An island staple since the 1960’s, the Nantucket Looms Boatneck Sweater has proven a timeless classic. Effortlessly stylish with its high neck and saddle shoulder, the cotton Boatneck Sweater was worn by the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and has stood the test of time here on Nantucket and afar. Designed by Nantucket Looms founders, Bill Euler and Andy Oates, and first introduced in the natural cream color, the sweater was so popular that two additional colors were later added - navy and striped. Most recently, almost fifty years later, we introduced grey to the classic collection; a color synonymous with Nantucket Island.
"It was a real style", says Nantucket Looms' Liz Winship, who remembers it as a staple even when she began working at the Looms in 1974. "Even Jackie Kennedy had one from us. It was a classic".
Despite their popularity, it was a fortunate stroke of serendipity that saw the Nantucket Looms Boatneck Sweater survive. For over twenty-five years, the sweaters were knit by Skane Knit in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. However, after the retirement of the knitter in the 1980's, finding someone who could recreate the original style to a high enough standard proved near impossible and the sweaters could not be restocked for some time. That was until Liz Winship met Bonnie Reaback - a distributor who has worked in the garment industry for over 30 years. Bonnie had connections in Asia and her experience in the industry was the missing link in bringing the Boatneck back.
"The factory in Hong Kong has extremely high labor and quality standards", explains Bonnie, who is passionate about the standard of production. "They are consistent in producing a high quality product and the standards they have are truly beyond 100%. That's very important".
Designed to be the stylish solution to the Nantucket sweatshirt, the Nantucket Looms Boatneck Sweater was originally designed to be worn on its own, slightly fitted. But just like a favorite pair of blue jeans, people have their own personal preference on how they like to wear their sweater.
“I once saw a petite woman wearing the sweater in a size large with a collared shirt flipped up and the cuffs rolled over the sweater. It made it look like an entirely different sweater. So I bought myself a large navy sweater right away and copied her.” - Nantucket Looms' Bess Clarke.
No matter what size, color or how you like to wear yours, the Nantucket Looms Boatneck Sweater remains timeless, yet classic - much like Nantucket Island itself.