A cardigan is an essential part of any man’s wardrobe. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not cool or manly if you wear one. Cardigans can be adapted to almost any style or occasion and they are definitely in.
Most guys today are wearing cardigans with the bottom button open or with the front waist tucked in to show off the belt.
Cardigans are open-front sweaters that are named after a British military man, the 7th Earl of Cardigan. A well-fitting one will provide some taper at the waist and give a tailored fit similar to a well-fitting sportcoat. It should have a nice drape and hang just below the belt unless you opt for the long variety. Most guys today are wearing them with the bottom button open or with the front waist tucked in to show off the belt.
If you’re going to layer your cardigan make sure it’s a buttoned front and not zippered. Zippered cardigans don’t look good layered.
Most cardigans will have five or six buttons on the front and the ones that are less bulky work nicely under trenchcoats or sportcoats. I’ve even seen some nice outfits where the cardigan was layered under a jean jacket with a shirt tie combination. If you’re going to layer make sure it’s a buttoned front and not zippered. Zippered cardigans are great, but don’t look good layered.
Our guide includes quality pieces that will provide you with a nice range of colors and styles to fit any wardrobe.
Party Cardigan By Scotch & Soda (Night)
This beautiful Cardigan will add a little flash to any evening. The Party Cardigan ($185) by Scotch & Soda is made from 95% cotton and 5% polyester. Up close you can see little white flecks of color that add a little something extra. The cardigan features a relaxed fit, and a five button closure. The Party Cardigan will go perfectly with a denim shirt and jeans, a white button down and wool pants, or match it with some dark satin slacks for the ultimate party look. Whatever the occasion this cardigan can be dressed up or down for seamless style.
Cotton Cardigan By Scotch & Soda
The Cotton Cardigan By Scotch ($169)is a perfectly comfortable Shawl Cardigan made from 100% cotton. The Cotton Cardigan is perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons or hanging out by the fire. It features high twist cotton, a shawl collar and two front pockets, which you absolutely need when breaking out the pipe. The cotton has a classic vintage worn-in look that would go perfectly with a denim shirt and wool pants. The Cotton Cardigan comes in four colors: ruby, red, night and cobalt.
Heavy Cable Knitted Cardigan By Scotch & Soda
If you love heavy knit cardigan’s as much as I do then the Heavy Cable Knitted Cardigan By Scotch & Soda ($255) is the sweater to check out. This might look like a rigid and rough cardigan, but the wool blend fabric actually has a soft and plush feel that you’ll never want to take off. This cardigan features a shawl collar, two front pockets, and a five-button closure. Match this Cardigan with a white button down, some slim fit jeans, wool socks, and your favorite Red Wings and you’ll be set for a great day out in the city. This Cardigan comes in night, black, and ketchup.
Woodlands Shawl Neck Sweater Coat
If you’re looking for a heavy wool sweater then the Woodlands Shawl Neck Sweater Coat ($445) is the guy for you. This shawl neck sweater has classic 1950’s styling with two stripes on the arm near the cuff that gives you an old-school varsity feel. It’s made from extra heavy four-end jersey knit wool and features custom corozo nut buttons. This Cardigan is an extremely limited edition and only 24 pieces will be made.
Wool-Blend Shawl Cardigan Sweater
This classic Wool-Blend Shawl Cardigan Sweater ($169) from Orvis is simply perfect. It’s perfect because its classic subdued styling makes you think of long winter nights, crackling fires, and having a glass of your favorite scotch along with your favorite cigar. This cardigan offers great warmth and because it’s from Orvis, features excellent durability. It has a classic five-button closure, faux-suede elbow patches, and two lower patch pockets. This guy is washable and made in the U.S.
Long Cable Cardigan
Go long with this Long Cable Knit Cardigan ($249) from Club Monaco. It features classic cable knit styling in soft wearable wool. This knit has a six-button front closure, a shawl neck, two horizontal slash front pockets, and an attached belt. This cardigan would be great with a dark patterned navy shirt and your favorite pair of jeans. The Long Cable Cardigan is available in camel.
Elbow Patch Shawl Cardigan
I love elbow patches on my sweaters. They add a cool professor collegiate look to any knit. Club Monaco is now offering an Elbow Patch Shawl Cardigan ($149) made form 100% soft wool that features cabled construction, a five-button front closure, shawl collar and of course suede elbow patches. The sweater comes in loganberry, navy, charcoal, and praline.
Slim Merino Cardigan
The Slim Merino Cardigan ($90) will become your go to cardigan in no time. This wear anywhere piece goes with anything in your wardrobe. You just can’t go wrong. It’s lightweight, effortless and has a great fit. It pulls every outfit together for that finished look. You can wear this knit with your favorite wide belt, button down and slim jeans, a shirt-tie combo or layer it with a sport or trench coat. Want to go super casual, just throw it on over your favorite T-shirt and you’ll be good to go.
Rustic Merino Elbow-Patch Cardigan
The Rustic Merino Elbow-patch Cardigan ($118) is another offering from J. Crew. As I said previously I love elbow patches and this sweater features suede patches for that smart classic professional look. Made from plush slub merino wool it is not only extremely soft buy warm enough for those cold winter days when layered appropriately. It has a regular cut and will go perfectly layered with your favorite sportcoat with or without a tie. Th rustic merino comes in heather indigo.
Donegal Wool Cable Knit Cardigan
The Donegal Wool Cable Cardigan ($198) is a thick cold weather wool sweater that features a shawl collar, six-button front closure, patch pockets, and a thick cable knit. If you’re dressing for warmth either this a sweater or the Woodlands Shawl Neck Sweater Coat will be the way to go. Dress it down with a t-shirt and jeans or up with your favorite shirt tie combo and a pair of nice khakis. You can’t go wrong with the Donegal.