The Great Cardi Comeback: 5 of the Best Styles

peter sellers cardigan

Image source: wikimedia commons
Peter Sellers in a classic cardigan look

The cardigan, once seen as the naff preserve of the pipe and leather slippers brigade, has undergone a sartorial makeover in the last few years. It’s time to think again about adding one to your wardrobe. Here’s our guide to the best styles.

1. The V-Neck Cardigan

grey fox cardigan

Image source: Grey Fox blog / Tusting
Simple and stylish

Why not opt for a V-neck cardigan? Suave, stylish and dapper, it’ll be plenty smart enough for days in the office and perfect for those for evenings out when the dress code is smart casual.

Gentlemansgazette offer some brilliant advice on choosing a cardigan that fits. They say it should taper through the chest to the abdomen and then widen slightly at the waist. Their top tip – pay attention to the size of the armholes:

“If they are too tight, you will feel uncomfortable and if they are too large, not only will [your cardigan] look baggy but you will quickly become annoyed by the need to pull the sweater back down over your belt”.

For winter, keep the colours neutral. For spring and summer, think about lighter, brighter pastels or a bold pop of primary colour to provide contrast.

2. The Thin Gauge Knitted Cardigan

lightweight samuel windsor cardigan

Image source: Samuel Windsor
Versatile and dapper

If you’re looking for an effortless way to liven up your day-today office wardrobe then invest in a thin gauge knitted cardigan as a classy alternative to a suit jacket or blazer.

Totally timeless and super smart – to get the best from this look, FashionBeans say you should:

“Keep the rest of the look suitably sombre: grey suit, white shirt and black tie. The knitwear is the sole statement in this ensemble, keeping it the right side of smart”

Seen here at menincardigans, Richard Armitage, star of Robin Hood, certainly knows how to get the look right.

3. The Open/ Longline Cardigan

open cardigan

Image source: bigstock
For a loose, relaxed style

Revitalise your casual days with an open or longline cardigan. Usually associated with womenswear, it has now been redesigned to appeal to men too. This cardigan’s looser fit allows it to drape freely along contours of the body.

FashionBeans reckon the best way to go with this look is to keep your silhouette streamlined:

“Combine with slim-fit pieces in lightweight fabrics, which will help ensure you’re not drowned by the sheer bulk of material”

Try layering this piece with long or short sleeve t-shirts and perhaps even cool linens for spring and summertime. For the cooler months of the year, chinos or canvas jeans work equally well.

4. The Shawl Neck Cardigan

shawl neck cardigan

Image source: shutterstock
Classy and contemporary

David Beckham wears one so what are you waiting for? Featured by the Guardian in a piece highlighting the return of the cardi, he proves shawl neck cardigans are totally on trend – an excellent winter fashion statement for men.

The bods at menswearstyle say a shawl neck cardigan is a great option for the office too. When deciding on a colour their advice is to:

“Think about your choice of tie and shirt – keep the colours fairly neutral and muted if you want the look to remain smarter and sleeker.”

Compared to the other cardigans featured here, the shawl neck has a higher, ribbed neckline. Dressed down with a simple white shirt underneath, it’s the epitome of classy smart casual.

5. The Zip Up Cardigan

zip up cardigan

Image source: shutterstock
Casual in a zipped up style

Want to pull off the James Bond / Daniel Craig vibe? Consider adding a zip up cardigan to your wardrobe. Featured on Realmenrealstyle, we think you’ll agree Craig looks the business in his. Forget the Frank Bough-a-like image: Zip up cardigans are a practical and stylish winter-wear winner. A cross between a jumper and a cardigan, they’re a great way of layering up.

It’s definitely best to keep this garment for casual wear only. As the guys at Realmenstyle say, styling it any other way will look “a little goofy”. Team your zip up with with a neutral check shirt, round neck long sleeve t-shirt or even a rugby shirt.


Year round, the cardigan offers the discerning gentleman a little bit of sartorial style, whether layering up through the cold months, or worn as a smart and simple complement to a shirt and tie in a more formal office setting. Treat this garment as something you can turn to as a stylish and workable piece every day.

Posted in Men's style guides, Men's Style Inspiration.