The versatile cardigan: a classic piece of clothing that was popularised and subsequently coined by the 7th Earl of Cardigan, a prominent figure in the British military, is a timeless piece to add to your wardrobe.
Whether chunky, long, zipped or smart, cardigans are an adaptable and classic addition to the wardrobe that you shouldn't miss out on. That's why we have put together this buying guide alongside our ten favourite cardigans from the likes of Pendleton, Far Afield, and ASOS to simplify the search and help you find a cardigan that best fits you. It's time to make the most of this invaluable piece of 'three-season' wear.
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If you have a decent-sized budget and would like a well-made cardigan that will last, consider choosing one made from natural fibres. Merino wool provides good insulation, wicks moisture away and keeps its shape without creasing much. Best of all, it does all this in a completely natural and sustainable way that's great for both you and the planet.
Cashmere has similar qualities to merino wool and is also known for its softness, creating a luxurious feel. Cashmere cardigans can be pretty expensive, but a cotton-cashmere blend is cheaper, slightly more durable and truly a match made in heaven!
For natural fibres on the more affordable side, go for cotton. Durable and breathable with a classic look, cotton is perfect for cardigans. Or, choose a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics like cotton, polyester or acrylic. This brings the best of both worlds – materials like acrylic or nylon are durable and affordable, and cotton creates a softer texture against your skin.
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There are many varieties of neckline available when it comes to cardigans for men, so it's a good idea to know which one suits you best. V-neck cardigans are particularly flattering for men who are tall and broad-chested, especially styles with a more extreme V-shape.
If your build is slender with narrower shoulders, an open-front cardigan might suit you. A cardigan with a collar can look great on all kinds of men, as can high-neck designs with a zip fastening.
The latter of these will not only be a bit warmer, but the addition of a zip bridges the gap between cardigan and jacket nicely, which is ideal if you want to ease yourself into cardigan territory!
Most men's cardigans come in a standard length which sits somewhere around the hips, or sometimes on the hip or slightly below. Cardigans in a relaxed or oversized cut can be a little longer than standard length, which can work well on taller frames but may drown you if you are shorter.
For men with an average-to-smaller build, a standard-sized, boxy cardigan can be very flattering to your proportions. Those who are slim and tall might want to consider a longline cardigan for a contemporary and stylish look.
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Regular and relaxed are some of the most common and most popular fits when it comes to men's cardigans as they define your shape while still being loose and comfortable and maintaining that laid-back look.
Oversized and even extreme oversized cardies are on trend for men at the moment, giving a grungy, hip look that may not have been seen much in men's clothing until now. Not to mention, it's an extremely comfortable style!
On the other end of the spectrum, a slim-fitting cardigan can look super sharp on men who are lean or skinny. They also look more elegant, making them more suitable for special occasions or wearing to a restaurant or event.
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The Original Westerley Sweater Cardigan
A Classic Wool Cardigan From an American Heritage Brand
Zigger Short Sleeve Cardigan
A Short Sleeve Button-Down With an Eye Catching Print
Cable Knit Cardigan
Stay Cosy in Forest Green Cable Knit From Kickers
Unisex Argle Cardigan
A Monochrome Argyle Option for Both Him and Her
Oversized Knitted Cardigan
Step Into Spring With This Subtle Floral Print
Celtic & Co.
Chunky Knit Stripe Cardigan
Stay Loud and Proud With This Bright Striped Option
Stripe Longline Cardigan in Fluffy Yarn
Get in Touch With Your Softer Side With This Longline V-Neck
Cable Front Shawl Neck Cardigan
Keep It Traditional in This Neutral-Hued Chunky Knit
Oversized Knitted Cardigan With Sunflower Print
A Pop of Colour That's Sure to Raise a Smile
Unisex Knitted Cardigan With Badge Logo
From Cheerleaders to Quarterbacks, Anyone Can Rock This Varsity Look
If you're more into the classic grandad-style cardigan, look no further than our number one offering from Pendleton. With its well-made spirit and stunning pattern, this is a cardigan for all ages – certainly not just older men. Quite the contrary, in fact, as vintage and retro styles are often preferred by younger guys these days, and it's easy to see why.
