How to Wear a Men's Cardigan Sweater in Style

If you’ve never worn a cardigan before, then the style can vex you. Is it a sweater? Is it a button-down? Should you wear it open? When should you zip it or button it up? What kinds of occasions is it best suited for? We’re here to answer these questions and show you how to wear a men’s cardigan sweater in style!

Your Cardigan Questions Answered    

To ease your mind, let’s answer a few of the above perplexing questions about cardigans:

  • A cardigan is a sweater. Treat it like a sweater when you consider the occasions to which you might wear it. It can be office-appropriate if dressed with other “business casual” items like khakis and oxford shoes, for example, or it can be used for lounging around the house.
  • A cardigan is not a button-down. As an outer layer, however, it can be paired with button-down shirts for a stylish effect.
  • You can wear it open or closed. It’s really up to you. Cinching it closed will lend itself to dressier occasions while keeping it open tends to offer a more casual look.
  • Zip it up in cool weather. Cardigans are great for providing a put-together look even when it’s cold outside. For example, this French Terry Full Zip Cardigan in Oatmeal looks more like a pullover when zipped up, and a casual jacket when not.
  • Cardigans can be business casual. However, anything more formal and you’ll likely need a tie and jacket.

Two Key Tips

If you want to learn more on how to wear a men’s cardigan sweater in style, here are two more key tips you should know:

It’s Okay if It’s a Little Loose

For many men, we’re constantly being told how something should fit—and there’s little wiggle room. But with cardigans, feel free to bend the rules just a bit. That isn’t to say that you should buy a cardigan that will slope over your shoulders so much that the shoulder seams are halfway down your arms. But it does mean that you should think of the cardigan not as a button-down shirt, but as an outer layer that’s meant to bring comfort, warmth, and texture to your outfit.

So, if you have to err on one side, err on the side of it being a little loose rather than a little tight. A fully-buttoned cardigan should be comfortable!

For a Casual Look, Opt for a Zipper

There’s no doubt about it: big, contrasting buttons are in style with cardigans. But that doesn’t mean that every other option is out of style, either. You can wear a cardigan with plenty of casual flair and convenience in the form of a zipper over the center. Take our Space Dyed Jacquard Full Zip Cardigan, for example. It’s casual, featuring the texture and appearance of a cardigan that’s great for cool weather wearing, but it has the convenience of a zipper if you want to open it up.

Shop Cardigans from Vintage 1946

Want more great cardigan sweater options to match your individual style? Browse the sweaters available at Vintage 1946 today!