The Shawl Collar Cardigan Is the Kingliest Piece of Knitwear on the Market

If you’ve ever caught yourself admiring the drip of a well-to-do septuagenarian leisurely thumbing through a crumpled copy of ARTnews by the dog park on your block, you’re probably hip to the awesome power of the shawl collar cardigan. Hell, if you’ve ever eyed your grandpa’s blithely weather-agnostic outfit with a certain amount of grudging respect, you’re more than aware of what the kingliest piece of knitwear around can do for you. The key to your grandpa’s inimitable swag? That’s right: The shawl collar cardigan.

Over the last few months, we’ve worked hard to hammer home our enthusiasm for the cardigan. Suffice to say, our love for the style runs deep. But the shawl collar cardigan is in a league of its own. There’s something about the sheer chunkiness of the thing that pairs so well with the roomier silhouettes we’ve been championing for nigh on a year straight. And today, the best of ’em need not be the sole domain of your friendly neighborhood print subscriber. (Print subscribers: the real backbone of this country!)

Wrapping yourself in the warm embrace of a shawl collar cardigan is like spending a meaningful weekend with your grandpa, sans any of the meandering (and often embellished) anecdotes about Vietnam. Try wearing a hefty cable knit version with the pleated cords you bought recently and some thick-soled loafers. Or layer a ribbed take over a fine gauge turtleneck for a look that leans into the style’s retro charm.

Still not convinced? Call up your grandpa and ask him yourself. If the man has taste that good in knitwear he’s bound to be a fount of information on all sorts of things, harrowing asides about his time in the war and all.

Shawl-Collar Cardigan

H&M hm.com

$39.99

Rust brown never looked so, well, aspirational.  

Shawl Collar Cardigan

Liverpool nordstrom.com

$98.00

A cardigan cut to hug the contours of your body as gently as your comfiest tees. 

Classic Ragg Wool Cardigan

L.L.Bean llbean.com

$99.00

A ragg wool sweater generations of Bean devotees have relied on to keep them warm through the worst of winter. 

Cotton Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan

J.Crew jcrew.com

$128.00

The sort of sweater you should wear when you’re seriously thinking of taking up crocheting.

Waffle Cardigan

Peregrine huckberry.com

$131.98

Working from home means you can now finally have waffles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Aran Cardigan

Signals signals.com

$139.95

An absolute unit of a cable knit inspired by the islands where one of its most famous variations originated. 

Elbow Patch Shawl Collar Cardigan

Jamieson’s of Shetland endclothing.com

$185.00

Make note, folks—the elbow patch revival of the year of our knitwear lord 2021 is officially underway. 

Marled Cotton & Cashmere Cardigan

FAHERTY nordstrom.com

$198.00

Cotton and cashmere: undefeated in all matters related to comfort since the duo was first introduced. 

Heritage Shawl-Collar Cardigan Sweater

Banana Republic bananarepublic.gap.com

$199.00

Casually sliding the word “heritage” into a collection of well-made elevated basics is still the easiest way to prey on any menswear lover’s basest instincts. Oooh, it’s a heritage piece, honey! Now I have to buy it. 

Prairie Herdsman Shawl Cardigan

Buck Mason buckmason.com

$225.00

Perfect for all your Little House cosplay. Or, you know…not.

Cashmere Shawl Collar Cardigan

Wills huckberry.com

$245.00

Made from a wool-and-cashmere blend so soft, you might up and ditch the sweatshirts entirely.  

6A Shawl Cardigan

Inverallan endclothing.com

$289.00

Large and in charge! 

Wallpaper Jacquard Cardigan

Billy Reid eastdane.com

$495.00

If your knitwear looks like it takes its design cues from your grandparents’ living room, you know you’re doing something right. 

Lambswool Shawl Collar Cardigan

Drake’s drakes.com

$535.00

Like sweet lemon sherbet on a balmy summer day, minus any of the tang. 

Shawl Collar Maxi Cardigan

Zanone farfetch.com

$576.00

A maxi shawl collar for maximum effect. 

Shawl-Lapel Pattern-Jacquard Cardigan

Missoni matchesfashion.com

$905.00

Because what type of list would it be without input from Missoni and the zany Italian brand’s iconic zig-zag pattern? 

Hand-Knit Cardigan

RRL ralphlauren.com

$999.00

Shawl-Collar Ribbed Striped Cotton Cardigan

Brunello Cucinelli mrporter.com

$1,395.00

A typically luxurious take of the sweater experts par excellence in Solomeo. 

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Avidan Grossman is the Style eCommerce Editor at Esquire, covering men’s fashion, shoes, grooming, and accessories.

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Source : Esquire