When you think of cardigans, you may think of your dear old grandpa or the Big Lebowski. We’re here to tell you that cardigans are extremely fashionable. Available in a multitude of styles and materials a cardigan can give you a polished look while keeping you cosy and warm.
In this men’s cardigan story…
What You Need To Know Before Buying A Cardigan Online
A Brief History of the Cardigan
Though often attributed to the Earl of Cardigan, the men’s cardigan can actually be traced back to wool garments worn by northern European fishermen in the 16th and 17th centuries used to keep warm during cold days at sea.
Following this, the men’s cardigan became a campus mainstay at Ivy League universities in the late 19th century before the knitwear explosion of the early-mid 20th century.
Designers like Coco Chanel revived interest in the garment – though mostly for female buyers – before the popularisation of golf in the 1960s gave men’s knitwear and cardigans a long-overdue return to the spotlight.
What’s In Fashion Now
In recent years, the cardigan has undergone another major revival. Heritage styles have come back into play with longstanding brands drawing on their historic designs to create traditional, preppy looks that are perfect for work, home, or the clubhouse.
At the same time, streetwear-inspired adaptations have been popularised by celebrities like Tyler the Creator, who takes classically cut cardigans in bright, popping colours and then dresses them down with jeans, puffer jackets, and even knit ties.
Fisherman-style cardigans and shawl neck cardigans were also extremely popular last winter, and we don’t expect that to change next time around.
Fashionable textures for men’s cardigans include cable knits, flat knits, or even saxon braids. Ultimately, the texture you pick is a question of personal style, but bear in mind the weight of the knit.
In terms of weight, the thickness you purchase will be dependent on two things: price-point and intended use.
Heavy knits are generally more expensive and suited to colder seasons and standalone wear. Lightweight options are perfect for layering and summer evenings.
Cardigan Fabrics To Look Out For
Cardigans are now available in a range of materials.
More affordable options include:
- Cotton blends
Whereas premium options include:
- Wool (lamb, Merino)
- 100% cotton
Sizing and Fit
As with any piece of clothing, fit is absolutely crucial when it comes to men’s cardigans.
Ideally, your cardigan should be fitted across the shoulders, taper through your middle, and then open a little at the waist.
They should always be long enough to cover your belt or waistband. Undersized is never a good look when it comes to men’s cardigans – fitted is fine on the shoulders and guns, but nowhere else. Keep things classy.
You can definitely build a look around an oversized cardigan too, just bear in mind that this immediately adds a more casual edge to your outfit; keep this trick for the weekends.
To Button Or Not To Button
As with fit, the question of whether your men’s cardigan should be buttoned-up or hang loose is really a question of the vibe you’re trying to cultivate.
However, the flowing fabric created by an open cardigan can make for a great casual look that exudes chill. If you’re wearing a cardigan as your outer layer, this is more likely the way to go.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that zip-up cardigans are also available. The same rules apply.
Styling a Cardigan
The cardigan’s greatest strength is that it’s endlessly versatile. Traditionally, they’d be worn with a shirt and tie for a smart-casual look that definitely leans smart.
Now, with the advent of the streetwear cardigan, you can just as easily style them with jeans and a tee for a weekend-ready casual look.
The cardigan’s secret power is its ability to be layered. While heavy knits work well as standalone pieces, a lightweight men’s cardigan can be layered with tees, turtlenecks, jackets, coats, and so much more. Get creative.
Our Top-Level Take on Men’s Cardigans
|Best Value Men’s Cardigan:||ASOS|
|Best Mid-Range Men’s Cardigan:||Tommy Hilfiger|
|Best Luxury Men’s Cardigan:||Paul Smith|
|Best Men’s Cardigan For Work:||Uniqlo|
|Best Statement Cardigan:||Hugo Boss|
|Best Cashmere Cardigan:||Faherty|
Price: From $238
German luxury fashion house, Hugo Boss is renowned for their opulent range of clothing, accessories, footwear, and fragrances. Founded in 1924, and with a very controversial history (they produced uniforms for the Nazi Party during World War II), after founder Hugo Boss’ death in 1948 the company turned to men’s suits.
Today, the company is a global fashion empire and produces men’s and women’s fashion lines as well as fragrances.
Hugo Boss’ range of cardigans are extremely versatile and cosy. Available in a variety of styles and colours including statement heavy-knits, these cardigans will easily pull together both casual and smart looks with ease.
Price: From $238
Launched in 2009 on a quiet cobblestoned street in SoHo, Saturdays NYC has since expanded into an international lifestyle brand that’s synonymous with high-quality craftsmanship, minimalist ethos, and classic style.
They have a tremendous amount of stylish t-shirts, pants, outerwear, sweaters, shorts, swimwear, and loungewear, all made from premium materials.
