Men's Cardigan Trends: From Classic to Contemporary

Men's Cardigan Trends: From Classic to Contemporary

The trendy men’s cardigan spells fashion, and a certain degree of stylish yet humble swagger - perfect for showing off a man’s well-toned physique, yet it remains one of the unsung wardrobe heroes.

Any fashionable modern bloke knows that the cardigan goes a long way in defining his sophisticated style. It’s more versatile than a traditional pull-over style but doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

Cardigans come in a variety of knits. Indoor or layering cardigans have a thin knit; medium knits are suitable for indoor/outdoor while larger cable knits are suitable for the cold season. All these knits are appropriate for the ideal man irrespective of age. One needs to be clear as to which knit is suitable for the purpose in mind.

As for the future, luxury brands are just starting to believe that as the culture moves forward into a rapidly changing menswear landscape; American men and their cosmopolitan European counterparts alike are now more willing than ever to explore new and exiting garments in the form of Men’s Aran Cardigans and, as purveyors of fine, premium knitwear, we're perfectly primed to deliver (both literally and figuratively) in that regard!

Are you after a comfortable all-season outfit that will bolster your casual wardrobe? Think nothing less than the cardigan. If you are out for something that’ll dress down your smartest tailoring, the cardigan is the perfect match.

Let’s find out what makes this piece an ideal wool clothing item to have in a man's closet all year round. From which cardigan is right for you to contemporary and classic ways to wear them in line with your own unique sense of style, here’s everything you need to know about styling this greatly-underappreciated knitwear icon!

Choosing the Perfect Design for Men’s Cardigans

From hearty knitwear to the lightweight variety, the cardigan is truly an all-around season, wardrobe workhorse. They’re suited for a range of occasions from laid-back lounging and casual outings to semi-formal work functions. It’s all about nailing the best fit, knowing what to wear with a men’s cardigan and when (and where) to wear certain styles.

We take you through a must-consider fashion tips each man should pay attention to before shopping for a cardigan.

1. Get the Fit Right

Any cardigan’s fit is of utmost importance in the fashion world. A fitting cardigan is a flexible garment that adapts to the shape of your body. Ideally, the cardigan should fit in the shoulders, taper from down through the chest to the abdomen and then widen slightly around the waist. You will find that cardigans come in various lengths but they should always be long enough to cover your belt or waistband.

Consider prioritizing a slimmer cut when styling merino or cashmere styles especially when combining it with tailored trousers and a blazer or overcoat. You want it to fit relatively close to the body so that it doesn’t ruin the line of a cardigan, but not too tight that it doesn’t accommodate a shirt underneath. To know if your cardigan is too tight, we advise you to do it up – if the buttons are straining across the mid-section or chest then it’s time to size up.

For chunkier knits, more relaxed, boxy cuts are welcome. Again, you don’t want to go too extreme with a baggy fit, but heavyweight cardigans often look their best when worn a little looser, allowing them to be paired with more relaxed pieces like jeans, utility pants and flannel shirts.

2. Weight Consideration

Aran cardigans come in two main variations – lighter weight merino wool styles, and chunkier lambswool versions. A chunky cardigan may have two pockets at the hip, or a shawl collar instead of a regular V-neck hem. These details drastically change the look and feel of the cardigan. We, therefore, advise you to choose your design wisely depending on the occasion.

A chunky cardigan with a shawl collar and pockets works best as a makeshift piece of outerwear, while a minimal, fine-gauge Merino cardigan is better suited as a layering piece. We also recommend you check out the best material for men’s cardigan sweaters to get in-depth coverage.

3. Consider Color

Do not underestimate the power of your cardigan’s color and pattern. For a versatile option that pairs with a range of outfits, consider neutral colors like black, gray, or cream.

On some occasions, however, consider something a little more exciting, such as a bolder/richer shade or patterned design to make a fashion statement. It’s this bolder approach to the cardigan that’s going to push it out of the realm of your dad’s weekend uniform and into something that looks contemporary and on-trend.

A good example is a slim-fitting, merino cardigan that is ideal for warming up winter tailoring. But instead of taking the easy route and opting for a waistcoat that matches the color of your suit, try a contrasting shade instead, which adds a welcome pop to otherwise staid businesswear.

4. Maintenance and Care

Both lightweight and heavyweight cardigans require proper care to ensure longevity since they are made from delicate fabrics. Always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Using a gentle detergent and cold water will help preserve the fabric’s quality.

For full care instructions, check out how to care for an Aran sweater in-depth.