Pendleton has a gorgeous range of options available on Amazon but in this style, there are three options; navy, grey and tan. Bringing real American spirit to their garments, Pendleton take their craftsmanship very seriously, weaving from the finest woollen fabrics in their two Pacific Northwest mills. It's the kind of quality that can be hard to come by these days.
This unique knit is composed on 100% organic cotton, so it's light and breathable while still providing that extra bit of warmth. With its short sleeve design though, you're not likely to wear it in the harsh UK winters! However, it's perfect for the slowly warming weather or for layering with other shirts and jackets.
The eye-catching design really sells this one for us! The comfort of a cardigan can often mean we have to compromise on style, but this collared button down does no such thing! If you want the best of both worlds, this is the best choice for you.
Kickers are an iconic brand, and they've come through once again with this button-down V-neck. The drop shoulder style lends a relaxed look to a regular fit and the wool blend will be sure to keep you warm.
The muted forest green tone adds a pop of colour to an outfit without being too overwhelming. It can be worn as a statement piece with neutrals or as part of an earth-toned ensemble.
This bold monochrome argyle print balances statement and style, and best of all it's a unisex option that will be suitable for any shopper. The relaxed fit makes it easy to dress up or down, and stay cosy while doing it!
The 3 % elastane in the material blend adds an extra stretch to the garment, but if you really want a comfortable fit, we recommend sizing up with this one for the oversized look!
This floral print V-neck from Topman is light in colour and in feel, so it's sure to be a perfect solution to that change-of-season chill! The oversized fit helps you keep things casual but the print adds an extra dimension to an otherwise minimalist outfit.
Because of its neutral colours, it's another one that could be great for layering or pairing with more statement pieces. Wrap up with other garments to see you through the winter or throw on top of a t-shirt for an easy springtime look!
This chunky knit V-neck from ASOS DESIGN is perfect if you're already a colour connoisseur or looking to branch out your neutral wardrobe. The bold design makes it a great statement piece, but the earthy colour tones are casual enough to style down.
The acrylic and polyester blend is certainly a warm option, but may not be the best for the milder weather. All the same, in the right conditions, this is the perfect addition to any wardrobe!
Not one for those who like to blend in, this Knitted Stripe Cardigan is perfect for creating a bold, statement look. Cardigan options for men are often in muted tones, so we thought we would include something for those of you who want a cardigan with a little bit more excitement!
Made in a fluffy knit with blue and rose-brown stripes, this cardigan has some real magnetism. It would look super stylish worn with both black or neutral hues, especially with statement leather or PVC pieces – it's anything but boring.
Coming in a neutral stone shade, this cardigan for men by New Look has darker contrast buttons and a classic shawl collar. This is certainly a more toned down option, but when it comes to fashion staples, you can't go wrong.
It's easy to style such a traditional piece, and it can look at home in a smart or casual setting! It might not be the right option if you're looking to make a statement, but there's certainly nothing wrong with the classics. If it's not broke, don't fix it!
This cool cardigan has a nostalgic feel that has hints of the block colour trend of the '90s! We find the smiling floral design set against a cool green to be rather fun and a great way to jazz up a plain outfit.
Featuring a V-neck, button placket and ribbed trims in an oversized cut, it's sure to become a style staple. However, this cardigan is rather lightweight which makes it better as a layer or to be worn on milder days, and it's made from an entirely synthetic blend which may not be quite as luxurious as other options.
This vintage inspired look takes its inspiration from the classic American varsity style. Whether you're a practiced athlete or a fan of the game, you're sure to score points in this vibrant sporty option.
The bright red colour is sure to turn heads, and the embroidered Reclaimed Vintage logo keeps the the whole look on theme. It might not be the best option for a more toned down wardrobe though, and the bold design makes it hards to style beyond pairing with minimalist garments.
Written and researched by Melanie McPhail
No. 1: Pendleton｜The Original Westerley Sweater Cardigan
No. 2: Far Afield｜Zigger Short Sleeve Cardigan
No. 3: Kickers｜Cable Knit Cardigan
No. 4: COLLUSION｜Unisex Argle Cardigan
No. 5: Topman｜Oversized Knitted Cardigan
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