9 best men's cardigans, and what to look for when buying one | The Sun

THERE'S no two ways about it; cardigans are underrated.

When it comes to comfortable, warm but stylish knitwear, the best men's cardigans can't be beaten.

They may have been given an unfairly bad rap over the years, and too many ill-fitting examples have saturated the market, but find a good one and it’s surprisingly versatile.

Indeed, cardigans can be dressed up as easily as they can be worn casually. You can combine them with jeans and a T-shirt, but also finish off a tailored trouser and shirt combination.

From what to look out for to the best men's cardigans on the market, here’s everything you need to know about this knitwear essential.

Best men's cardigans at a glance:

  • Best budget men's cardigans: Amazon Essentials
  • Best shawl collar men's cardigan: Goodthreads
  • Most versatile men's cardigan: M&S
  • Best preppy cardigan: COS
  • Best high street cardigan: UNIQLO
  • Best premium cardigan: ARKET

Amazon Essentials Cardigan

  • Amazon Essentials Cardigan, £18.90 from Amazon – buy here

Amazon Essentials can be relied upon for just that – well-designed, quality basics that will help form the backbone of your wardrobe.

Take this simple cardigan as an example. It’s made from 100% cotton and comes in a flattering regular fit, with details including patch pockets at the front and contrasting buttons.

It’s a simple design but one that’s executed with an impressive level of detail. 

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Goodthreads Shawl Cardigan Jumper


  • Goodthreads Men's Soft Cotton Shawl Cardigan Jumper, £41.90 on Amazon – buy here

If you want to experiment with colour but don’t want to push the boat out too far, teal is a great shout. This is a shade that’ll pair well with everything from stone and off-white through to darker tones of navy and even black.

It suits this shawl collar style particularly well and is ideal for finishing off a denim jean and white tee combo. 


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Gant Classic Cotton Zip Cardigan

  • Classic Cotton Zip Cardigan, £60 (saving £60) from Gant – buy here

For a slightly sportier feel, you might want to consider a zip-up cardigan.

Coming with a funnel neck and two large hand-warmer pockets, this one from Gant is made from a durable, mid-weight cotton and polyester blend that’ll keep you warm and stylish year-round. 

M&S Collection Pure Extra Fine Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan

  • M&S Collection Pure Extra Fine Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan, £42 from M&S – buy here

M&S is a go-to destination for simple, well-made classics, and this cardigan is no exception.

Made from an extra fine lambswool, which gives it a luxurious feel, this is a style you can wear with practically anything, from denim jeans and polos to chinos and shirts.  

COS Double-Faced Merino Wool Cardigan

  • Double-Faced Merino Wool Cardigan, £79 from COS – buy here

For designs with a more directional feel, COS is a great place to start.

Its minimal designs often feature contemporary relaxed fits and interesting fabrics, making it perfect if you want something a little different.

This cardigan is a case in point with its double-faced merino wool fabric and suitably pared-back aesthetic. 

Uniqlo Premium Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan

  • Premium Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan, £34.90 from Uniqlo – buy here

It’s difficult to go wrong with Uniqlo. From its denim jeans to its underrated tailoring, this is a brand you could easily dress head-to-toe in.

It’s been making its lambswool cardigan for years now and has perfected the simple, wearable design. 

Arket Wool Shirt Cardigan

  • Wool Shirt Cardigan, £119 from Arket – buy here

For something a bit more different still, look out for button-through collared styles, which are a cross between knitted polos and traditional cardigans.

This one by Arket also boasts two chest pockets, giving it a utilitarian feel. 

Sirplus Navy Merino Nehru Cardigan

  • Navy Merino Nehru Cardigan, £250 from Sirplus – buy here

Featuring a chunky merino wool fabric, a fisherman rib stitch, a Nehru collar, two large pockets and a button through front, this Sirplus design is as much a jacket as it is a cardigan.

Designed for versatility and comfort, try yours with an Oxford shirt and dark denim jeans, and you can’t go wrong.

Hisir Autumn Cardigan

  • Hisir Mens Autumn Knitted V-Neck Cardigan, £24.90 from Amazon – buy here

There are a couple of features that set this Hisir cardigan apart.

First is the ribbed knitting, which gives it plenty of texture and a slightly chunkier feel that is perfect for pairing with jeans.

The second is the raglan shoulders. This is a more relaxed alternative to in-set sleeves, giving the shoulder line a smooth, unbroken finish that’s both comfortable and flattering. 

How to style a cardigan

Though they're generally seen as a more casual form of knitwear, it is possible to dress up cardigans in a way that feels effortless and individual.

We love pairing a blue or navy cardigan with a crisp white cotton shirt (we love this one from Uniqlo), then adding a pair of straight-fit indigo jeans and some worn in white trainers. It's an outfit that screams Sunday.

What to look out for


As with the majority of knitwear, fit is arguably the most important factor to consider.

Unlike crew necks and roll necks, cardigans have some form of closure at the front, whether buttons, zips or tabs. It’s essential these can actually be fastened comfortably; the quickest way to tell you're wearing a poorly fitting cardigan is if you’re struggling to button it up.

But the same is true if it’s too baggy. Oversized is all well and good, but a cardigan will just look sloppy if it’s too big. To find the sweet spot, think of the cardigan as you might a blazer: You want to be able to do it up without the fabric pulling at the chest or waist, yet you need enough room for lighter garments underneath.

If you’re in between sizes, make sure to get the next size up, as one that’s slightly too big will always look better than one that’s too small.  


Another thing to consider is fabric.

Generally, you’ll find two sorts of fabric with cardigans. The first is the lighter-weight merino wool, which is often found with smarter v-neck cardigans, the kind you might wear to the office.

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Then there’s the chunkier kind, which is usually a lambswool or similar. These are often woven into thicker styles, with ribbed patterns or robust shawl collars.

While both have their place, lighter-weight fabrics are generally smarter, while thicker, heavier fibres tend to be more casual. So think about when and where you’ll wear yours and make the decision based on that. 

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