25 Cardigans That Will Make Everything You Wear A Little Bit Cooler

Fashion

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The best men’s cardigan sweaters have wildly enduring, multi-generational appeal. What’s the one thing Arnold Palmer, Kurt Cobain, and Young Thug can all agree on? Cardigans are dope as all hell. Grab a thin dressy cardigan, and it turns a boring old suit into the nattiest three-piece you own. Throw on a gigantic, freaky patterned take, and you’re instantly vibing out with Dude-level chill. And no matter where you land between those two extremes, the best cardigans will make whatever you’re wearing—whether it’s a graphic tee and Dickies or a slim turtleneck and trousers—feel a little more considered and dignified and just plain cool. To help you reach that higher plane of fit-dom, we’ve assembled a roster full of winners—the very best men’s cardigan sweaters, thank you very much—to button up in from now till the end of time.


The Only Cardigan You Really Need

Acne “Kabelo” rib-knitted wool-blend cardigan

$580

Matchesfashion

Let’s say you’re only going to buy one cardigan this year. (That would be a mistake, given how many dope ones we just spent several weeks finding for you⁠—seriously, we implore you, just scroll a little further down!⁠—but let’s run through this thought experiment anyway.) You’d probably want it to be big enough to layer over all manner of button-downs and hoodies and crewneck T-shirts, but not so big that it doesn’t fit under your topcoat. You’d want it to have plenty of woolly texture and character, and also be soft (maybe with some cashmere in the mix) but not too delicate (thanks to some nylon in there, too). You’d want it, even in a basic solid color like camel or black, to feel like the spotlight-worthy star of the show. And if all of that sounds right and true, then, well, this is the one you want.

The Best Right-Now Cardigan

Everlane no-sweat waffle cardigan

Everything we love about Everlane’s pared-down wares, they brought to this handsome waffle cardigan: the fit is slouchy in a perfectly 2021 way, the fabric is kitten soft but still has plenty of structure, and the price tag is (un)surprisingly reasonable. Wins all around.

The Best Really-Feeling-Yourself Cardigan

Needles argyle-jacquard mohair-blend cardigan

Needles are the kings of the freaky statement cardigan, and this fuzzy mohair masterpiece feels trippy enough to send a long-retired hippie into an acid flashback tailspin. Wear it with confidence or don’t wear it at all.

The Best Cardigan for Staying Toasty

Beams Plus fleece stripe cardigan

Ever wish that beefy fleece jacket you’ve been living in all year played a little bit nicer with your work clothes? Here’s your answer. Beams cleverly managed to siphon all the fluffy, crunchy goodness you love about your Patagonia Retro-X into a far more refined, streamlined package.

The Best Buttoned-Up Cardigan

Lands’ End Supima cotton cardigan

Sometimes you don’t need your cardigan to be warm enough to replace your coat or loud enough to be the focal point of your fit. Sometimes you just need a crisp, quiet background player, something that’ll fit under a blazer and won’t make you drip sweat in the office. That’s this Lands’ End joint. Fine gauge cotton, comes in a quartet of pleasing neutral tones, and for an extra $8 you can go full prep and get it monogrammed.

The Best Vintage-Inspired Cardigan

Corridor handknit crochet grandpa cardigan

We’re not sure when, exactly, the sickest sweaters on the market started looking a whole lot like your aunt’s quarantine knitting projects, but we’re not complaining about it. Corridor’s cardigan is handmade in Peru out of super high-quality cotton and done up in a pattern inspired by the type of vintage blankets you remember hunkering down in on visits to said auntie’s house over the holidays. If you’re looking for a sweater that offers all the comforts of a home-cooked meal coupled with the swaddling powers of a well-worn family afghan, this is the one to reach for.

The Best Hulked-Out Cardigan

Inverallan 6A shawl cardigan

What Burberry is to trench coats, what Jordan is to basketball shoes, Inverallan is to husky, impenetrable, cable knit sweaters. Every detail of this colossal shawl collar is exactly what you’d want it to be, from the buttons (wood) to the point of origin (hand-knit in Scotland) to the weight (heavier than fresh cement). Treat it right, and it’ll last long enough for your grandkids’ grandkids to inherit and wear.


18 More Cardigans We Love

J.Crew rugged merino V-neck cardigan

Dress like a grandpa now and your old man will stop asking when you’ll actually make him one.

Marni striped cardigan

There’s no better introduction to Francesco Risso’s vision for Marni than the brand’s consistently excellent knitwear, a fixture of NBA tunnels and high-flying fit pics since the designer introduced ’em.

Uniqlo premium lambswool V-neck long-sleeve cardigan

If you don’t quite have the coin for a grail-level cardigan, Uniqlo—as per usual—has you covered.

Commission dad cardigan

Midcentury cool.

L.L.Bean cotton fisherman shawl-collar cardigan

Hefty enough to keep you toasty on a long voyage at sea.

Aimé Leon Dore patchwork cardigan

Two words: Party. Cardi.
$495

Aimé Leon Dore

Alex Mill reverse seam cardigan

The best use of a well-placed reverse since the debut of the Cha Cha Slide.

Thom Browne cable-knit wool and mohair-blend cardigan

Pure chunky perfection.

Naadam ribbed cardigan

A cashmere blend cardigan this primo for under $150? Better cop one before somebody notices they’ve made a huge mistake.

Drake’s lambswool shawl collar cardigan

Trust Drake’s to come through with the most gentlemanly British take of the bunch.

Todd Snyder long-sleeve zip cardigan

A sweater that zigs and zags.
$298

Todd Snyder

Nicholas Daley panelled twill, jacquard and corduroy cardigan

As a general rule, pretty much anything that takes inspiration from Bruce Lee is worth copping—and that’s doubly true for Nicholas Daley cardigans.

Pendleton original “Westerley” zip-up cardigan

Chiller than The Dude himself.

COS relaxed fit merino wool cardigan

Big and boxy, exactly the way we like ’em.

Jamieson’s of Shetland color block cardigan

Shetland wool crafted in the very islands that lend the fabric its name.

Engineered Garments fair isle mohair cardigan

If you didn’t have “fair isle mohair cardigan” on your fall bingo card add it ASAP.

Ernest W. Baker mohair knit cardigan

The kind of cardigan you could borrow from your grandpa—if only he wasn’t so trigger-happy with the mothballs.

Polo Ralph Lauren washable cashmere cardigan (was $268, 40% off)

Pure cashmere you can toss in the washing machine! We’re living in the future, people.
Ralph Lauren

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