Saturdays NYC’s range of men’s knit cardigans is small but the cardigans are extremely snug, well-crafted, made from 100% wool, and available in statement patterns as well as classic plain colours. This will give you an effortlessly cool look.
Price: From $90
J. Crew believes in ‘looking a million bucks, not spending it’ which is why they source the best high-quality fabrics at the most accessible prices. All of their products are classic with a modern twist, meaning you’ll always look effortlessly polished when sporting J. Crew.
They have a great range of extremely cosy cardigans that’ll add a stylish layered vibe to your autumn wardrobe. Shawl necks cardigans, heavy cable knits, and statement patterned cardigans are all available.
Price: From $109
Founded in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger is one of the world’s leading designer brands. Tommy is renowned for their classic American-cool style that they describe as ‘preppy with a twist’. Famous for its signature red, white, and navy stripes, Tommy Hilfiger produces high-quality garments for men, women, and children using only the finest materials.
Tommy Hilfiger’s cardigans are available in timeless greys and their signature red, navy, and white colour scheme. Lightweight, heritage, and crest cardigans are available and will all add a touch of preppy-style to your look.
Price: From $70
Founded in 1977, American Eagle offers high-quality, on-trend clothing and accessories at affordable prices. They believe in inspiring people to love their real selves and express their individuality, therefore their range of clothes are on the more playful trendy side.
Their range of men’s cardigans are extremely casual and when paired with blue jeans and a white tee, will keep you warm in classic American style. Relaxed cuts, plain colours, and varsity-style statement options are all available.
Price: From $228
Iowa native Todd Snyder makes effortless everyday luxuries for the modern gentleman. Blending Savile Row’s craftsmanship with a downtown New York aesthetic, his clothing is relaxed, refined, and always impeccably tailored.
Todd Snyder’s lightweight cardigans come in an array of delightful colours, patterns, and styles that’ll add a touch of eccentric elegance to your closet. Shawl cardigans, classic cuts, stripes and cashmere are all on offer.
Price: From $275
Renowned for his creative aesthetic which combines tradition and modernity, Paul Smith is one of Britain’s foremost designers. Each Paul Smith design is underpinned by a dry British sense of humour: quirky but not frivolous, eccentric but not silly.
Made from the finest cashmere and merino wool fabrics, Paul Smith’s range of men’s cardigans are available in modern silhouettes and feature zip-up fronts as opposed to the traditional button closure – these are known as jacket cardigans, or jacket-style cardigans.
Recent seasons haven’t shied away from statement colours and patterned cardigans, but classic and heritage block colours are available too.
Price: From $71
At River Island, great design is at the heart of everything they create. Founded in 1948, the UK brand is one of the best known on the High Street and prides itself on producing stylish yet affordable fashion. Catering to men, women, and kids, River Island also sells exquisite footwear and accessories.
Extremely lightweight and with simple minimalism aesthetics, River Island’s cardigans for men are so well-made they will elevate your casual and even loungewear looks to the next level of style and sophistication.
For plumping up your wardrobe layering options at a price point that won’t hurt your wallet, River Island are hard to beat. Modern cuts meet heritage craftsmanship.
Price: From $138
In 1967, Ralph Lauren was launched with a tie. Bucking trends at the times, Ralph Lauren released a collection of wide ties that became an instant hit. Since then, the company has grown to an iconic globally known fashion empire.
It’s no surprise that Ralph Lauren’s cardigans are refined and suave; crafted from the finest fabrics, a Ralph Lauren cardigan will elevate whatever you pair it with.
Price: From $69
Bonobos was born because founders, Andy Dunn & Brian Spaly, couldn’t find men’s pants that fit (they were either too tight or too boxy) and wanted to fix this common problem men face while shopping.
They fixed it with their not-so-secret secret: all Bonobos’ pants have a curved waistband that conforms to the natural shape of men’s waists. Bonobos then expanded into producing awesome shirts, suits, swimwear; you name a piece of men’s clothing, they do it!
Their range of men’s cardigans are elegant and versatile, and are available in multiple colours, fabrics, and styles.
Price: From $160
Club Monaco was founded in 1985 to create ‘better basics’; classic, effortless pieces that are well-made and elevate wardrobes.
Club Monaco believes the mark of true style is experimenting thoughtfully, something they’re experts at; constantly growing and evolving their style, Club Monaco encourages their consumers to do the same.
Made from either linen, merino wool, or cashmere, Club Monaco’s cardigans are extremely snug and comfortable. Plus, with their simple clean cut design, available in multiple colours, you’ll look effortlessly cool.
Price: From $35
“Fashion’s best kept secret”, Boohoo Man combines cutting edge design with an affordable price tag. Pushing boundaries to bring you the latest styles but with less of a strain on your wallet, Boohoo Man’s philosophy is to not take fashion (or life) too seriously; and the result is menswear that is playful and trendy yet surprisingly affordable.
