How to Wear a Quarter Zip Sweater

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Written By Logan Adler
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We’re going to take you through everything you need to know about how to wear a quarter zip sweater.

“In terms of appearance, a quarter-zip sweater bears a resemblance to a pullover, but with a distinct feature – a zipper that extends from the neck to the upper chest. This versatile garment can effortlessly transition from a casual stroll in the park to a formal event, making it a wardrobe staple for many. With their rising popularity in recent years, quarter-zip sweaters have become a go-to choice for modern men. However, mastering the art of styling them can pose a challenge due to the various available styles. Dive in to discover expert tips on how to perfectly style your quarter-zip sweater for any occasion.

What Is a Quarter Zip Sweater?

A quarter zip is a pullover with a zipper running from the chest to the chin.

On shorter individuals, quarter zips can resemble half zips, which have zippers that run to the base of the chest from the collar.

Quarter zips work well as shirts, sweaters, and layering pieces.

History of the Quarter Zip Sweater

The quarter-zip sweater has been popular for quite some time. Sweater zippers have been around since the 1930s, when the Talon Company perfected the zipper.

In the 1950s, quarter zips began to gain popularity after the zipper became popular. However, as fleece (synthetic wool) became more popular in the 1960s, they became less popular.

Quarter zips have become a fashion statement in recent years, and they come in a variety of styles, fabrics, and colors.

After the zipper became popular, quarter zips started to gain traction in the 1950s. However, they became less popular during the 1960s when fleece (synthetic wool) became more common.

Quarter zips have become a fashion statement in recent years, and they come in a variety of styles, fabrics, and colors.

Quarter Zip Sweater Fabrics 

Fabrics and materials used to make quarter zips are diverse. Cashmere is used in some quarter zips, while polyester is used in others to keep them flexible.

It’s important to keep in mind that the type of fabric you choose can affect the cost. A quarter zip sweater will cost more if it is made of more expensive fabrics, such as cashmere, whereas synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, are less expensive.

Below are the common fabrics found in quarter zips:

  • Cashmere 
  • Cotton 
  • Polyester 
  • Polyester and cotton blend 
  • Fleece

Best Quarter Zip Sweater Styles 

Quarter zips are unique in that they can be worn in a variety of ways. You can wear them to work, out for fun, and even on mountain hiking trips.

With that, it’s critical to go over a few of the best quarter zip styles and how to wear them.


Men's Lightweight French Terry Quarter-Zip
  • 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester
  • Made with soft and lightweight French terry, this quarter-zip mockneck sweatshirt is perfect and easy to wear
  • Everyday made better: we listen to customer feedback and fine-tune every detail to ensure quality, fit, and comfort
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine Wash
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03/08/2024 10:29 am GMT

The casual style is one of the most common uses of a quarter zip. 

Put on a t-shirt or undershirt and layer the quarter zip over it for a casual look.

Then, pull the zipper down to expose the shirt.

It’s important to keep the collar standing, so don’t zip it all the way down to the point where it’s flat on the sides.

If you’re going to wear a quarter zip casually, think about the color and the pants you’ll be wearing.

We advise against wearing chinos or formal pants because they can turn a casual look into a business look. Pair the quarter zip with a pair of jeans instead.

For casual occasions, jeans can help you look informal without looking underdressed or overdressed.

Play around with the colors and see what you can come up with. Bright and unique colors like baby blues, crimson reds, and oranges can be used in a casual look.


Buttoned Down Men's Quarter Zip
  • 100% Supima Cotton
  • Machine Wash Cold With Like Colors Gentle Cycle. Dry Flat. Warm Iron. Do Not Dry Clean.
  • Comfortable and lightweight, this soft 100% Supima cotton quarter-zip sweater is perfect on its own or as a layer under a blazer or coat
  • Timeless silhouette for classic style with delicate ribbing at cuffs, hem, and collar
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The professional look is one of the most popular quarter zip sweater styles.

Quarter zip sweaters are easy to style for professional settings.

For example, can be worn with a button-down shirt and a tie.

Simply layer the quarter zip over the shirt and zip it down far enough to reveal the tie.

Always remember to tuck the tie into the quarter-zip sweater. On the outside, you don’t want it flapping around.

Quarter zip with tie

In terms of the pants to pair with your quarter zip, you can pick from a variety of basic colors and pants.

For the professional look, chinos or dress pants are your best bet.

Keep it simple with the colors.

White, black, gray, navy blue, and burgundy are all good neutral colors to use.


TSLA Men's 1/4 Zip Athletic Shirt
  • TSLA Men's Stretch Performance designed for sports & outdoor activities
  • Mixed of polyester & elastane fabric has lightweight, soft hand touch, sweat-wicking, and 4-way stretch for unrestrictive performance
  • Lightweight soft inner layer is designed for warmth and comfortable fit while you workout
  • Zipper closure
  • Hand Wash Only
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03/10/2024 08:21 am GMT

Quarter zips can also be used for athletic purposes. Athletes wearing quarter zips for sports and hiking is a newer trend, but it’s growing in popularity.

Quarter zips are typically made of lightweight polyester that is stretchy and breathable for athletic use.

You have the option of wearing a shirt underneath the quarter zip or not.

The look is ideal for sports and activities that involve skin contact with grass, turf, rocks, and bushes.

Quarter zips can protect hikers and athletes due to their long sleeves and durable polyester material.

There are a few ways to style a quarter zip if you’re wearing it for athletic purposes.

First and foremost, don’t be afraid to use bright, expressive colors.

Don’t shy away from bright blues and oranges; choose colors that make you feel at ease.

