Fashion & Beauty

How To Wear A Shawl Collar Cardigan [Without Getting Bullied]

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Show Your Shawl Collar Cardigan Who’s Boss

Worn the right way, a shawl collar cardigan is a great, versatile look to add your wardrobe. It can take you all the way from ruggedly casual dude to sophisticated businessman. Worn the wrong way, it says, “Beat me up. Take my lunch money.”

But not to fret guys, a few simple tips on how to rock this classic sweater will make all the difference. Here’s how to wear your shawl collar cardigan and make sure it’s not wearing you.

It’s All About Slim Fit

Shawl collar cardigans are often made of thicker types of wool. The kind that doesn’t exactly show off your physique. Cozy, yes. But we’re going for a stylish, not cuddly look.

That’s why it’s crucial to make sure it fits you snugly through the arms, torso and shoulders.

We are big fans of the COOFANDY Men’s Shawl Slim Fit Cardigan. It offers that slim look, and like any quality, a cardigan can be dressed up or down.

Buy your shawl collar cardigan a size too big and you WILL be comfortable. You’ll also be entering schlumpy sweater territory — a place where retired English professors spend the night alone.

That said, stick with a slim fit.

Don’t Go Long

There are shawl collar cardigans that hit you at mid-thigh or lower, and then there are the kind that you want to wear. The ones that hit you just below the beltline.

Goodthreads Shawl Cardigan Sweater is the number one best-seller for men’s cardigans. The length and look is just right.

Keeping it short will help you maintain a sleek silhouette that says, “I’m a stylish man in a sweater.” Instead of, “I’m the man in a sweater dress.”


It’s Your Call On The Buttons

To change up your look, you can decide how many buttons you want to do up. It all depends on what you’re going for.

  • Super Casual and Laid Back: Leave them all open, and it’s time to chill.
  • Slightly Less Casual, But Still Casual: Unbutton the top or bottom button. Now you’re the slightly less casual guy about town.
  • Dressy: Button them all up. Now you’re ready for business.

When Fabric Worlds Collide

Now that we’ve laid a few ground rules, it’s time to start pairing your shawl collar cardigan with different types of shirts.

There’s one thing to keep in mind, though. Since these cardigans are usually made of rugged-looking wool, you want to make sure your shirts come from the same fabric world.

In other words, you don’t want anything too shiny. Remember, shawl collar cardigans are from Mars. Synthetics are from some other crazy man-made planet.

You do not want these worlds to meet.

Don’t Let Your Colors Run Together

Also, whatever shirt you put underneath, you want to make sure the color contrasts with the color of your shawl cardigan. That way, they don’t end up looking like a single unit.

The same goes for the pants. Make sure your jeans or khakis are at least a slightly different shade from your sweater and your shirt.

Otherwise, you’ll look like a monochromatic blob. Yes, you’re a guy. But you can still paint with all the colors in your manly rainbow. Mix it up. You’ll look smarter that way.

The Looks

As we said, the shawl collar cardigan is super versatile. Here’s how to take it from casual to dressy with just a few tweaks. It all depends on what kind of shawl collar cardigan guy you want to be.

Ruggedly Casual Shawl Collar Cardigan Man

Ruggedly Casual Shawl Collar Cardigan Man is into thick-woven sweaters, which he pairs with cotton t-shirts and henley’s. Then he throws on some jeans and rough-looking boots.

This is a look he wears in the great outdoors when he’s kicking back on the weekend with his manly friends — or going for a walk with his black lab and his best girl.

He may seem super chill and stylish, but he will kick your butt if necessary. So don’t mess with him, his sweater, his girl or his best friend (the dog).

Consider yourself warned. Ruggedly casual shawl collar cardigan guy does not play.

About Town Shawl Collar Cardigan Man

100% Irish Merino Wool Aran Button Men’s Sweater by Westend Knitwear

About Town, Shawl Collar Cardigan Man is casual but still stylish. He likes his cardigan in a medium to thick weave. Maybe it even has a manly print on it.

He likes to pair it with a casual collared shirt. Chambray or flannel is good. Then he throws on some canvas or leather sneakers, and he’s ready to roll.

You can find About Town Shawl Collar Cardigan Man in the coffee shop. He’s running his errands, or maybe chatting up your girlfriend.

Don’t let his casual look fool you. He’s dressed and dangerous.

Down To Business Shawl Collar Cardigan Man

Men’s Standard Fit Button-Up Mock Neck Sweater – Goodfellow & Co™ from Target

Down To Business Shawl Collar Cardigan Man likes his sweater in a thinner weave with solid colors. He feels dressier that way. He pairs it with button-down shirts and khakis. Or maybe even some dark-colored denim. He’s a businessman, not a boring worker drone.

We love the Gioberti Men’s Shawl Cardigan for this look. It even has a suede elbow patch to class it up a bit.

The kicks are dress loafers or a polished leather boot.

And when he really means business, he adds a tie to the mix. Heck, he may even throw a blazer on.

You can find Business Shawl Collar Cardigan Man turning heads in the office or grabbing drinks after work. He might even wear this look on a promising third date.

Wherever he roams, Down to Business Shawl Cardigan Man knows how to close a deal.

Smoking Hot Shawl Collar Cardigan Man


Smoking Hot Shawl Collar Cardigan Man also likes a finely woven, solid sweater, which he wears instead of a vest under his tasteful suit. With a dressy shirt and tie, of course.

His shoes? Fine Italian wingtips.

You can find Smoking Hot Shawl Collar Cardigan guy drinking whiskey in a leather chair and flying off in his learjet to close a deal with the Japanese, or staring seductively into a super model’s eyes.

How does he manage to get everything he wants? His shawl cardigan and his favorite accessory: a daring sense of aplomb.

Now Get Your Shawl Collar Cardigan On

Well, guys, we hope you realize by now that today’s shawl collar cardigan is not your great, great grandfather’s cardigan. It’s easy to style and will probably end up as one of the go-to pieces in your closet. Just stick to the ground rules and wear it with confidence.

Remember, you may be wearing a cardigan. But ain’t nobody gonna push you around.

Sherry De Alba

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