Level up your knitwear game with Boohoo Man’s huge collection of men’s cardigans. Their cardigans will keep you warm and stylish throughout the coldest months of the year, and they have everything from cable knit to double breasted cardigans, mens patterned cardigans, fisherman cardigans, and cardigan sweaters, all available in various colours and designs.
Price: From $50
Uniqlo is a Japanese brand that began back in 1949, but has expanded to a global brand. Now available in over 18 countries, Uniqlo offers ‘current basics’, so clothes that are essential foundations to wardrobes but also have a little twist to make them on trend. Plus, above all they produce well-made clothes that are extremely affordable!
Uniqlo have a small range of V-neck cardigans, available in classic versatile colours. Lightweight and crafted with either silk-cotton, linen, or wool, Uniqlo’s mens cardigans and mens cardigan-sweaters are warm yet breathable, and will go perfectly with any casual or smart casual outfit.
Whether you’re looking for a button up mens cardigan or a mens full-zip cardigan, Uniqlo will likely have you covered. They offer a huge collection that’s constantly being updated for the latest trends in men’s cardigans, sweaters, and a great deal more.
Price: From $36
ASOS, the British online retailer was founded in 2000, and since then they have primarily aimed their clothing at young adults. However, older adults looking for high-quality and affordable clothing that’s trendy will find ASOS Design’s range impressive.
ASOS Design’s huge range of men’s cardigans come in a variety of colours, prints, designs, fabrics, and styles. From preppy to chic, no matter what aesthetic you’re trying to achieve, ASOS Design will have the perfect cardigan to complete your ensemble. Great for contemporary designs, try ASOS for a men’s striped cardigan or statement men’s button up cardigan.
Price: From $175
The British born tailoring brand with a twist, is luxury brand Ted Baker. Founded in 1988, Ted Baker has had a very clear, unswerving, focus on quality and attention to detail since its inception.
Ted Baker’s small range of cardigans for men is elegant and features timeless greys and blacks. Their refined cardigans are crafted with the finest materials, and will pair nicely with casual and smart casual outfits alike.
Their current season features a men’s faux-rib cardigan that embodies the Kurt Cobain cardigan look that many men are chasing. Also keep an eye out for chunky knit cardigans and shawl neck cardigans in future collections.
Jos. A. Bank
Price: From $90
Founded in 1905, American men’s retailer, Jos. A. Bank prides itself on its heritage of quality workmanship, and their extensive selection of beautifully made, classically tailored, and casual clothing, are surprisingly affordable.
Jos. A. Bank’s range of cardigans are extremely well-made and are tailored to perfection. Available in timeless colours, and crafted from superior materials, Jos. A. Bank cardigans are stylish and will make you look effortlessly polished.
Keep an eye out for their chunky knit mens cardigans as well as their lighter-weight cardigans. Their revere collar men’s cardigan is also a big winner.
Price: From $198
Faherty Brand was founded by brothers Alex and Mike, who wanted to create a clothing brand that would produce high-quality menswear essentials but with a distinctly laidback, beachside vibe. Faherty is also committed to being as sustainable as possible.
Their range of men’s cardigans are extremely cosy and warm as well as colourful and striking; and will add a cool coastal vibe to your autumn and winter looks.
Collared men’s cardigans – including shawl neck men’s cardigans and fisherman style mens cardigans – are all available alongside more classic button-up cardigans.
Price: From $304
Italian label Dsquared2, founded by Canadian-born twins Dean and Dan Caten, has cemented itself as being one of the most influential brands of the day. Collections often veer towards more outlandish territory, but pieces never go so far as to make you want to avoid them completely. You’ll struggle to find greater quality too, which is why you’ll need to part with a larger sum of money in order to bring the brand into your home.
Dsquared2’s range of cardigans will add a touch of luxury to your look, thanks to being crafted from fine mohair and featuring refined Italian tailored fits. Men’s mohair cardigans are increasingly popular so well worth keeping an eye on – extra soft and lightweight, Dsquared2 offers you premium men’s cardigans that are perfect in spring, summer, and beyond.
Lyle & Scott
Price: From $200
Lyle & Scott have been making knitwear for nearly 150 years, and their heritage shows in the high quality men’s knitwear and cardigans they’re producing today.
Made from a range of wool, cotton-blends, and even mohair, their button-up mens cardigans are some of the most well-respected and longstanding in the game. Ranging from lowkey, clubhouse-ready classic cardigan cuts to more streetwear inspired contemporary cuts, there’s plenty to chose from.
Previous seasons has seen chunky knit men’s cardigans, fisherman-style shawl neck cardigans, and even Cobain-inspired mohair cardigans.