Wardrobe Essentials: Cardigans

Following on from the current series of wardrobe essentials articles, here at MFM we feel it is time to draw your attention to an item that has seemingly lost all credibility.  In the same vein as the flat cap article (link to the flat cap article) featured last week, the trusty cardigan is slowly making its way into the fashion fold and is fast becoming the go to piece to suit the ever changing weather. As with any piece that is traditionally associated with the elderly, the modernity and aesthetic appeal is seemingly lacking. Do not let this put you off because I am here to tell you that cardigans are cool. And how exactly are they cool I hear you ask. Well, these open fronted sweaters were named after the 7th earl of Cardigan who was a prominent British Military figure who popularised the style. Now do you see? A Military man, this is definitely a lot more cool and manly than originally presumed.

mens cardigans

If you are a man who has never worn or even considered wearing a cardigan then you are cheating yourself out of a useful addition to your wardrobe. As mentioned before the lack of consistency in our ever traditional British weather, means that the cardigan is a great looking piece to throw over any outfit without being over encumbered with a weighty jacket or coat.

How To Wear It

Ok, so stylishly speaking the cardigan doesn’t bring forth many fantastic fashion visuals of how stylish this piece can be. But let me tell you, that vision is jaded when being clouded with this idea of being old fashioned and dated. Here are a few pointers that you need to remember when considering the revival of the cardigan into your wardrobe.

mens cardigan lookbook

  • Firstly, the cardigan opens down the front instead of pulling it over the head which gives the option of wearing it open or closed.
  • In a lot of ways it functions like a jacket, however it does frame your torso in a softer more casual way which can still give the same flattering look as a jacket.
  • Good quality cardigans will give a little taper at the waist to flatter your figure the same way a suit jacket would. Thus extenuating your masculine shape.
  • You can wear a cardigan under a sports jacket, over a dress shirt and neck tie in the same way as you would see on Don Draper of mad men fame.
  • The cardigan is wonderful to use as an outer layer or alternative to a waistcoat in cooler weather.
  • When it gets warm it can be worn open or draped over the shoulders for a truly vintage inspired 50’s look.

So now you are aware of the understated versatility of this classic piece of fashion history, that isn’t just for a stereotypical pensioner.

The Cardigans


You are now hopefully well versed on the significance of a good cardigan and the many ways in which it can be worn. Just to hit home the point of the soon to be popular piece. Here a number of amazing products from different online retailers that truly illustrate the versatility, style and hopefully demand for the trusty cardigan as it becomes the style staple for every modern gentlemen out there.

Mr Porter

shawl collar cardiganpanelled blend cardiganseam wool cardigan

Matches Fashion

skull cashmere cardiganponte knit cardiganstripe knit cardigan


long sleeve cardiganmilo cardi gareensage green cardigan


light brown cardiganneppy cardigannavy zip cardigan


shawl cardiganbasket weave cardiganmulti panel cardigan

All Saints

verse cardiganhitch cardiganstafford cardigan

Ted Baker

jayjay cardiganbrurinz cardiganboskopp cardigan

New Look

low break cardiganslow vneck cardigannavy front hoddie

Now hopefully the fact that I have shown how many different only retailers there are that show a wide range of this one single key fashion piece, shows you that the cardigan is making a high fashion come back. The reason why I separated the cardigans by online retailers was to make the point that there is a cardigan to suit every style, shape, trend and even personal budget. So you now no longer have an excuse as to why you cannot invest in a worldwide key fashion piece. If you take a look at the current trends and re-read some of the articles from the past couple of weeks you will see that this fashion item has been secretly waving at you ever so meekly from behind the fashion fence.

cardigans for men


Now ready to take its place centre stage in your closet, it’s time to embrace true fashion tradition and invest in a cool and stylish cardigan. So tell us, is this a piece that you have always had faith in or is it something that you slowly bringing yourself to try? Whatever the way you were it, let us know how you rock a cardigan in the comments below.