THE COOL OF THE CARDIGAN
The cool of cardigans comes and goes. The men’s fashion garment, that is, as opposed to the Swedish band (who are eternally cool).
These open-fronted sweaters were named after Major General James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, a prominent British military figure who led the Charge of the Light Brigade, and popularized the cardigan fashion trend. At a time (1850s) when battles basically constituted rushing your enemy on a horse while they hide behind barricades and shoot at you, the Earl was generally considered a brave guy. So don’t let anyone tell you that cardigans aren’t tough.
Daniel Craig wears cardigans too.
It is a versatile garment that can be worn in a range of temperatures, which makes the cardigan an almost season-less garment, as well as bridging the gap between smart and casual. If you’re unsure what to wear — then why not try a cardigan?
There are many nay-sayers.
“They’re for old men and their pipes.” (If you’re a young man, you’ll look like a young man in a cardigan. No fashion item is reserved for the aged. Aside from incontinence diapers perhaps).
“Annoying people, like boy band members or TV presenters wear cardigans.” I see annoying people are everywhere. Sometimes they don’t realize they’re annoying. Chances are annoying people also wear Levis. If we stopped wearing clothing annoying people wear — we’d all be naked.
“Cardigans look gay.” Did I mention Daniel Craig wears them? Plus, Major General James Thomas Brudenell. He killed people. Have you, tough guy?
It’s just such a timeless, simple, beautiful garment.
As the cardigan can be worn throughout the year, when buying one, put a little thought into the color you choose. That’s one of the characteristics which might tie the garment to certain seasons — earth tones — browns, greys, or forest greens are often worn during the autumn/winter season, while red, baby blue, yellow and white are viewed as belonging to spring/summer. Knits are also something to think about … light, medium or heavy? Simple thin flat knits are perfect for summer, or layering with other items (a jean jacket for example) and larger cable knits are designed for heading out into the winter cold to collect heavy chunks of wood for the fire. Medium knits fall somewhere in the time in-between when jackets are no longer, or not yet needed.
The cardigan adds fantastic versatility to your outfits. You can substitute a blazer for a cardigan, creating a more relaxed hipster feel. You can wear it with a T-shirt. It’s perfect to throw on if you want to simply show off less-formal ties with an oxford shirt. Cardigans pair really well with chinos and denim too.
It’s important to know the rich history of the clothing you wear, and to take an item, wear it and make it your own, without letting others think determine how you dress. Cardigans are a classic and should be a fundamental item in any modern man’s wardrobe.