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The Best Cardigans for Cozying Up When It's Cold Out

The style, renewed for the modern wearer, has made quite the comeback over the last decade.

collage of three cardigans

The time is right for a cardigan. It's been on the return in recent years and is now here to stay for the foreseeable future. It's been written in the fashion stars and the turning leaves are mother nature's signal that it's time to enrobe yourself in layers.

What Is a Cardigan?

The cardigan just might be the ultimate layer. It's easier to don than a pullover hoodie, easier to doff when the weather gets warmer than you anticipated and its open front design makes it easy to see all the layers you're sporting.

Spanning ivy and workwear, Scottish heritage and streetwear, the cardigan takes many forms. So whether you identify with hosting an acoustic set of your greatest hits, herding sheep, hosting a few neighbors or drinking a milkshake, there's a cardigan for you.

It is essentially a knit sweater with a button or snap placket, which helps keep it all together when the wearer wants to, well, wear it that way. They're a smarter pick than a standard sweater when you want the openness or plan to take the sweater off as soon as you arrive.

Want to know more about wool (and which to buy)? Read our dedicated guide to the 10 most popular types.

How to Wear a Cardigan

Texture — it’s what woolen knitwear offers that technical fabrics lack. Whether it’s the twist of a cable, the stippling of a seed stitch or the warble of ribbing, the tactile variation in knitted garments is unmatched in the sartorial world. A piece of light outerwear, like a chunky cardigan, can add pattern and shape to an otherwise uninspired ensemble; throw a cardigan over your button-down for a knitted take on business casual, or rock one unbuttoned with a tee and jeans for a casual-cool weekend look. Treat the options below like your favorite jacket, and they’ll keep you warm while adding variety to your assemblage of cold-weather wears.

The Best Cardigans for Men

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Best Overall Cardigan
Jamieson's of Shetland V Neck Cardigan Sweater
Best Upgrade Cardigan
Universal Works Wool Fleece Cardigan
Best Affordable Cardigan
Uniqlo Lambswool Long-Sleeve Cardigan
Buck Mason Herdsman Shawl Cardigan
L.L. Bean Ragg Wool Cardigan
Faiz T.S. & Co. Waffle Oxford Cardigan Sweater
RRL Shawl Collar Cableknit Cardigan Sweater
Schott The Motif Cardigan
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Everlane The Merino-Blend Sweater Polo
Pendleton The Original Westerly Sweater
Faherty Marled Cotton Cardigan
Wax London Arid Cardigan
Taylor Stitch The Crawford Sweater
Todd Snyder The Garment Dyed Cardigan
Inverallan 3A Lumber Cardigan
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