Men’s cardigans sometimes have a bad rap as being a “grandpa” kind of thing to wear. Which is a shame, because the best men’s cardigans can do a lot for your outfits in adding elegance, dignity, spiffiness, a relaxed look, and even a bit of a cool factor, depending on your desires and tastes.
Aside from the form, a men’s cardigan can get a lot done in terms of function. When cool weather starts to creep in, your cardigan can act as your outer layer. As the mercury dips even lower, your men’s cardigan sweater can act as a handy inner layer that can be easily adjusted for temperature thanks to the open front.
On top of all that, cardigans play well with all sorts of outfits. You have your sportier cardigans for days at the tennis club or golf course. You can go dressier with blazers or sports jackets and dress shoes to create more formal men’s cardigan outfits. You can go more relaxed by matching a men’s casual cardigan with a leather jacket over a good-looking t-shirt with white sneakers. And of course, when the weather grows cooler, men’s chunky cardigan sweaters are aces.
So what’s it going to be? Below you’ll find a list of the best cardigans for men with something for every occasion.
The 21 best cardigan sweaters for men
|Luca Faloni Knit
|Naked Cashmere Jake
|Best short sleeves
|Naked Cashmere Austin
Luca Faloni Zip Cashmere Cardigan: Overall best cardigan sweater for men
Cardigans do great acting as both an inner or an outer layer. Luca Faloni’s zip cardigan is a prime example. Knitted from 100% two-ply cashmere, this designer cardigan does a superb job as classy but relaxed outerwear that can be matched with fineries like a dress watch, but will look equally snazzy peeking out from under either a casual or formal jacket.
|Layering on cashmere luxury.
|Camel Beige, Atlantic Blue, Hunting Green + More
Gucci Cable Knit: Best designer cardigan for men
Gucci takes a reserved approach to its classy cable knit cardigan. Gucci went back to old-school Ivy League styling for the initial idea, then updated the look with woven leather buttons and the world-famous red and green Gucci stripes so that everyone will know you’re sporting top-of-the-line comfort.
|Keeping ahead of fashion trends with old-school comfort.
Amazon Essentials Cotton Sweater: Best value men’s cardigan
The Amazon Essentials line of clothing is based on feedback from customers. That means that when you pull on an Amazon Essentials cardigan sweater, you can be sure that it has been tested for style, comfort, warmth, and durability over and over and over again.
|Grabbing guaranteed quality.
|Navy, Brown Heather, Camel Heather + More
Luca Faloni Chunky Knit: Best chunky cardigan for men
Luca Faloni’s chunky knit cashmere cardigan almost makes you wish for cooler weather. When you take a look at this beautifully made cardigan, how can you help but picture yourself in a Luca Faloni state of mind, kicking your best boots through fiery fallen leaves while you smell the curling woodsmoke from neighborhood fireplaces?
|Welcoming cooler days with open cashmere arms.
|Navy Blue, Dolomiti Grey, Hunting Green + More
Robert Graham Haring Sweater: Best stretch cardigan sweater for men
You want to go for a vigorous walk—not quite a jog, but not just a stroll. You’ll want a top that can keep you warm but doesn’t restrict your motion. The rayon, acrylic, and polyester mix of Robert Graham’s Haring sweater gives an element of stretchiness that is just what you’re looking for. Pull it on, lace up your luxury sneakers, and get your blood pumping.
|Stretching without stretching out your sweater.
Orlebar Brown Villard Cardigan: Best ribbed cardigan for men
Looking for comfortably thick cardigan goodness? You’ve found it in designer Orlebar Brown’s Villard cardigan. The cable-knit adds some wonderful heftiness, and the styling makes it suitable to pull over not only t-shirts but also collared dress shirts.
|Feeling cozy in the comfortable weight of soft wool
Naked Cashmere Jake Hoodie: Best men’s cardigan hoodie
Naked Cashmere’s Jake hoodie may be one of the most comfortable-looking sweaters we’ve ever seen. This men’s cardigan hoodie looks almost too comfortable; it’s possible that once you pull this on, you’ll never want to do anything but lounge ever again.
Learn more about the story behind Naked Cashmere.
|Extending cashmere comfort to your head.
Axel Arigato Sonic Knitted Shirt: Best short-sleeved cardigan for men
|Testing the limits of tempting textures
Acne Studios Wool Cardigan: Best men’s wool cardigan
You’re heading for the airport, perhaps on your way to a fabulous vacation in a luxuriously warm locale. You want a men’s wool cardigan that keeps the chill off, works as an easily adjustable layer, and of course, looks sharp. Pack your top tier tote bag with Acne Studios’ wool cardigan; it’s thin for easier storage, and the front features multiple buttons that let you adjust your temperature on the fly.
|Making classy wool looks do so much with so very little effort.
|Grey, Coffee Brown, Black + More
Naked Cashmere Austin Blazer: Best cashmere cardigan for men
The best of the cashmere cardigan bunch is Naked Cashmere’s Austin Blazer, which lives up to its name. The styling is especially classy and sharp, presenting you with a top that very much resembles a blazer, but can be used as an under-layer. That’s a lot of decadence and functionality wrapped up in one sharp-looking bundle.
|Wearing high-level class on all of your layers.
