The cardigan originated in 1854 and is named after Major General Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British officer serving in the Crimean war. The Major General and his officers wore cardigans, which were then known as “sweater coats” and at the time were adorned with fur and braiding.
A decade ago, men’s cardigans were still considered to be old-fashioned, frumpy items of clothing and many people considered them to be “for grandads”. However, the increasing number of designers featuring cardigans on their catwalk runways and the popularity of the item amongst celebrities like David Beckham and Zac Efron mean this perception is now a thing of the past. In some respects, the classic cardigan has now even replaced the trendy hoodie. This unisex piece of clothing can be made out of various materials from a heavy wool or cable cardigan to cashmere and cotton. One reason why they are so popular is their versatility: they can be worn with jeans and a simple t-shirt for a more casual look or when teamed up with a smart shirt and trousers, they are perfect for the office.
Men’s cardigans come in all different shapes and styles, generally with either zip or button fastenings. The chunky knit cardigan is particularly popular in the winter thanks to the warmth and comfort they provide and have been a key feature on the catwalks this season. The great thing about chunky wool cardigans is that they can be worn as an outer layer, almost like a jacket.
Another popular style enjoying a come back this year is the double-breasted cardigan, which has an overlapping front with two columns of buttons which are usually placed quite low down on the cardigan. Sleeveless cardigans are also popular items in the summer and look great when worn with t-shirts or shirts. However, if the V shape in the cardigan is quite small, it’s better to avoid graphic t-shirts as it only takes the emphasis away from both the t-shirt and the cardigan. Low-cut V-neck cardigans, however, reveal more of your clothing underneath and also add an extra defined shape to your look. If you’re the more sporty type of guy, then you’ll love the hooded cardigans available now as these create a more casual, leisure-wear look.
With the popularity of men’s cardigans having grown rapidly throughout recent years, it appears that the cardigan is back to stay.