How can men wear a cardigan to create different styles?

Every man’s wardrobe should include a cardigan – and young men can carry it off too – but it is vital for the cardigan to coordinate with the outfit. Cardigans are a timeless garment because they are so versatile; they can provide warmth or pockets or be a fashion focus in their own right, and they can be worn as outer or middle layers in both casual and formal situations.

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Cardigans vary in style, pattern, fastening, weave, colour, thickness of wool, and (very important) the neckline. All these things matter and there is a wealth of information online about styling your wardrobe for a classic, formal or casual design (see but here are some general tips.

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Formal wear

A V-necked cardigan added to a suit can look just as smart as a waistcoat, but warmer. It is safer to avoid strong patterns but you can jazz things up with a dash of colour providing it matches the suit. For a more classic look choose a cardigan a shade lighter or darker than the suit. The cardigan should also coordinate with the shirt: as with ties, the rule is to pair a plain cardigan with a bright or patterned shirt or vice versa.

Casual wear

Both V-necked and round necked cardigans work over a T-shirt and pair of jeans. You can go for stronger patterns and colours but stick to the rule of pairing a bright cardigan with a plain T-shirt or vice versa. The look is perfect for an afternoon in the pub or a great date night look. A funnel necked cardigan will replace a sweatshirt and alleviate the empty space round the neck that sometimes appears when wearing round-necked t-shirts.


A dynamic semi-casual look can be achieved by teaming a shirt and tie with a cardigan and casual jacket. If you prefer to ditch the jacket, use a thick-knit or shawl cardigan as they can provide the same structure and neckline as a jacket and look equally smart. Cardigans can also work with the Polo style – mens Ralph Lauren knitwear range includes many amazing options that could suit your requirements: take a look at the options available from EJ Menswear.

Follow the rules and cardigans are a great opportunity to make a bold style statement – whether formal, casual or semi-casual!

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