We all know of the great Shaggy Dog Shetland sweaters made by J. Press, as well as huge variety made by O'Connell's. However, I don't have that sort of budget and am simply not a fan such heavy sweaters. Sure, I have plenty of sweaters but only around ten percent of them are wool. The rest are cotton, linen, and/or silk.
Rugby's currently offering a set of Shetland sweaters in a couple basic colors as well as the more vibrant ones I've shown here. First, the bad. These are marketed as Shetland sweaters, but who knows where they were actually made? If lucky, the wool is real Shetland wool but probably knitted in China.
The good. The leather elbow patches and shaggy feel (like J. Press) are pretty nice. The fit is rather trim compared to the other two brands (if you like that sort of thing). If you don't mind country of origin, the last thing to really consider is price. These are currently on sale $69.99, around half the price of J. Press or O'Connell's. While those might be worth the long term investment, these Rugby sweaters might last just as long for the first time Shetland buyer, especially given the elbow patches (which would receive the most wear).
Of course, if you're looking for a true deal then I suggest the land of eBay. Happy holidays!