The Cardigan: The Essential Summer/Autumn Clothing Item

There’s no way we can deny it any longer, Summer is coming to an end. September has arrived, the days just don’t feel as warm as they did a few weeks back and we’ve already had a fair few cooler rain showers across the country. During this transitional period where the latent warmth of Summer days is met with the much cooler air of  early Autumn evenings, a conundrum arises concerning how best to dress for both in a stylish and ultimately comfortable manner? We believe there is a certain item of clothing that can cope with both of these temperatures effectively and can be styled easily depending on occasion or time of day.


The cardigan receives a lot of flack at times and is rarely considered to be the most manly item a man can include into his outfit, as a result they sometimes get abandoned at the back of the closet and only taken out on Christmas day or New Years. We, however, are big fans of the cardigan and believe that right now (and in the coming weeks) it is coming into its own as the most useful piece of knitwear to own. Here’s our reasons why:

Versatile Styling

The main benefit associated with cardigans is that they can be incorporated into a variety of outfits in an array of styles. From a casual light jacket, a smart/casual piece of knitwear or an addition to tailoring that can add a dapper feel to your outfit. It can be worn open during warmer afternoons over a polo t-shirt with rolled sleeves, or buttoned-up with a shirt and tie it can suit almost any day-to-day occasion.

It’s important to recognise that each element of a cardigans structure can be used to change the look and feel of the entire outfit. Below are two scenes from the Daniel Craig James Bond series, on the left the more casual outfit incorporates a v-neck t-shirt and cream chinos with an open cardigan, whilst on the right an open collar-shirt and buttoned up cardigan creates an outfit with much more gravitas.

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Variety Is The Spice of Life

William Cowper’s words ring true on this topic as many men believe that the only type of cardigan on the market consists of the thick, knitted kind that are worn around winter. However, the materials and styles of cardigan can drastically change the outfits they inspire as well as affect the overall feel of your attire.


Finding a cardigan with the right material and cut for your needs bears a great deal of importance, for sharper looks suited to tailoring and nights out we suggest s thinner material and slim-cut that slims the abdomen whilst hugging the torso. A more natural, rugged look would fit a thicker cut cardigan with a looser overall fit, this helps broaden the whole upper half of the body and the arms.

Vintage & Contemporary in One

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One of our favourite things about the cardigan is that it is timeless, classically elegant and beautifully contemporary at the same time. Worn by the likes of Don Draper in Mad Men, James Bond (above) and David Beckham it shows that, when styled correctly, it can suit any man in their own personal style.

Finding the right style for you requires a little leg work on your end, finding a cut and design that fits your body shape, fashion sense and style needs. A few of our favourite retailers include John Smedley, Zara, Reiss and Nigel Hall, be sure to check them out for a variety of knitwear styles.

So those are a few reasons why the cardigan is a fashion essential this season, let us know what you think in the comment section below and if you’ve enjoyed the article then feel free to comment, like and/or share it with your friends/followers. There’ll be more Autumn/Winter style ideas coming soon from The Male Stylist.

By Adam Walker