As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
The 12 Best Cardigans for Men in 2021
Men and cardigans have a bit of a complicated history and we’d be lying if a bit of that residue of discomfort wasn’t still around today. We may not be able to pinpoint where it comes from exactly, but we are able to say with some certainty that the cardigan is not the first item that most men reach for when they peer into their closet.
Some speculation exists as to why many men haven’t yet warmed up to the idea of the cardigan. Some theorize that, because a cardigan is technically a unisex item, some men may feel as if it is not masculine enough for them. Others say the cardigan gets brushed over because most men would rather reach for a pullover sweater or long sleeve shirt.
If you count yourself among the men that are suspicious of cardigans, it’s time to branch out and allow yourself to discover what a wonderful wardrobe staple it can be! Here are 12 of the best cardigans for men available in 2021.
1. L.L. Bean Classic Ragg Wool Cardigan
L.L. Bean is known for its high-quality rustic wear, so it makes sense there would be a cardigan or two in its catalog. It makes extra sense this would be a wool cardigan, as this is one of the coziest, most durable types of fabrics known to humankind.
When you purchase a cardigan from L.L. Bean you’re not just buying a piece of clothing you’ll throw on occasionally. What you are purchasing is a wardrobe staple that’ll stay in pristine condition through many washes and will match with a variety of outfit combinations. If you live in a cooler climate where your body could use a bit of warmth, you have even less of an excuse not to own an L.L. Bean cardigan — you will probably end up purchasing more than one.
2. Fred Perry Lambswool Cardigan
Fred Perry is a British clothing brand that gets its namesake from the famous tennis player, Fred Perry. While the brand is most well-known for its polo shirts, they also happen to produce a nice and simple cardigan that has quickly become a favorite clothing item for many men.
For example, this cardigan — which would probably be called a jumper in its native Britain — is made of a luxurious lambswool that feels heavenly soft on your skin. Made in Italy, it also features the iconic Fred Perry embroidery as well as a distinctive button-up down the center. It’s part of the brand’s “Reissue Collection” which offers a fresh take on the company’s classic wardrobe items.
3. UNIQLO Linen Blended V-Neck Long Sleeve Cardigan
Japanese fashion outfitter UNIQLO has made quite a splash in the North American market over the past decade or so, and anyone who has been paying attention could have seen this coming. Not only does this company offer clothing that’s either trendy or even completely ahead of the trends, but they also offer superb quality for an even more impressive price point.
Perhaps, because they cater to many markets outside of cardigan-hesitant North America, UNIQLO offers a number of cardigans, with a standout being this linen blended v-neck. This cardigan, which comes in a variety of colors – including such wardrobe staples as grey, burgundy, and navy – is incredibly lightweight and specially designed to repel wrinkles.
4. Iris Von Arnim Callisto Shawl-Collar Cashmere Cardigan
Okay, so this might be one of the more indulgent items on this list — but who wouldn’t love a cardigan if it were made out of 100% cashmere. If you were to allow yourself one major luxury wardrobe item, this incredible cardigan would be a good contender.
Made in Italy, this cardigan comes from a small family-run brand and features a mid-weight ribbed knit material that must be handled by dry clean only. Proving it’s not just about form and also about function, this cardigan also offers usable side pockets.
5. Club Monaco Cashmere Cardigan
Popular fashion retailer Club Monaco also offers their own version of a cashmere cardigan, and it’s quite a nice version indeed. While this company has its roots in Canada, they now have a presence worldwide, including in such fashion markets as Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
At the core of Club Monaco’s brand values are simplicity and high-quality basics, so it’s no surprise they can pull off a high-end basic cashmere cardigan well. If you are itching to own a piece of cashmere and don’t want to spend an especially high amount on one clothing item, then a cardigan from Club Monaco might be a good option.
6. Acne Studios Keve Logo-Appliqued Wool Cardigan
If you have not yet heard of Acne Studios, prepare yourself to be acquainted. Acne Studios is a luxury Swedish fashion retailer with a reputation for trendy, understated fashion. They are also known for having a presence at Paris Fashion Week and their retail stores are located in high-end global fashion markets including New York, Tokyo, and beyond.
