Fall/Winter Checklist: Cable Knit Shawl Collared Cardigan

Desmond Kinlaw

One of the most versatile pieces on this checklist is the cable knit shawl collar cardigan. Here's a bit of background: Cardigans in general were named after the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell, a British military commander during the Crimean War of the mid-1800s. But the sweaters were actually popular long before then among Frenchmen and the British Islanders. Back in the 17th century, the fisherman there needed something to wear that would keep them warm during those grueling days on the open water, but that would also allow for a wide range of motion so they could do their jobs efficiently. Because of their insulating warmth and unmatched flexibility, the sweater knitting industry hit a major boom during those times in the fishing communities.


Cardigan by Banana Republic


But let's fast forward to today. There are so many different ways to wear the piece. You can make it casual with jeans and an oxford shirt. Or smart-casual with trousers, a dress shirt, and a tie. Or, if you get one a size up, you can treat it as an overcoat and wear it on top of your suit jacket.


Another big plus is that it walks a fine line between being elegant with the shawl collar, and ruggedly textured by being cable-knit. So it says you're a classy guy, but that you don't take yourself too seriously.


If you're looking for that one piece of clothing that will keep you warm in the office (dress code permitting), the bar, or the open waters, a shawl collared cable knit cardigan will put you where you want to be. Euro fisherman's license not required.


Topman, $88                                                                                       JCrew, $170


Inveralan Bastian, $315                                                                       Michael, $150