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The Cardigan was named after the 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British officer who popularized the style. Nowadays it is a classic and fashionable garment, which every gentleman should have in his wardrobe.

A cardigan became popular due to its versatility, you can wear it with a wide range of outfits. Whether you are going to a formal event, to the office or want to make up a casual look, a cardigan is always a great choice. All you need to do is to follow some style rules so that you avoid looking like a grandpa. In this article, I want to tell you more about cardigans and give you some recommendations on how to wear them properly.

What is a cardigan?

A knitted jumper that is buttoned in the front, which you can wear either open or closed. It features ‘V’ neck; but doesn’t have lapels, buttons on the sleeves or a chest pocket. A cardigan is full sleeved and might have two side pockets. It is a perfect choice for autumn or winter as this garment provides warmth while still looking elegant. A cardigan comes in many varieties and is perfect for almost every occasion.

The cardigan guide

Fit of a cardigan

The fit of a cardigan is very important. An ideal one should fit in the shoulders and have a tapered waist to flatter your figure the same way a jacket does. Choose a long cardigan, which covers your belt or waistband. If you want to create a more casual and relaxed look, go for a loose cardigan, but not baggy.

Cardigan styles

A cardigan can refer to many different styles: from loose long silhouettes to refined shawl collar options. Each style is unique and can add a different touch to your overall outfit. Thus, it is very important to choose an appropriate cardigan as it can complement or ruin the whole look.

Longline cardigan

A perfect choice for any casual occasion. The elongated silhouette makes your outfit more relaxed and works ideally for weekends. It is usually available in lightweight knitted fabrics and can protect you from light breeze in late spring and early autumn.

Shawl collar cardigan

Such type has a rounded turned-down collar, which is typical for cardigans. Garments that feature this collar are usually thicker and warmer. They appear more elegant due to the added weight and collar structure.

Button-up cardigan

The most common style. It looks more formal and you can wear it even with a suit. To get a modern masculine look, opt for a well-fitted and slim cardigan with simple buttons.

Chunky knit cardigan

This cardigan will always keep you warm. It is the best choice for a casual outfit, you will look stylish anyway. If you are bold enough, choose unique styles that make a statement.

The cardigan guide

How to wear cardigans

Casual

As you already know, a cardigan is a nice choice for any casual look. It will easily blend into your typical weekend outfit. The most versatile option is a simple black cardigan. Pair it with a T-shirt, jeans or chinos, sneakers, and get a versatile casual look.

Business casual

A cardigan can be a part of your business casual outfit as well. Use it instead of a blazer on days when you want to get a more relaxed look. Pair it with a shirt, trousers or chinos and lace-up shoes. You can choose loafers in case you consider shoes too formal.

Semi-formal

Choose a cardigan that fits you well and you will nail the look. This item is a great addition to the semi-formal style. Wear it with a button-up shirt, trousers and dress shoes. You should use clean and neutral colours to make up a polished look.

Formal

Due to their versatility, you can style cardigans in many ways. You might be surprised how good a cardigan can look with a suit, even if it is not typical formal wear. Just use a fitted button-up cardigan instead of the vest or waistcoat in your three-piece suit. It is a perfect combination for winter months. A cardigan will keep you warm and make you look stylish at the same time.

Where to buy

About 99% of cardigans come off-the-rack. You can easily find one, which will fit you perfectly because knitwear products are more flexible than tailored garments. I prefer Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers or Canali cardigans. Generally, there are cardigans in any price range. The price usually depends on the quality and weight of the yarn used. A wool or cotton one you can buy for around £100, while a heavy knit cashmere cardigan will cost you several hundred.

A cardigan is a necessary garment for every gentleman, especially in autumn and winter. If you still don’t have one, get it as soon as possible. Always remember that you should fold your cardigan because hanging it on the hanger can cause stretching.

Alessandro Rocco Pietrocola is an entrepreneur, fintecher, investor, blogger and author based in London and operating mainly in Europe, Asia and Oceania with main focus on UK, Baltic Countries, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Middle East and New Zealand as area of interest! At the moment is the CEO of Astorts Group. He is an UK FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and NZ FSPR (Financial Service Provider Register) Approved Person and has great experience as director of regulated companies.
He uses to dedicate part of his life to inspire others and help them achieve the most out of their lives. Since he was 20, he had successfully founded and managed several companies operating in the field of management consulting, wealth management and fintech. He is Member of Institute of Directors in London, Member of Changer Club in Riga, Member of Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Member of Singapore Fintech Association, Member of Non Executive Director Association in London and Member of Alumni Network of Draper University in San Francisco. He loves travelling, he is a cigars lover, an amateur golfer and a dapper man.
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