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Submitted by: Ian Grainger
Traditionally, when you think of cardigans you imagine old men, pipes, slippers, grey, brown and black and a general lack of fashion sense.
Yet the cardigan is making a comeback with many celebrities, including David Beckham, Daniel Craig and even Mark Ronson, pairing it with jeans or even suits for a whole new look.
The invention of the cardigan is credited to James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British military commander who wore them during the Crimean War the mid-1800s. He considered them smart, military attire.
They were also hugely popular with fishermen as they provided invaluable protection from the cold while out at sea. Then, of course, they became the domain of the older generation for much the same reasons before becoming the fashion item they are today.
Its not quite clear when or how they became part of popular culture but now they are here it seems they are here to stay!
A recent survey revealed that 75% of women found men in cardigans sexy, 87% said the cardigan shows that a man is comfortable and confident with his sexuality. Cardigan wearers are seen as seen reliable and are considered husband material by 54% of women, while 76% said it gave men an “air of intelligence”.
48% of men aged 18-35 said they have worn a cardigan on a date, 23% have worn one to work, and 14% to a wedding. Now that is versatility for you!
Todays cardigan designs and styles are a definite step forward from the ones our granddads used to wear, as are the colours used. There are plenty of designer fashion labels and high street labels offering a range of cardigans now, underlining their resurgence.
Even so, most of those ranges contain at least one vintage style cardigan, showing that even the granddad look has its place in the fashion world!
As has been said, you can put a cardigan on with jeans, a shirt and even a tie for a smart / casual, comfortable look, perfect for a night out or general day to day wear, while wearing a cardigan under a suit adds an air of sophistication and intelligence.
The flexible styles and yarns used to make today’s cardigans make them suitable for most occasions, as does the variety of fastenings buttons, zips or ties.
Its this versatility that has led to many big name fashion houses creating their ranges.
Fred Perry cardigans tend to be heavy and practical, suitable for colder weather, while Junk de Luxe cardigans are lighter and more trendy, ideal for finishing off a look.
Variations on the practical versus the trendy are plentiful, again underlining the cardigans versatility.
The best way to wear a cardigan, whether it is under a suit or over a shirt or t-shirt, is to wear it relatively close to the body avoid a baggy cardigan as these simply make you look chunky, never a good look for anyone!
And if it just doesnt look right no matter what, dont wear it. Not everyone can pull off the cardigan take your granddad as a case in point!
About the Author: Ian Grainger is writing on behalf of Room 14 Menswear, retailers of
Fred Perry cardigans
Junk de Luxe cardigans