What can Arnold Palmer, Kurt Cobain and Young Thug all agree on? Cardigans are stupid as hell. Grab a thin, sleek men’s jacket and turn a boring old suit into the chicest threesome you own. If you use a gigantic, freaky, patterned setting, you’ll be instantly hooked on dude-level chill. And no matter where you land between these two extremes, the best cardigans will make everything you wear – whether it’s a graphic tee and dickies or a slim turtleneck and pants – feel a little more thoughtful and dignified and is just plain cool. To help you achieve that higher level of fit, we’ve put together a list of winners that you can keep on board from now until the end of time.
The only cardigan you really need
Acne “Kabelo” cardigan made of wool blend with rib knit
Let’s say you only buy one cardigan this year. (That would be a mistake considering how much dope we’ve just found for you over the course of several weeks – seriously, we beg of you, just scroll down a little! – but let’s go through this thought experiment anyway .) I probably want it big enough to fit all kinds of button-downs, hoodies, and crew-neck t-shirts, but not so big that it won’t fit under your top coat. You want it to have a lot of wool structure and character, and also to be soft (maybe with a little cashmere in the mix) but not too delicate (thanks also to some nylon). You want it to feel like the spotlight star of the show, even in a base color like camel or black. And if this all sounds right and true, then this is what you want.
The best cardigan to feel good
Needles inlaid mohair cardigan
Needles are the kings of the freaky statement cardigan, and this fuzzy mohair masterpiece feels trippy enough to send a retired hippie into a sour flashback tailspin. Wear it with confidence or don’t wear it at all.
The best buttoned cardigan
Lands’ End Supima cotton jacket
Sometimes your cardigan doesn’t have to be warm enough to replace your coat or loud enough to be the focus of your fit. Sometimes all you need is a clear, quiet background player that fits under a blazer and doesn’t make you sweat in the office. This is that Lands’ End Joint. Fine cotton, available in a quartet of appealing neutrals, and for an additional $ 8, get fully prepped and monogrammed.
The best cardigan for staying toasty
Beams Plus Fleece Stripe Cardigan
Have you ever wished that sturdy fleece jacket that you lived in all year round would go a little nicer with your work clothes? Here is your answer. Beams cleverly managed to turn all of the fluffy, crunchy goodness you love about your Patagonia Retro-X into a far more nifty, streamlined package.
The best budget cardigan
Uniqlo Premium Long Sleeve V-Neck Lambswool Cardigan ($ 40, Now 50% Off)
If you don’t have the coin for a grail-level acne cardigan, Uniqlo has – as usual – got you covered. Sure, the lambswool knit isn’t the softest stuff on earth, and yes, it probably won’t last years and years. But for only $ 20, it offers enough warmth, style, and utility to keep you through at least one seizure winter.
The best cardigan for the moment
Whole-world fisherman’s cardigan
Everything we love about Entireworlds t-shirts they brought to this pretty, ribbed cardigan: the fit will be perfect by 2020, the fabric is kitty-soft but still has a lot of structure and the price is surprisingly reasonable. Wins everywhere.
The best cardigan
Inverallan 6A shawl cardigan
What Burberry is to trench coats what Jordan is to basketball shoes, Inverallan is to husky, impenetrable knitted sweaters. Every detail of this colossal shawl collar is exactly what you want, from the buttons (wood) to the place of origin (hand knitted in Scotland) to the weight (heavier than fresh cement). Treat it right and it will last long enough for your grandchildren’s grandchildren to inherit and wear it.
14 more cardigans we love
Noah rugby cardigan
Made from the same sturdy exercise fabric as Noah’s indestructible rugby shirts.
Thom Browne striped wool blend cardigan
Pure chunky perfection.
Naadam shawl cardigan (was $ 195, 50% off)
A knitted sweater with a shawl collar, so soft and high quality for under $ 100? Better be a cop before anyone realizes they made a big mistake.
Beams Plus double jacquard cardigan
The kind of cardigan you could borrow from your grandpa – if only he wasn’t so trigger happy with the mothballs.
Sandro Contrast Stripe Cardigan ($ 340, 40% off)
Stussy mohair mask cardigan
Séfr “Gote” cotton blend cardigan
Texture for days.
Hand knitted camouflage jacket Maharishi x Kanata
Designed in England, inspired by South Korea, hand knitted in Canada.
Polo Ralph Lauren Washable Cashmere Cardigan ($ 268, 40% Off)
Pure cashmere that you can throw in the washing machine! We live in the future folks.
Dehen plain cardigan
Dehen has been knitting heavyweights in Portland for nearly 80 years, and this worsted beauty should last at least that long.
Aimé Leon Dore x Woolrich Scarf Cardigan
Two words: party. Cardi.
Pendleton “Harding” cardigan with zip front
Chiller as The Dude himself.
COS alpaca-wool mix oversized cardigan
Big and sloppy and a lot of blurry just the way we like them.