Our Pick of the Best Men’s Cardigan Outfits for 2024

This year, the fashion landscape sees a blend of classic designs and contemporary twists, inviting an exploration into the myriad ways to integrate this essential piece into daily attire. From layering over crisp button-downs for a polished look to pairing with relaxed tees for a laid-back vibe, men's cardigan outfits for 2024 embrace comfort, functionality, and style.

As we delve into the latest trends and must-have cardigans from our selection for the year, it becomes evident that this garment is more than just a transitional piece - it's a fashion statement.

Mens Merino Wool V Neck Sweater Beige

It is made of 100% merino wool. For cool color lovers, this stunning shade of beige makes it neutral enough to match anything in your wardrobe. When done right, the cardigan can reference one of menswear’s coolest eras: the mid-century.

You're guaranteed to keep warm, its lightness and comfort make it the perfect choice for any occasion. Mens Merino Wool V Neck Sweater Beige is soft, stylish and available in different sizes with traditional leather buttons

Channel this timeless look for yourself with a chunky shawl collar knit, then finish with loafers for a smart casual twist.

Men's Shawl Collar Aran Cable Stitch Cardigan

For all-day comfort and warmth, the 100% Merino wool composition of this rich cardigan is the perfect accessory. Merino wool is made of fine fibers that treat the skin with softness instead of itchiness, and its ability to trap dead air allows it to provide insulating warmth.

The few that appreciate the power of culture, this Aran stitching has a deep history with Ireland that goes back centuries. The lovely cable stitch featured in this sweater represents the fishermen’s ropes and wishes for successful voyages for them.

This Shawl Collar Aran Cable Stitch Cardigan also features a shawl collar that contrasts beautifully with the sweater’s bold dimensions, adding a soft yet masculine touch with a v-neck effect that makes it great to wear with both casual and formal looks.

Regarding color, you have options to pick from, including oatmeal and charcoal. The same goes for sizes – there’s a size for everyone. Given all it offers, this Irish knitted cardigan is an ideal gift for men.

Pinstripe Cardigan Sunrise Red

At The Sweater Shop, it’s never a dull moment for the men who shop with us, spoilt rotten by our regular offers and great content offerings(!) we aim to please with only the very best male cardigan options.

As part of our collection, the Pinstripe Boyfriend Cardigan is inspired by men's office wear. This relaxed-fit, minimal, buttoned V-neck cardigan has a ribbed two-tone detail inspired by the pinstripe, being casual while still smart enough to wear at the office.

Is this the type of outfit you would love to try? It comes in different bright colors like brown, green, sunrise red and gray, giving you a room of choice. It's made of 55% Lambswool and 45% Organic Cotton. It is a light and transitional cardigan - oozing with sophistication in this stunning rich red and navy stitching.

Mens Fisherman Full Zip Cardigan

This is a contemporary cardigan in a luxuriously soft, textured merino wool inspired by our classic Fisherman Jumper. Made in Ireland (the Aran Islands, to be more specific), it has a traditional loose-gauge waffle stitch, a chunky Irish, cold-weather style and a regular fit.

Featuring horn buttons and a clean placket, the Men's Fisherman Full Zip Cardigan is an ideal transitional layering piece. This cardigan would style better when dressed up with a flannel shirt

Men's Ribbed Shawl Neck Merino Wool Cardigan

Our Men’s Ribbed Shawl Neck Merino Wool Cardigan is one of our warm and durable outfits making it a great external layer. 100% of natural fibers are used making this both breathable and very warm. It is ideal for relaxing indoors or for providing some much-needed warmth when outdoors, especially in the winter/fall season

The shawl neck gives this cardigan a modern, sleek feel while also leaving you ample room to wear a scarf or collared shirt comfortably. The pockets are large enough to fit your phone, wallet, or keys so you can keep them handy.

Men's Cardigans - a Changed (and ever-evolving) Fashion Narrative

In recent seasons, models have been triumphantly walked down the runway wearing cardigans - almost as an act of cool defiance. In short, cardigans are cool once again! If you'd like to knit your own, we've got a guide on that here.

In this case, the menswear creatives must adverse this item to fit the standards of men in 2024 while conquering the nerd stigma that once had been the cardigan's sad reputation.

This is depicted in the current product offerings that include various textures, bold fabrics and modified designs including patchwork, and length- in both sleeves and body.

The trick here is to lean into current trends to keep your looks modern and lively. The Sweater Shop cardigan range is all the rage right now, so don’t shy away from styling with our wide collection inclusive of bright colors either - the more, the merrier!