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Knitwear & Sweaters

How to: Wear a cardigan

How to: Wear a cardigan

More often than not, Thread’s clients approach cardigans with a mixture of interest and trepidation. "It's unfortunate that guys have a strange perception of cardigans, because in reality they're a classic, masculine staple—and they're comfortable and easy to wear," says Thread senior stylist Sam Monaghan.

Here, Sam shares the cardigans to wear to every occasion—from an afternoon at the pub to a wedding.

Casual: Funnel-neck cardigan over a t-shirt

"Cardigans can look weird with t-shirts because you're left with a blank space around the neck," Sam says. "Funnel-neck cardigans fill that empty space. They're also as warm and comfortable as sweatshirts, but more structured and adult." Sam's favourite funnel-neck cardigan, from the Scandinavian company SNS Herning, goes well with jeans, a t-shirt and boots or minimal trainers. 

Cardigans to consider: SNS Herning funnel-neck cardigan (£205), photographed; Gant funnel-neck cardigan (£150)

Smart-casual: Thick-knit or shawl cardigan instead of a blazer

"A thick-knit or shawl cardigan has the same structure and neckline as a blazer, so it can look just as smart (and feel more comfortable)," says Sam, who advises pairing a thick-knit cardigan with a shirt, tie, chinos or formal trousers and brogues or Derbies. 

Cardigans to consider: Inverallan shawl cardigan (£235), photographed; Journal standard shawl cardigan (£145); Jamieson's of Shetland shawl cardigan (£129)

Formal: Thin-knit cardigan instead of a waistcoat

"You don't always need to be dropping a three-piece suit with a waistcoat; a slim cardigan can make a suit relaxed, a bit more stylish, and warmer," Sam says. "Because thin-knit cardigans and waistcoats have similar necklines, it's not a huge departure." If the cardigan in question falls away from your body when you unbutton it (rather than staying in place), it's thin enough to wear under a suit.