Well, it might be your grandfather’s sweater too, but there’s no reason you can’t wear one
There is no sweater as versatile as the cardigan. Some may come close, but the cardigan will win every time. This is why, it’s an essential piece of every man’s wardrobe.
As if a vest and sweater had a baby, the cardigan is a perfect fusion of the two and can be a perfect alternative to a jacket. Ideal for the cooler months, it’s a great tool for layering so you can seamlessly move from a cooler environment to a warmer place. Not only is it great because you can effortlessly transition between temperatures, but it’s also an easy way to change up the look of an outfit; to transition from the office to a dinner date or even the cocktail lounge. It has the unique ability to give a mature gentleman a more youthful appearance, and a younger man a more mature and respectable air.
If that wasn’t enough, the cardigan can also add a touch of sprezzatura using patterns or colors and add texture to an outfit which can make you seem more approachable and trustworthy.
Wear it with a t-shirt underneath for a casual jaunt in the park, or pair it with a dress shirt and tie for Sunday dinner with your future in-laws.
Not only is a cardigan is one of the most versatile garments you can own, but it’s a perfect travel companion as well. It can pair elegantly with anything from dress slacks to a casual pair of chinos, cords or even blue jeans. Worn correctly, it can fit well under a blazer, sports jacket or even a suit. The only place it can’t go is to a formally attired event. Wearing one with a tuxedo is an absolute no-go.
So, how do you wear a cardigan?
Since they come in various weights, let’s break it down by season.
Late Spring, Summer, and Early Fall
In the late spring, summer and early fall, cardigans are perfect for the not-too-hot days when you’re just not sure how the weather will hold up. Lightweight cardigans in brighter colors such as yellow, mint green, pink, cerulean blue and heather grey are perfect options for the office if a suit is too formal or a blazer too warm. Pair it with a white dress shirt and a classic madder tie during the day, and remove the tie to open the collar as you share cocktails at night with friends.
Early Spring and Late Fall
In the cooler, but not-too-cold months, slightly heavier cardigans – or even the lightweight – cardigans, make great options for layering without the need for a coat. Not only that, but they are also a sartorially sound strategy for dressing in season. Consider darker olive greens, a navy blue, rust orange, dark purple, brown and darker grey cardigans. Pair it with a thicker country-style check shirt and a knit tie during the day at work, and loosen the look after-hours. You could even throw a tweed jacket on top for good measure.
In the coldest months of the year, a cardigan not only serves as a fashionable garment but as a functional cold-weather piece to keep you warm. Consider thicker cable knit cardigans with a shawl collar in deep reds, navy blue, holiday green or other festive colors. Greys and browns work equally well. Not only will these thicker cardigans help keep you warm and cozy (and can even function in place of a blazer) but they can serve as a makeshift blanket to draw your significant other closer in when they hint they’re a little bit cold.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style