Sunspel Ribbed Cardigan: Best men’s cotton cardigan
Some days are too hot for a full-on jacket, but too cool for t-shirts. You need something that handles that in-between weather (and hopefully looks good while doing so). Try out Sunspel’s handsome convertible collar cotton cardigan. It offers a self-assured style, and the front is fully button-able, letting you keep on top of your temperature.
|Putting cotton to good(-looking) use.
Brunello Cucinelli Shawl-collar Cardigan: Best shawl cardigan for men
That thick collar on men’s shawl cardigans isn’t just there for extra warmth, it also adds formality. Brunello Cucinelli’s shawl-collar cardigan is a fine example. You can wear it in comfort around the house, but thanks to the collar, it’s easy to picture wearing this top at semi-formal affairs instead of sports jackets or blazers.
|Edging into formal territory with the comfort of a cardigan.
Hugo Boss Virgin Wool Cardigan: Best men’s black cardigan
If someone is going to manage to make a simple silhouette look classy on a black cardigan sweater, it’s Hugo Boss. The designer’s men’s black cardigan, spun up from 100% virgin wool, has a sharp look that lands somewhere between athletic and tech, but still manages to look a bit formal at the same time.
|Using “simple” as an ingredient in “superb”.
Tom Ford Ribbed-knit Cardigan: Best white cardigan for men
Designer Tom Ford’s ribbed-knit cardigan’s silky softness speaks of cozy winter nights curled up in front of a fireplace with a hot drink and a good book. But the refined tailoring also means you’ll bring the wonder of a white winter to Christmas parties with friends.
|Building an entire outfit around an elegant (and warm) white base.
A.P.C. Gabriel Wool Cardigan: Best men’s navy cardigan
You don’t want the formality of black, but you don’t want the neutrality of white. What’s a fellow to do? Go blue, that’s what. In particular, go with A.P.C.’s Gabriel wool cardigan. It sports a classic academia look, but the blue offers a bit more casualness than you’d find in a black sweater.
|Making Casual Fridays an easy choice.
Maison Kitsuné Embroidered Cardigan: Best grey cardigan for men
“Fun” is perhaps not the first word that comes to mind when you’re thinking about cardigans. But Maison Kitsuné’s embroidered cardigan is just that… fun. This cardigan is certainly dressier than most sweatshirts, but it still has an element of chilling out to it that gives it a feeling of playfulness.
|Playing the fun card in cardigans.
|Grey, Navy Blue, Black + More
Paul Smith Wool Cardigan: Best men’s tailored cardigan
Paul Smith’s wool cardigan blurs the lines between cardigans and all-out formal wear. Almost a blazer, this cardigan will look right at home layered over a formal button-down shirt. But if you’re just looking for a snappy at-home cozy cardigan, the 100% wool tailoring fits that bill too.
|Combining formal tailoring with casual comfort.
Moncler Wool Zip-up Cardigan: Best zip-up cardigan for men
Moncler gave their zip-up cardigan a sharp tech style, making it feel like something from a spy movie. This cardigan is perfect for a night at the club and will look fantastic layered under a trench coat and finished off with a cool set of boots.
|Giving your wardrobe a tech touch-up.
Fay Button-up Cardigan: Best men’s button-up cardigan
Fay’s button-up cardigan has the feel of long walks across misty countryside hills and moors. The high neck, virgin wool, and button-up front promise warmth against chilly days, letting you spend more time outside enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer.
|Passing a pleasant morning on a countryside path.
Thom Browne Knit Merino Cardigan: Best dressy cardigan for men
Read between the armband lines to take in the full dashing effect of this subtly striped cardigan by designer Thom Browne. The silhouette, half-buttoned front, and armbands all have an air of a sophisticated uniform. The wider neck area leaves room to display an Oxford button-down with a smart tie, or you can go more laid-back and counter the cardigan’s formality with a t-shirt.
|Using your cardigan to tell admirers that you mean business.
The Row Diletta Wool And Silk Cardigan: Best men’s minimalist cardigan
Sometimes, you’ll want your cardigan to play rhythm to other rockstar items of clothing, which means you’re going to want a sweater that sits at the minimalist end of the fashion spectrum. The Row’s Diletta cardigan does exactly that; the neutral beige and tame tailoring make this an accompanying piece of clothing, albeit one that delivers exquisite softness with its wool and silk blend.
|Minimizing your cardigan’s impact while maximizing your personal comfort.
Frequently asked questions about men’s cardigan sweaters
Cardigans certainly are in style. Cardigans are an easy way to up the style points of your outfit even if you’re wearing very casual bottoms like jeans or joggers. And as you can see in our list of the best men’s cardigans, some of these sweaters are making their way into far more formal situations.
You can definitely go quite baggy with men’s cardigans. Keep in mind, though, as a general rule of thumb, the baggier you get, the more casual your outfit. If you need a cardigan for a more formal look, go with a tighter fit, but never “second skin” tight.
Choosing a cardigan for men really comes down to the question of how formal you want to look. For more casual looks, start your search with Naked Cashmere’s Jake hoodie or Robert Graham’s Haring zip cardigan. For more formal looks, try Paul Smith’s wool cardigan or Thom Browne’s V-neck cardigan. Check out our list of the best men’s cardigans for more options.
A cardigan is a type of sweater. Sweaters can either be open at the front or pullovers. Cardigans always have an opening at their front. Cardigans were traditionally made from wool, but designers are experimenting with different materials.