While the dictionary definition of a cardigan is “a usually collarless knitted sweater or jacket that opens down the front,” there are plenty of different ways to interpret that depending on the materials, closure type, style and brands that you love. Is it just a sweater? Is it a quarter-length robe? Does any of that really matter when you look that good wearing it? Cardigans bridge the gap between sweaters, jackets and robes to give you another stylish layering piece with pockets, so we don’t really care what you describe it as because it will always be cool–as long it can be opened all the way down. Maybe it has ribbed seams and cuffs. Hopefully it has patch pockets near the waist and maybe at the best. Bonus points if it also has a shawl collar for additional warmth. Extra credit depending on cotton / lambswool / cashmere construction. With various price points, styles and material blends, these are the Best Men’s Cardigans for 2021 and beyond.
BP. Fashion Cardigan Sweater
If you’re a big fan of streetwear that’s looking to dip your toes into the world of menswear without breaking the bank, you won’t find a better piece than this BP. Fashion Cardigan Sweater. With a khaki-greens blanket-inspired pattern that pops thanks to the bright yellow trim on the collar and ribbing, this cotton piece is the perfect entry level piece.
Duluth Trading Co. Burly Retirement Shawl Collar Cardigan
Duluth Trading Co.–one of our favorite workwear outfitters, for the record–hits another one out of the park with their Burly Retirement Shawl Collar Cardigan. Heavy-gauge 100% cotton knit construction. Shawl collar, rib-knit cuffs and saddle seamed sleeves. It’s eye-catching without being over-the-top; classy without being pretentious; stylish without you having to worry about ketchup or mustard on it at a game. It’s not perfect, but we wouldn’t be wearing anything else unless we were attempting to impress execs.
J.Crew Cotton Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan
J.Crew as a whole tends to get a bad rap because of the revolving door of menswear heads and the occasional ill-fitting garment, but at the end of the day, they’re still producing bulletproof, stylish, well-made pieces at prices you won’t find anywhere else. Case in point–the J.Crew Cotton Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan. It’s classic fisherman cable knit style with cotton construction, a full-front closure, contrasting buttons, patch pockets and a shawl collar. This is the cardigan you’d design yourself but wouldn’t be able to produce for three times as much, so let’s all toast J.Crew for making this kind of affordable style possible.
Schott The Dude Sweater Cardigan
Schott might be most well known as the godfather of the American leather jacket, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from harnessing other aspects of American culture to create excellent outwear pieces. The Dude Sweater Cardigan combines aspects of iconic sweater wearing characters from The Big Lebowski and Mr. Rogers–knit from a thick blend of cotton, polyester and wool, vintage Western pattern, cozy shawl collar, drop-in patch pockets, five-button placket with oversize tortoise shell buttons, and the list goes on–to create a button-down sweater that looks great with jeans and a tee, an oxford and khakis, or, as The Dude generally prefers, over nothing but underwear.
Buck Mason Herdsman Shawl Cardigan
At first glance, the Buck Mason Herdsman Shawl Cardigan might look like your average cable knit cardigan. It’s anything but. This classic, full-cut shawl cardigan is crafted from a chunky blend of merino and cashmere wools to create a future cold weather staple that expertly combines softness, warmth and effortless levels of cool factor. Sure, it’s outfitted with hip pockets, horn buttons and a shawl collar, but this stupidly soft (thanks cashmere!) yet structured (what up merino!) piece will make any guy wearing it look and feel like the King of Cool.
Acne Studios Kabelo V-Neck Wool-Blend Cardigan
Acne Studios Kabelo V-Neck Wool-Blend Cardigan takes everything you thought you knew about cardigans to the next level. Crafted from a warm wool blend with a relaxed shape, effortless dropped sleeves and ribbing at the cuffs and hem, this v-neck wool blend sweater is luxury at its finest. Whether you’re wearing it over a tee or turtleneck as a piece of outerwear, or layering it under a blazer as a mid-layer, this piece checks all the versatility, luxury and style boxes.
Todd Snyder Canadian Cardigan Sweater in Cedar Green
The Canadian Sweater Company has been creating best-in-class, stylish, pattern-heavy chunky wool knitwear for longer than most of us have been alive. This particular cardigan sweater was created with close collaboration between the Todd Snyder design team and the indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island to pay homage to the the native design motifs and techniques while still having modern features like a two-way zipper, welt pockets, shawl collar and a more relaxed fit.
Dries Van Noten Timo Rib Oversize Alpaca & Wool Blend Cardigan
Dries Van Noten is a critically- acclaimed designer that requires no introduction, which should be immediately apparent with the 45% Alpaca, 40% wool and 15% polyamide blend cardigan you see here. From the drape, to the arm holes, to the ribbed pockets, everything on this piece is over-sized in an effort to make it do double duty as a triple-button cardigan or a robe when necessary. Honestly, that’s the kind of versatility that we want… especially when you consider the price point.