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It's Time for You to Get a Cardigan

There are so many options. Start here.

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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. And the cardigan just might be the ultimate layer. It's easier to don than a pullover; 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. If you're looking to layer up, try these.

Product selections made by Evan Malachosky.

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Best Overall Cardigan
V Neck Cardigan Sweater
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Jamieson's of Shetland

This made-in-Scotland cardigan balances both new and old. It's built upon Jamieson's of Shetland's long legacy of chunky knits but proves streamlined in comparison. There are retro-tinged football leather buttons to boot. 

Best Upgrade Cardigan
Wool Cardigan
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De Bonne Facture

Fine French luxury brand De Bonne Facture relies on an Italian atelier for its wool cardigans, which has been in business just outside Milan since 1977.

Best Affordable Cardigan
Lambswool Long-Sleeve Cardigan
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Uniqlo

We say it time and time again, but you can't go wrong with Uniqlo. This lambswool cardigan is no exception: it's soft, the right shape, and super cheap. 

Left Back Checked Knitted Cardigan
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YMC

YMC's cardigan checks all of the boxes: it's oversized without being bulky, patterned, and pleasantly soft from the first wear.

Mohair Cardigan
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Checks Downtown

New Zealand brand Checks Downtown has mastered the cardigan. The fledgling brand's made a few in a few different colors, but Honey, as seen here, is probably our favorite.

Ribbed Cashmere Cardigan
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Alex Mill

This option mixes the softness of cashmere with the structure provided by ribbed knits. Plus, there are little lapels for a more elevated look.

Cashmere Cardigan Sweater
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J. Crew

Plain yet plus, this is a nice olive green cardigan from J. Crew. It's cut from cashmere and comes with six buttons for a higher, more secure neckline.

Checkered Cardigan
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Todd Snyder

What's the point of wearing a cardigan if you can't have fun with it? Todd Snyder's iteration harkens back to the '70s, and bowling alleys and bad (but here? good) wallpapers.

Mohair Knit Cardigan
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Brownstone

Brownstone's bright blue cardigan comes with contrasting buttons, slouchy sleeves, and two front bucket pockets.

Floral Jacquard-Knit Cardigan
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Beams Plus

Beams Plus' cardigan is made from virgin materials, but it looks repurposed from someone's sick, old upholstery. If you've paid attention lately, rugs are in.

Kura Virgin Wool-Blend Bouclé Cardigan
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A Kind of Guise

This one from A Kind of Guise could easily sub in for a blazer. Because it's bouclé, there's softness and structure. Plus, the elevated taping around the buttons gives it a lapel-like look.

Will O The Wisp Cardigan
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Howlin'

With a cool name like Will O The Wisp, you know Antwerp-based brand Howlin's cardigan had to look cool, too. And it does. It's a rich, red wine-like color with a classic fit.

Wool Fleece Cardigan
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Universal Works

If you're skittish about slipping into a cardigan, cop this. It's nearly a bomber jacket, with its wool fleece body, its high buttons and lifted collar.

Shetland Cardigan
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Pendleton

Again, this iteration from Pendleton comes close to being considered a jacket and not a cardigan. It buttons all the way to the top, has a slight collar, and a straight shape.

Alpawool Cardigan
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Corridor

Corridor's Alpawool Cardigan — made from a mix of alpaca and merino wool — was made in Peru by the brand's partner workshop. The wild orange color is just warm enough for fall — and the sweater will be, too.

3A Lumber Cardigan
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Inverallan

Check this one out. It's made by Inverallan, a team of knitters established in Scotland in the '70s. They sell a lot of their own stuff on their own site, but the best of the bunch, in my opinion, arrives at tons of different retailers. You can find an option like this 3A Lumber Cardigan at an incredible price.

Cobain Mohair Cardigan
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Jelado

Named after Kurt Cobain's favorite (and probably musty) mohair cardigan, Jelado's Cobain Cardigan comes in a sort of ombre color, starting with black, then white, pink, gray, darker gray, gray again, and black once more.

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