While this particular cardigan from Acne Studios is indeed simple, its soft pink hue also ensures that its wearer is bound to stand out from the crowd. Made of unbelievably soft wool, it comes with a subtle insignia in the lapel. It is fastenable by buttons.
7. Comme Des Garcons Shirt Plaid-Panelled Cardigan
Comme des Garcons is a well-known French fashion brand that’s sometimes stylized as CDG. It has been around since the 1960s and is known for its regular showings at Paris Fashion Week. While initially known for their punk-inspired styles, CDG features several preppy items in their lines today including, you guessed it, a cardigan.
This checkered beaut is made from 100% wool which means it keeps your skin soft and warm. This slim-fitting cardigan is made in Italy and comes with a mid-weight feel which makes it ideal for cooler days, although it will never feel like it is weighing on your skin.
8. Entireworld Fisherman’s Cardigan
Entireworld is a new fashion brand on the scene and is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based fashion designer Scott Steinberg. The company has a commitment to ensuring their clothing is made in factories that meet ethical standards and focuses on a pricing model selling items directly to the consumer, resulting in lower price tags than what you would usually find at other comparable clothing brands.
The company does stylish basics very well, as evidenced in this simple brown cardigan made from 100% superfine wool. Say hello to your newest winter wardrobe staple.
9. Needles Intarsia Mohair-Blend Cardigan
Needles Clothing was founded in Japan in the 1980s by fashion designer Keizo Shimizu who was inspired by the free-spirited style often seen in American high school students. Even to this day, styles that are released by this company come complete with old school Americana designs.
This cardigan in particular screams “1970s USA” in the best way possible. Its materials are just unique as its design, as it’s crafted from a mohair-blend material made from the undercoat of Angora goats.
10. Stussy Jacquard-Knit Cardigan
Stussy is an American clothing brand that’s had a presence since the 1980s. While the company is largely known for making waves in the surfer, hip-hop, and skateboarding scenes — true to their Orange County roots — they can also rock an awesome cardigan.
This is evidenced in their Jacquard-Knit edition, which is made from a wool and mohair blend and features a hip abstract pattern. The pretty shades of blue that make up this playful cardigan look best when worn over a plain white tshirt.
11. Aime Leon Dore Woolrich Cable Cardigan
Despite having only been in existence since 2014, Aime Leon Dore has already made an incredible name for itself thanks to a healthy online presence. However, the brand also has a retail store in the SoHo neighborhood in Manhattan. The brand receives most of its inspiration from hip-hop style, as well as from experiences its founder had while growing up – splitting his time between Greece and Queens.
This woolrich cable cardigan comes in four beautiful colors, including navy, cream, red, and olive. Aside from its distinctive cable knit pattern, each sweater also comes with a v-neck style and a company label on the left sleeve.
12. Gucci Horsebit Suede and Webbing-Trimmed Wool-Blend Cardigan
How comprehensive would a cardigan list be without mention of an ultra-high-end brand such as Gucci? While you may be most familiar with Gucci because of their fashion accessories, they also make several wardrobe staples, including cardigans.
The label’s Horsebit Suede and Webbing-Trimmed Wool-Blend cardigan features the company’s famous plaques as well as its distinctive red and green color pattern. An indulgent item, maybe, but a cozy and attractive one at that!
You’re not alone if you think that cardigans are exclusively for older people. After all, if you take a look back at the history of the cardigan, you can’t get much more old school than that — it dates back to at least the Crimean War of the 1800s and has a strong association with preppy fashion styles of the 1920s and 1930s.
However, from the 2010s onward, cardigans have made quite the comeback, and we think that they deserve to be seen as more than just a wardrobe item for old people. After all, they are hip and young enough that they made it into the title of a Taylor Swift song.
This is a great question! When it comes to finding a quality cardigan, fit and materials are everything. While most cardigans will fit true-to-size, you may want to buy a size or two up if you are looking for the oversized sweater look. Most cardigans are made of wool, mohair, or cashmere — none of these are really better than other, as it is mostly a matter of personal preference.
While the most popular way to wear a cardigan is for it to be undone (that’s why it comes with those buttons, after all), we would argue that the most trendy way to wear a cardigan these days is to keep it buttoned up with a solid plain t-shirt underneath.