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How To Wear A Cardigan Without Looking Like Your Grandpa This Autumn

Forgot any notions you have of cardigans as an OAP staple. For Autumn/Winter 2019, they’re firmly back in style. Here’s our guide to wearing a cardi without looking like your grandpa – it can be done, we promise!

Perhaps your grandpa wore a cardigan; perhaps he wore his with an equally comfy pair of slippers whilst watching Antiques Roadshow, chowing down on digestive biscuits and Werther’s Originals. If so, the ‘cardigan fear’ is easily understandable. How is something so strongly associated with bingo halls and OAP train passes now cool? 

Like the cable knit jumper, chunky ‘dad sandals’ and Hawaiian shirt before it, the return of the cardigan is one of many grandpa favourites that has found itself enjoying a millennial renaissance. Everyone from Tyler, The Creator to A$AP Rocky have been spotted wearing the cosy goodness, and Giorgio Armani, Fendi and Hermès sent out iterations of the knit for Spring/Summer 2020. 

The key to wearing a cardi in 2019 is to dispel any grandpa preconceptions. Maybe you’ll go grunge with a long-line style and a layered band t-shirt like Kurt Cobain? A heavy-knit cardigan can look cool when paired with cargo trousers or skinny jeans and chunky boots; a slim-fit worn with a shirt, tailored trousers and loafers offers a preppy, mid-century vibe. For work, add extra interest and warmth to your suits by swapping out your usual waistcoat for a cardigan vest.

To live your cosiest cardigan life this autumn, we’ve rounded up the best knits on the market and our top styling tips – get ready to button up. Soon you’ll be teaching your grandpa how to kick it like one of the kids. 

Mid-Century Prep

For a preppy vibe we’re looking to the past for inspiration – think 50’s collegiate. The key building block for this style is a slim-fit cardigan in a light knit or simple merino wool with preppy details such as a shawl collar, two-tone tipping and cable knit. Wear with a button-up shirt in a muted pattern or light colour, cropped, tailored trousers, and a pair of loafers. Add patterned socks like Rami Malek did in GUCCI to give the outfit extra personality.

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Long Live Grunge 

Whilst Kurt Cobain didn’t put a lot of thought into what he wore, his easy, grunge look has inspired countless cardigan wearers – his famous grey/green knit sold for an impressive $137,500 at auction in 2015. For a modern spin, we’ll be wearing a slightly oversized, long-line knit over a graphic t-shirt and layered plaid shirt, straight-leg jeans and trainers, all in a muted colour palette of creams, browns, greens, greys and blacks.

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Tough Guy

For a cooler cardigan fit, look for heavy-duty knits with metal detailing like zips and buckles. Inspired by Dior’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection, we’re styling our cardi with cargo trousers and chunky boots.

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Workwear Wonder

This cardigan trick is a classic move but is so for good reason. Wearing a knit under your suit adds just the right amount of casual to achieve the elusive ‘business casual’, keeps you warm on a chilly commute and in AC-blasted offices, and adds interest to a basic tailored look. 

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