We know what you’re thinking: “I just clicked to see how on Earth they’d make a case for men’s cardigans.” Well, you won’t be disappointed.
The button-down men’s sweater has been a staple in men’s fashion since the Roaring Twenties. Recently, however, it’s been associated with grandfathers–ouch. Whiskey is an old-time classic, too, but people don’t get flack for ordering it. Worn correctly, the cardigan can take you from frumpy to refined, from dad-like to fashion-forward, from dorky to swank. We’ll show you how the right cardigan will take you from Highlands Whiskey Red to Johnnie Walker Blue.
Here’s what we love about men’s cardigans: typically fastening halfway or three-quarters up the chest, this button-down sweater is the prime garment for layering. We’ve broken down different looks so that you can find the right cardigan for you.
Men’s Cardigans for the Cardigan Beginner
So you think you could NEVER rock a cardigan? We’re here to prove you wrong. These foolproof suggestions will turn you from a cardigan virgin into a sweater weather icon.
Throw a cardigan sweater over a basic tee on a crisp fall day. This effortless outfit will keep you warm and make you look like you’ve been reading Robert Frost. Leave the sweater unbuttoned for a laidback vibe. If you choose to button up, leave the bottom two undone. As goes with linen shirts and blazers, you never want to fasten the last button of a cardigan.
Men’s Cardigans for Office Life
Cardigan sweaters somehow show that you care. Whether you’re taking an extra twenty minutes during lunch or not, this neat, semi-formal men’s sweater will have coworkers thinking, “now that guy is probably getting his job done.”
A wool cable knit with lapels is an unexpected yet sophisticated substitute for your blazer or sports jacket. This look is perfect for fall and winter, and you can pair it with a fun tie bar to complete the casual-formal ensemble.
Alternatively, layer an understated lightweight cardigan over your button-down and tie. This smart, simple look will have you dressed for success.
Men’s Cardigans for your Weekend Errands
A cardigan can come in handy for casual affairs. About to reach for your old Columbia fleece or that Costco flannel that’s so old you don’t remember buying it? While those are understandable for your off-the-clock endeavors, we are here to challenge you, to elevate your game. The beauty of a cardigan is you are never over or underdressed.
Shake things up. This cardigan with pockets and a hood is an aesthetic step up from a hoodie while maintaining the same utility. It’ll have you trying grocery store samples with pinkies up.
Cardigans for your Holiday Gathering
Yes, this is a predictable occasion for a cardigan cameo, but you expect meat roasts during holidays and champagne on New Years, right? So don’t dig at sweater tradition. Name another style choice that screams “copious amounts of turkey, relatives you haven’t seen in twelve months, and warm drinks spiked with liquor.” We’ll wait. Nothing says it like a warm, colorful knit cardigan.
Make a statement with patterns. Anything goes on a holiday after all. You can opt for something that’s trendy and visually enticing, or even just play off the classic “tacky holiday sweater” look. Perfect for the dad jokes we know you are going to make at the dinner table anyway.
Cardigans for your… Hot Date?
Just kidding. Cardigans are classically stylish and they keep you warm, but no one ever said they are sexy. A caveat, however, is that these button-down sweaters make you appear grounded and sensitive, which most women find value in.
Now that we’ve broadened your perspective on men’s cardigans, which look would you try? Let us know below.
If you enjoyed this breakdown, check out our Guide on Men’s Sweaters
Latest posts by Emilie Allen (see all)
- Mattress Talk: Man’s Handbook to Bedding What's a Murphy bed or a polymer grid? - January 14, 2019
- 4 Outrageous Suits That Somehow Worked? See if you could pull these off - December 18, 2018
- The GentleManual’s Holiday Gift Guide Win the title of "Best Gift Giver of the Year" - December 13, 2018