Man wearing cardigan

6 Mens Cardigans That Won’t Make You Look Like Mr. Rogers Go from Highlands Whiskey Red to Johnnie Walker Blue

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.

Table of Contents

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.

Esprit Casual Men's Cardigans

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.

Tommy Hilfiger Casual Men's Cardigans
Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Jacket Modern Fit Suit Separates with Stretch-Custom Jacket & Pant Size Selection

  • Button closure
  • Dry Clean Only
  • Expertly blended for maximum resilience and wrinkle resistance


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.”

H&M men's cardigans sweater for office

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. men's cardigans with tie bar

Circa Silver Tie Bar

Distinguish yourself from the rest with our Circa Tie Bar. This 1″ tie bar is subtle enough to not distract, but refined enough to enhance any ensemble from work to a night out with ease.

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 Office Johnstons Of Elgin
Johnstons of Elgin

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.

High Fashion Update Men's Cardigans Sweater
High Fashion Update

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.

American Stitch Men's Cardigans Hoodie
American Stitch

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.

Pier One Holiday Men's Cardigans
Pier One

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

Emilie Allen
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