Whether it’s being used as a suit substitute at a formal holiday event or expressing festive joy at a holiday party, the Christmas sweater is a tried-and-true classic of the boys’ winter wardrobe. But as anyone who’s ever pulled a boys’ sweater over their son’s head and then fought to keep it there knows, the “itch factor” should be avoided at all costs. The sensitivity of a child’s skin exacerbates the scratchy quality that can come from a thick, coarse knit. But don’t let that turn you and your boy off from Christmas sweaters entirely. Instead, opt for something that's itch-free while embracing the spirit of the holidays.
Your greatest ally in the fight against itch may be Sherpa lining. Sherpa fleece is a manmade fabric that captures the soft texture, fuzzy nap, and insulating power of sheep’s wool without feeling heavy or itchy. A half-zip cable knit sweater lined with soft Sherpa will create a warm, cozy shell that he’ll be delighted to stay in all day long. A Fair Isle sweater with a Sherpa-lined mock neck combines the festivity of a classic winter pattern with extra-soft, non-itch comfort where it’s needed the most.
Cotton Christmas sweaters also provide a smooth alternative to the itchy sweater blues. A 100% cotton sweater sidesteps the question of wool entirely, allowing your boy to wear a piece of knitwear made from one of the softest, most comfortable fabrics. But don’t allow yourself to equate “cotton” with “boring.” A cotton Christmas sweater is every bit as capable of carrying patterns and demonstrating Christmas cheer as a wool sweater. Consider a cotton boys' Christmas sweater featuring a penguin filled in by a Fair Isle pattern or a smiling penguin topped by a pair of wearable reindeer antlers. Your biggest challenge may not be convincing him to keep it on but getting him to change out of it at the end of a long, present-filled day.
In some instances, people (especially small children) might balk at the idea of a wool sweater. But authentic wool is the complete opposite of uncomfortable. If you invest in a high-quality, pure wool sweater, you'll be treated to decadent coziness. Plus, wool is a highly durable material, so if you're planning to get your son a wool sweater, it’s something that he'll be able to wear countless times (until he starts his growth spurt, that is). Wool means many different things as there are many types of wool, including sheep’s wool, alpaca wool, and rabbit’s angora (all sheared humanely and specifically for their wool).
If your son has very sensitive skin, your best bet may be to get him a sweater constructed with synthetic materials. The only downside to a synthetic sweater is that it doesn’t hold heat the same way sweaters made of wool or cotton do. That’s why it’s a good idea to layer a synthetic blend sweater over a base layer like a boys’ graphic tee. Some of the best synthetic materials for softness and comfort include acrylic, polyester, rayon, and viscose.
We totally get it: the idea of dressing your 8-year old son in a cashmere sweater might be very daunting. He is likely a highly energetic young boy! “What about dirt and food stains and anything else that could damage the integrity of the sweater?” you may be thinking. However, a cashmere sweater may be an excellent option if you plan to have your son only wear it for special occasions, like a holiday card photo shoot or a school recital. Fortunately, any stains on your son’s cashmere sweater can be removed easily, especially when caught right away. And of all the soft, cozy, itch-free sweater options out there, we can’t think of anything that tops cashmere.
Fleece is such a fabulous sweater to have in the winter season, regardless of age or gender. Everyone should have a go-to fleece sweater or fleece jacket hanging in their closet! It may be just the right fit for your young boy, especially if he likes features like extra warmth and coziness in addition to itch-free comfort. Fleece is a thick, durable material that can withstand lots of wear and be worn underneath a boys’ coat. It’s also become quite fashionable in recent years so it will go with many outfits, ranging from dressy to casual. If you want to ensure your son is super warm in addition to itch-free, the fleece sweater is the way to go.
Shopping for boys’ Christmas sweaters? Visit Lands’ End today to explore our selection of boys holiday sweaters, boys’ sweatshirts, boys' sweaters, boys' fall sweaters, hoodie sweaters for boys, boys' fleece sweaters, and more!