For the pants, pair them with jogger sweatpants for comfort and flexibility, or shorts if you’re going to be moving your legs a lot.


The North Face Men's Dunraven Sherpa ¼ Zip Pullover
  • With a style Inspired by the earliest days of The North Face, the Dunraven Sherpa ¼ Zip provides midweight warmth and throwback vibes everywhere, from the trail to the city
  • With a flattering shape and ample mobility, this pullover is perfect for easy wear or layering up. Whether for a casual look in town or active days in the wilderness, you'll experience freedom of movement through the shoulders and chest
  • Made from 100% recycled polyester, this soft, durable, mid-weight sherpa delivers cozy comfort for nights around the campfire. Easy to care for and easy to wear, you'll love the effortless look and feel anywhere you go
  • Zipper closure
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Quarter-zip sweaters are comfortable and easy to wear, which is one of their advantages.

They are a great choice for streetwear or loungewear.

If you can find a quarter-zip sweater that is a few sizes too big, wearing it with sweatpants or shorts can be super comfortable.

You can wear a quarter zip around the house or as pajamas in these situations.

A quarter zip can also be used to make a fashion statement. When you pair an oversized quarter zip with sneakers and jeans, you’re bringing back a popular style from the 1990s that’s making a comeback in today’s fashion trends.

There are dozens of ways to wear a quarter zip. Always make sure you wear it in a comfortable way and in a way that reflects your personality.

Quarter Zip Sweater Style Tips 

FitEnsure the sweater fits well – not too tight or too loose. The shoulder seams should align with your shoulders, and the sleeves should reach the base of your thumbs.
MaterialChoose a fabric appropriate for the season – lightweight cotton or linen for warmer weather, and wool or cashmere for colder seasons. Consider blends for versatility.
LayeringLayer the quarter-zip sweater over a collared shirt for a smart-casual look, or under a blazer for a more polished ensemble. Avoid layering over bulky garments to maintain a streamlined silhouette.
Zipper PlacementExperiment with the zipper position – leave it fully zipped for a more formal look, halfway unzipped for a relaxed vibe, or fully unzipped over a T-shirt for a casual appearance.
CollarPay attention to the collar – keep it neat and in shape, especially when fully zipped. Avoid folding the collar down when layering over a shirt; instead, let it stand for a more structured look.
Styling with BottomsPair the sweater with tailored trousers or chinos for a dressier look, or with jeans for a casual vibe. Tuck the sweater into your trousers for a refined appearance, or leave it untucked for a laid-back feel.
AccessorizingAdd complementary accessories such as a leather belt or a watch to elevate your outfit. Consider accessorizing with a scarf or a beanie during colder months for added warmth and style.
Color ChoiceOpt for versatile colors like navy, gray, or olive for easy pairing with different outfits. Experiment with bolder hues or patterns to make a statement, but ensure they complement the rest of your wardrobe.
Care and MaintenanceFollow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to maintain the sweater’s quality. Store it folded or hung on a sturdy hanger to preserve its shape. Regularly lint roll or gently brush to remove any pilling or lint.
OccasionConsider the occasion when wearing a quarter-zip sweater – it can be dressed up for business casual events or dressed down for weekend outings. Adapt your styling choices accordingly to suit the setting.

Quarter zips can be tricky to style if you’ve never worn one before. The good news is that we’re here to help with a few quarter zip style tips to help you figure it out.

Below, we’ll take you through some of the common color choices and how a quarter zip should fit.

Getting the Quarter Zip Sweater Fit Right 

Getting your quarter zip fit right is important. The fit depends on the style you’re going for.

You can choose a quarter zip that is a little looser for a professional setting. With a button-down shirt underneath, it shouldn’t be baggy, but it should allow you to move freely.

A quarter zip with a loose fit around the stomach, chest, and arms is usually the best fit for casual encounters.

This is also a good approach to take when wearing a quarter zip as loungewear.

When quarter zip sweaters are worn for athletic purposes, it should be tight around your body and arms.

When the quarter zip is pulled tight, it is easier to move around and relieves some of the fabric’s weight.

Choosing the Right Colors 

Quarter zips come in many color options.

Each color can be appropriate depending on how you’re wearing the quarter zip.

Some of the most common quarter zip sweater colors are:

  • Olive 
  • Green 
  • Navy blue 
  • Grey 
  • Black 
  • White
  • Burgundy 
  • Brown 
  • Pastel colors 

While all of these hues are popular and can be used, we recommend sticking to olive and other neutral tones for professional settings.

For loungewear or athletics, anything goes.

Quarter Zip Sweater Patterns

Quarter zips with patterns can be a cool way to jazz up your look.

That said, certain patterns may not be suitable for all occasions. For instance, a wild pattern full of logos is a definite negative to pair with a quarter zip worn over a button-up for work.

On the other hand, a pattern with triangles or shapes such as an Aztec design can be perfect for more casual settings.

Aztec Quarter zip
Chouyatou Tribal Aztec 1/4 Zip Sherpa Pullover
  • Polyester
  • Zipper closure
  • Machine wash or hand wash, do not bleach
  • Classic kangaroo pocket in front for your hands
Shop the Look
03/06/2024 12:28 am GMT

Final Thoughts 

Quarter zip sweaters are a versatile garment that can be a fantastic addition to your attire.

From casual events, to professional settings, including quarter zips in your wardrobe can help you switch up your look and expand your clothing options and combinations.

Because you can wear a quarter zip over most shirts, the options are limitless!

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Logan Adler
I enjoy good bourbon, cool gear, and well-made clothing. When I'm not writing for The Bullfighter, you can catch me playing chess or practicing jiu-jitsu. Happy to connect on Instagram or drop me an email at

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