I recently wrote about the key pieces one needs for a business casual capsule wardrobe, and I included the J Crew Tippi merino knit as THE key knit. But, is it? Because, Reader, there is a new kid in town: the Uniqlo extra fine merino round neck. Last season their round neck was a scoop neck. Quite annoying. Not this time; its a proper round neck. So let’s have a little comparison between the J Crew and Uniqlo knits:
In one corner we have the J CREW | Merino Tippi sweater in north sea blue | merino wool | £69.50:
Here’s how it looks on the model:
I own a couple of the Tippi knits, in size S, and can confirm that the photo above accurately represents how they fit.
And, in the other corner, we have the UNIQLO | Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater in 66 Blue | 100% extra fine merino | £19.99:
Uniqlo don’t have any photos of this knit being modelled, but fear not, Reader, for you have me. Here I am in the blue in size S:
And here I am in the size M (looking, unintentionally, a bit mean, sorry):
Now, I appreciate that I don’t exactly have model proportions, and I was wearing 2 tops under the knit.
However, the photos do illustrate the key similarities and differences between the knits:
- both knits are are finely knitted. In the lighter colours this means that they are semi sheer, and benefit from layering over a vest or a Uniqlo Heattech top when its quite cold;
- the J Crew knit has 3/4 length sleeves. This can be annoying in winter (cold wrists), or if you want to wear it over a long sleeved top or shirt. However, if you like to push your sleeves up, this is a better knit;
- the Uniqlo knit sleeves are quite long on me, particularly in the larger size;
- the J Crew knit is narrower on the arms, wider on the body, whereas the Uniqlo is generally a narrower, but straight cut knit. Whether this is a good or bad thing, depends on your shape. To get the same sort of fit around my middle as the J Crew Tippi in S, I had to size up to the Uniqlo in M, which meant the sleeves are a little fuller than I need.
- the J Crew is £70 (full price) and the Uniqlo is £20. Here we have a key difference.
So, whether the Uniqlo extra fine merino knit is better than the J Crew Tippi depends on your shape and budget. For me, when the weather gets cooler, I plan to buy one of the Uniqlo knits in the M in the grey you see above. I often accidentally shrink my knits, and in this case, that will be fine. However, I won’t wait too long to buy one as I know these Uniqlo knits sell out fast. There are many other lovely colours, to choose from, too, such as:
I thought the brown was a bit drab:
Until I saw this photo of Natalie Massenet in a similar looking knit, looking anything but drab:
What about you, Reader, do you have a favourite knit? When I see this season’s Gap merino knit, I will try that on, too, as it may be another contender. Their colour range isn’t usually as good as at Uniqlo, but I will be interested to see if the shape of their round neck fits me better.