How to style a men’s cardigan

Men’s cardigans seem to get a bad press. Often thought of as shapeless, sexless and inherently uncool, the humble cardigan would more likely be associated with your grandfather’s wardrobe than something you’d see adorning the pages of GQ.

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And yet, in recent years the cardigan seems to have experienced somewhat of a revival. An article in the New York Times examines the history of the cardigan and accepts that in recent years, celebrities such as David Beckham, Daniel Craig and Pharell Williams have ‘rescued’ the cardigan and ‘made it safe for the red carpet’.

Here are some ways to wear a cardigan well.

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Perhaps one of the coolest cardigan wearing icons was Curt Cobain. The grungy, chunky olive-green sweater that he wore at his infamous MTV Unplugged performance in 1993 reportedly sold at auction for over $330,000. The effortless, shabby-chic nature of a thick, long cardigan screams ‘I’ll wear what I want and wear it well.’ It’s a look that can easily be teamed with skinny, ripped jeans and a plain tee for a bad-ass vibe.


If you’re looking for a more formal outfit then look to the Italians and their elegant way of wearing a thin, neutrally toned cardigan as a mid layer between shirt and jacket. Not only is this practical but it oozes class. Just like the mens single button shawl collar Aran sweater that is routinely found on the continent.

Comfy and casual

The cardigan has always been synonymous with comfort. An easy to throw on ensemble that can be worn for warmth and practicality with joggers around the home. Tap into the loose fitting structure of a baggy cardigan teamed with sneakers, jeans and a beanie hat making for a look that is actually effortlessly stylish as well as super comfortable both in and out of the house. A mens single button shawl collar Aran sweater gives a similar illusion on a grander scale.

City chic

The fishermen knit is another form of chunky knit but one that is slightly more stylish and cosmopolitan. Ironically it has connotations with nature – often found in natural tones like greens and browns – and with a texture that makes you feel like it should be worn for a stroll in the countryside. The perfect ensemble for a Sunday pub lunch.

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Roger Walker

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