News & Runway

RETURN OF THE MEN’S CARDIGAN

Although men’s magazines have been announcing the return of the male cardigan for the last few years, this spring seems set to be the season the button-up sweater loses its association with frumpy professors and moves mainstream.

Several houses have versions that take the simple sweater and elevate it into a serious alternative to a suit jacket for office wear. These range from Dunhill’s simple cotton-and linen take ($500) to Zilli’s, with crocodile inlays and chinchilla lining ($20,000).

Some designers have gone even further. Salvatore Ferragamo, among others, has a double-breasted offering. And others are even trying to move the cardigan into eveningwear. Paul Smith’s version incorporates a shawl neck, and is meant to serve as a black-tie alternative to the tuxedo ($250)


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The cardigan is a long way from being a workplace alternative to the suit, but it’s already moving in that direction. Sean Kinmont, managing partner and creative director of the brand communications agency 23red, recently told the Financial Times: “The cardigan is a wardrobe essential,” he says. “I own not just one, but one for every occasion. I’m wearing a two-tone Paul Smith number now, for example, but I also have a grey Brooks Brothers version at home.”