by David Isle

Some outerwear is meant to be worn over a suit. Some outerwear is meant to be worn over a T-shirt. But all outerwear is meant to be worn over a sweater. My man Josh in Louisiana has put up a Mount Rushmore of coat-and-knit fits, which show how comfortable and elegant this format can be.

The Teddy Roosevelt

This partnership of the Kaptain Sunshine Traveler Coat and a De Bonne Facture knit abounds with youthful frontier energy. It says, you can shoot me in the chest if you want, but I’m going to finish this speech. (Please don’t shoot Josh.)

The Teddy Roosevelt


The Thomas Jefferson

As President, Jefferson earned a reputation for slovenliness in buttoned-up Washington by entertaining guests in house slippers. Jefferson’s admirers, of course, saw this as an example of the Virginia planter’s “republican simplicity.” This De Bonne Facture coat and DoppiaA roll neck might well adorn a modern democratic statesman, relaxing at home with refinement but without pretension.

The Thomas Jefferson


The Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln had such a distinctive look and attitude, it’s hard to imagine him in modern clothing. But the cream GRP roll neck comes closest, I think, to capturing the high shirt collars Lincoln wore to match his towering neck, performing the same function of putting a man’s face on a pedestal. That’s why the roll neck is, as Lou Junod says in the timeless style profile of him written by his son, “the most flattering thing a man can wear.” Josh wears the sweater here with another Traveler Coat, this one in green.

The Abraham Lincoln


The George Washington

Saved the first for last. If you’ve got a houndstooth coat, and are worried about picking a sweater with a pattern that won’t clash, you can always pick the sweater that’s never wrong. Only enough room for four stars and ten stripes on this Monitaly Old Glory, so looks like we’re going to have to make some tough decisions about who’s in and who’s out. But that’s what the Inis Meain thinking cap is for.

The George Washington