Background - Cardigans are a great way to layer for warmth and an easy way to upgrade your style. They're functional, versatile, easy to wear, and the right one will make every man look his best. Unfortunately, not all men know how, when, and where to wear a cardigan. Just the other day we consulted with a gentlemen about cardigans and he seemed to think they are seasonal and go out of style during certain times of the year. This couldn't be further from the truth. Cardigans are year round sweaters that never go out of style. Instead, they are a classic and modern staple of a well-dressed man's sweater collection.
Types of Cardigans - Single and double breasted, shawl collar, mock neck, varsity.
Fit - If you are a larger or broad shouldered you'll want to wear single-breasted, light weight, thin fabric cardigans. The idea with cardigans is the same as with suits--accentuate height and create a slimming effect. Wear cardigans with a deep V front to slim out your frame. A high buttoned version will only make you look shorter and heavier. Other key points include the length. It should hit no shorter than your waist and no longer than the top of your back pockets.
Also, just like suits never fasten the bottom button of your cardigan. If you do you'll notice a bulge around your waist which you don't want. If you leave the last one--or preferably two--buttons undone the cardigan will drape flat and smooth which will thin out your waist. If you're wearing a collared shirt under your cardigan be sure to show some cuff at the wrist. Just like a suit showing some cuff will visually lengthen your arm and help slim your frame.
Color - Go for darker colors. Black, navy, charcoal grey, purple, burgundy etc. Dark colors have a way of slimming a man.
Pattern - Stick with solids or vertical stripes. Plaids, checks, and gingham's will add girth in general. The exception is to keep the pattern small and discreet. Add visual texture without adding weight by trying different weaves of fabrics.
Fabric - The key is to changing fabric weights to match the season. Heavy cashmere and wool in Fall/Winter. Lightweight cashmere, cotton and linen in Spring/Summer. It's the simple.
Bottom line - No matter what your body type, frame, or weight, every man can and should add cardigans to their wardrobe.