Now that we’ve transitioned into sweater weather season, it’s time to overload your wardrobe with that third piece to bring your outfit together, the cardigan.
Yes, cardigans may make you may think Mr. Rogers, your grandpa’s fit, or a family get together over the holidays, but when worn well, the cardigan style is a chic staple. The cardigan has experienced a style resurgence in recent years, thanks to designers that are making cardigans with cooler fits and fabrics. And lucky for you, we’ve compiled the snazziest, coziest, and best men’s cardigans for every budget and build this winter season, from different styles and silhouettes to the ones we like the best for fall and winter layering.
The Classic Cardigan
With a thinner weave and a slight sheen to the fabric, a cardigan in cashmere or cotton-cashmere — typically done in a crisp, solid color — is perhaps the style you think of the most when picturing the cardigan. It’s able to be worn with a crisp dress shirt and tie as a blazer substitute — and that’s exactly how we’d recommend you wear yours for the season ahead.
Our Favorite: J. Crew Everyday Cashmere Cardigan in Deep Navy, $148
Beautifully made and affordably priced, this handsome cashmere cardigan is timeless, easily wearable with a sharp white Oxford or your favorite chambray shirt.
The Shawl Collar Cardigan
Featuring typically thicker fabric and a beefier construction — plus a slightly roomier fit to allow for layering — the shawl collar cardigan means business. Think of a rugged cardigan that your grandfather or father might have worn to stoke the fire on a chilly winter morning, then think of the style favored by style icons like Steve McQueen, and that’s the shawl collar cardigan you’re going to need this season.
Our Favorite: Original Penguin Shawl Collar Donegal Cardigan, $125
Richly crafted, reasonably priced and featuring rugged and warm donegal wool construction, this cardigan would team up nicely with broken-in blue denim and brown wingtip boots for tough weekend style.
The Double-Breasted Cardigan
A slightly more sophisticated take on the regular cardigan, the double-breasted cardigan is more maritime-inspired than other cardigans, with the kind of strong, sturdy silhouette that looks right at home on the high seas. They occasionally feature ribbed fabric or accents, creating an even stronger look — it’ll pair up quite nicely with black denim and broken-in tan leather boots for a nice mix of hig-low style.
Our Favorite: VINCE Double-Breasted Cardigan, $200
Blending rich texture with a striking double-breasted silhouette is the perfect way to layer up for fall and winter’s colder weather — add a navy knit scarf for instant warmth.
The Patterned Cardigan
A more festive and seasonally ready take on the cardigan, the patterned cardigan features thicker fabric and a chunkier knit, in line with a typical shawl collar cardigan. The key difference here? A shot of pattern and color, usually across the chest and of Nordic or alpine inspiration (a perfect fit for one of these Scandinavian hotels). It’s the type of sweater you might reach for after a day on the slopes or to head to a holiday party — just make sure the fit is trim and modern.
Our Favorite: Abercrombie & Fitch Fair Isle Cardigan, $88
Abercrombie & Fitch continues to get better and better — this understated patterned cardigan is a fine example of how the brand blends classic style with a modern fit and a refined color. Wear it with charcoal herringbone trousers and black chukka boots for sharp office or holiday party style.
The Belted Cardigan
The belted cardigan is an old-school style that’s been shot forward into the 21st century thanks to clean silhouettes and luxurious construction. With a slightly longer cut, it functions more as a blazer or jacket than a cardigan — wear yours with a scarf in place of a topcoat, and keep it handy to layer with after a long fall or winter day.
Our Favorite: Eidos Wool Long Belted Cardigan, $575
Admittedly, this cardigan is pretty pricey — but with luxurious construction and top-notch quality, it’s certainly a price you might be willing to pay. It’s the most premium cardigan on this list by a long shot,but that’s because it can be worn in place of a blazer or suit jacket.