With the exception of the matching overalls our parents made us wear in first grade and the one student-run musical wherein we played vaudevillian evil twins, my twin brother and I have always, for the most part, dressed neither completely different nor the same. In truth, we never really cared.
If you aren’t already, it’s only a short matter of time before you’re reaching for a cardigan on your way out the door.
Whether it’s a chunky-knit one that can serve as outerwear, or a more finely knit layering piece, the cardigan is the perfect fall-to-winter accomplice. So we rounded up the best new ones on the market right now...
As the warm-weather gear continues to trickle into shops, we couldn’t help but notice this two-tone shawl-collar cardigan from Drumohr sticking out like a sore, overly warm thumb as it recently arrived at Unionmade.
But upon further review, the Scots over at Drumohr had us fooled: it’s a cotton-linen blend that’s knit so loose, you could almost see through it. Which seems uniquely well suited for this time of year. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The legendary knitwear brand was founded in southern Scotland in the 1700s and has been a favorite among Europe’s well-to-do ever since.
Who to Channel: Steve McQueen piloting a pontoon boat; a royal of Monaco on the kind of French Riviera day when socks aren’t necessary but a little extra warmth might be nice.
When to Wear It: Right about now, and anytime a warm day cools off into the sunset as the summer approaches.
Degree of Difficulty: Medium. This is a pretty slouchy garment, so we’d keep this for the breezy-weekend-and-beach-bonfire circuit.
As menswear’s love affair with Italian tailoring runs its course, there’s been a rising trend in rumpled luxury—some have gone so far as to name it “cozy boy.” (In other words, this refined-sweatpants craze is not going away anytime soon.)
The Story: The charmed life of knitwear designer Greg Chait has involved interning for Whitney Houston, dating an Olsen and stumbling into a high-level position with jean maker Ksubi. He founded Elder Statesman in 2007, making cashmere blankets for the wealthy—stocking private theaters and jets, that sort of thing—and the rest is history.
Who to Channel: Those Snuggie commercials—but while cozying up on your private jet instead of your lonely couch.
When to Wear It: This isn’t a sweater, this is a lifestyle.
Degree of Difficulty: Low/irrelevant: if you’re spending three grand on a stay-at-home sweater, you’re probably not going to listen to us anyway.
This one might be the coziest we’ve seen yet—in a chunky-knit wool from Zanone (under the Slowear umbrella, which includes the blogger gold standard of pants, Incotex). It’s also the least outlandish of the bunch—basically just a longer-than-usual cardigan with the option of a belt—which should lend itself to more situations that don’t require a tie.
Over the past few years, the shawl-neck cardigan has become a staple in every bloggerly closet come late August—every year, inching its way from slouchy layering piece to sturdy nearly-outerwear.
Furthering the cause is the 1920 Shawl Neck Sweater Coat from Brooklyn men’s shop Smith + Butler. They’ve teamed up with Portland wool mill Dehen, using over three pounds of heavyweight worsted wool that’s naturally water- and stain-resistant (and, to be expected, warm as hell) in each shawl cardigan coat.
For now we’re calling this new breed the coatigan.