You can still wear Your Grandfather’s Shawl Neck Sweater

You don’t have to worry about looking like your grandfather when sporting a shawl neck cardigan. In fact, your might actually look better than he did in his glory days. The shawl neck cardigan is a menswear staple that has been around forever, and every fall, designers find new ways to release new incarnations of this seasonal favorite. 


Like many of our favorite menswear items, they all seem to have an origin that goes back towards the military. It’s been stated, Lieutenant General James Brudenell Seventh Earl of Cardigan wanted a sweater that he could put on without ruffling his beautiful mane. Being that this theory may be a long shot, the cardigan began really began its popularity during the 1920s. IVY LEAGUE students adapted the look and made it intellectually stylish. While Mr. James Bond himself, Sean Connery and the king of cool, Steve Mcqueen made it sartorially oaky for all of us to wear now.

Many shawl cardigans today are created in a medium weight wool that can be layered over other garments without overheating you. Whereas the heavier knits offer more warmth and less worry about layering. I found a great heavy wool shawl cardigans from Bolivares (left) and Tomorrowland (right) that I wear as an outer layer when the temperature gets to around 40 degrees. On warmer fall days, you can get away with a medium weight cardigan like the one featured below by Club Moncao . I found this sweater at their sample sale, I’ve had this sweater for over three years, and I love it because it is light enough to layer with a quilted vest but thick enough to provide proper warmth for a 50 degrees stroll through the park. 


How to wear

  •  Toss your shawl neck cardigan over your t-shirt and jeans 
  • Go full casual with you favorite pair of joggers (I know you have a few).
  • Try even stepping it up with a dress shirt and tie for the office.

With various colors, textures, weights and prices at your grasp, you are sure to find a proper shawl neck cardigan that fits your personality and budget. 



Shawl Neck Cardigan // Club Monaco

Shirt // Height + Kenchi

Quilted Vest // Who.A.U

Chinos // Massimo Dutti

Shoes // The Left Shoe Company

Accessories // Noble Breed Wood Dog Pin

Photo Credit:

Sir Shane Miller

Where is your favorite shawl neck cardigan from? Leave comments below