hand are just NO!

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  • August 15, 2010

    Laura

    I think it looks like he’s wearing a scarf. It’s not a bad look for him at all. Cleavage tops for men on the other hand are just NO!

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  • August 16, 2010

    Hannah

  • August 16, 2010

    shine shahzad

    i think its nice on the model.. but i dont think i will suit all men… no idea..

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  • August 18, 2010

    Marcella

    Don’t mean to brag or anything but I’ve seen plenty of jumpers like that in Berlin. I mean, this design was waiting to happen for ages, what with all the skinny boys with the scarves loosely wrapped around their necks …? Oh, and I love this look a lot. IMO it looks best on model-type looking guys though, or flamboyantly stylish ones, but then again, what doesn’t? 🙂

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  • November 23, 2011

    Sammy

    I saw a few of these on the streets of New York the last week or so. I actually was looking for one when this site turned up.
    I remember when everyone was saying that guys skinny jeans wouldn’t go over. Yeah, right, after over 10 years of clown pants? get real. These are going to be big as well.

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  • October 12, 2012

    Herman

    New styles are of all ages, so why not a cowl neck for men?
    Personally, I am a cowl neck lover (i.e. on women), I think they look great and sexy in it. As a result, I already tried wearing sweaters with a cowl neck (plain sweaters without too much details and in grey, black or dark blue) and I feel great in them. I also got really positive comments from both women and men. So, I will keep on wearing them. Why not!

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  • November 3, 2013

    Harout

    It’s great for men who could pull it off, not for nerds.

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  • November 3, 2013

    Max

    I love the look so much I’ve been wearing them for years. I currently have two in black. I’m a heavy guy, middle aged and I think it looks fine on me. I agree–it looks a lot like a heavy scarf and nobody has a problem with them. I occasionally wear a heavy infinity scarf (not when I’m wearing one of my cowls). There’s something “futuristic” looking about this look that I like.

    I noted that this thread was originally posted almost 4 years ago. I stumbled across this page whilst looking for another cowl neck sweater using “men’s cowl neck” in my search. Evidently the style hasn’t caught on much yet, but its time will come! Glad to know so many ladies like the look. My wife does, too.

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    • November 3, 2013

      Max

      Hope to hear more about cowl necks on men from others.

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  • June 19, 2014

    Ewan O'Doherty

    Cowl neck sweaters have traditionally been more for women as the falling neckline highlights their frontage with the softer and more feminine appeal, but why not have them made for men as well?
    All the same, I would feel a little uncomfortable at first about wearing a cowl neck sweater in public (nobody would say anything I’m sure but there might be funny looks!) but as a fashion it may well catch on

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