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Men’s Cardigan Sweaters

The knit cardigan sweater is a staple of any gentleman’s wardrobe. It is available in styles and colors to suit just about any taste. Dressed up or down, the cardigan is a versatile, practical garment.

What is a cardigan sweater?

A cardigan is a knit sweater that is open in the front. It closes with buttons, toggles, or a zipper. Some versions are designed to remain open and lack closures. Neckline styles can vary from crew necks to wide, shawl collars.

What are cardigan sweaters made of?

A cardigan can be knit from many different fibers. That is one of the features that makes this sweater so versatile. It can be made of warm and heavy fibers for cold weather or thin and light fibers for warmer days. Some common materials used for knitted cardigans include:

  • Wool. This fiber is the classic choice for knitted sweaters. Sheep’s wool can be fine or bulky, soft or rustic. It is naturally hard-wearing, breathable, and moisture-wicking.
  • Merino wool. Merino is a breed of sheep that produces an especially fine, soft type of fiber. Although merino fibers can be spun into a thick yarn, it is often seen in thinner, softer cardigans.
  • Cashmere. This luxury fiber from the cashmere goat is prized for its softness. It is usually knit into fine, thin cardigans with a slight fuzziness called a halo.
  • Cotton. Cardigans knit with cotton are great choices for the warmer months. Cotton has less memory than wool, so it is often made into looser, more casual sweaters.
  • Acrylic. Synthetic fibers, like acrylic, are easy-care alternatives to natural fibers. They can be machine washed without shrinking or felting. Synthetics come in a wide range of thicknesses and degrees of softness.

What are the style features of a cardigan?

Sleeves:

  • Set-in sleeves, like a dress shirt.
  • Raglan sleeves, like a baseball shirt.
  • Saddle-shoulder sleeves, which have a tab that runs across the top of the shoulder.

Necklines:

  • Crew necks have a high, round neckline.
  • V-necks open in a “V” down the front.
  • Shirt collars are shaped like the collars on a men’s shirt.
  • Shawl collars have a neck-edge that folds back like a lapel but is not notched.
  • Standing collars are short and stand up against the neck.

What can you wear a cardigan sweater with?

Thin cardigans can be worn under a sport coat for fashion or as an extra layer of warmth. For a business-casual look, try the sweater over a dress shirt with a tie. The most casual sweaters can be worn with jeans. Keep in mind that zip-up cardigans are usually considered casual, while a cashmere sweater is the choice to wear when you’re looking to impress.