The Best Shawl Cardigans for Ultra-Warm Winter Layering

Best Shawl Cardigans

The Best Shawl Cardigans for Ultra-Warm Winter Layering

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There are plenty of reasons menswear classics become, well, classics, like the best shawl cardigans on the market. Now as then, they’re prized for their functionality, their warmth and their extremely cozy yet cool appeal. There’s a reason style icons like Steve McQueen loved a shawl cardigan (and looked so darn great wearing one): They’re the ideal blend of utilitarian warmth and a timeless, plain cool look.

There’s more to the shawl cardigan than your average crewneck or V-neck sweater, or even a cotton cardigan. Shawl cardigans are usually knit from thicker fabric, and of course, there’s the all-important namesake collar, which almost functions like a scarf… even when you’re not wearing a scarf. There’s something reassuring about wearing a shawl cardigan, which really does feel like getting the chance to wear a cozy blanket outside of the house.

RELATED: Best Cashmere Sweaters for Men

They’re also a solid move as an alternative to one of the best fleece jackets (although we’d urge you to layer up if you’re going out into a blizzard). Alternatively, if weekend relaxation is on the agenda, a shawl cardigan can be useful to keep close at hand as you step into the best men’s slippers and curl up by the fire. Pair yours with slim blue jeans and wingtip boots, team it with tailored chinos and an Oxford or denim shirt (not unlike Mr. McQueen himself), or go all James Bond (see: Quantum of Solace) and wear yours for a breezy coastal lunch (wine and a gourmet meal sold separately). Just know that the next time you feel a nip in the air, you should be layering up with one of the best shawl cardigans for men.

Flint and Tinder Heritage Shawl Cardigan

Flint and Tinder

If we had to pick out one cardigan that a certain style icon might love nowadays, there’s a great chance this aptly named Flint and Tinder cardigan would be the one in question. Knit from lambswool that’s been bolstered with nylon for improved durability, there’s tons to love, from the braided buttons to the textured weave and timeless, wear-with-anything navy color.

$158 at

Wills Cashmere Shawl Cardigan


For as rugged as the shawl cardigan can be, there are plenty more refined options out there. It all comes down to the fabric, which in this case is luxurious cashmere. This is about as dressy as a shawl cardigan can get, so don’t be afraid to wear it in place of a blazer atop a crisp white dress shirt with wool trousers and handsome leather Chelsea boots this winter.

$245 at

Goodthreads Soft Cotton Shawl Cardigan


A cardigan should ideally be a sweater you throw on and then forget about. That is to say, don’t overdo it: Reach for it to be layered casually over a graphic tee or a henley. In the case of this Goodthreads sweater, rest easy knowing that it’s highly affordable and available in a wide array of colors.

From $27.94 at

Buck Mason Vintage Cashmere Shawl Cardigan

Buck Mason

The wide array of handsome cardigans on the market, like this one, is a great thing if you want to inject some accessible luxury into your layering game this season. This soft cashmere cardigan features a more classic full cut, so you can wear flannel shirts and henleys in equal measure as base layers. It could be the last winter sweater you buy for a long time.

From $100 at

Todd Snyder Shawl Cable Cardigan

Todd Snyder

The classics become even cooler in the hands of one of the country’s foremost menswear designers, and this shawl cable cardigan is prime evidence in that regard. It takes the throwback appeal of a richly knit cable sweater and blends it with that of the classic shawl cardigan, resulting in a sweater so cool, it’s like you came across your grandfather wearing it decades ago in a family photo album. Sounds like a new menswear essential to us.

$638 at

Match Men’s KJG Series Shawl Cardigan


Like we said, simple style is sometimes better with a cardigan, especially since it’s providing some much-needed warmth beyond your average sweater. That’s why you should feel free to team this highly affordable sweater with easygoing basics like a tee and joggers on the weekend. The cotton-blend fabric keeps it breathable and the ribbed-knit collar is a nice touch.

From $16.99 at

Amazon Essentials Long-Sleeve Fleece Shawl Cardigan

Amazon Essentials

We already mentioned that a shawl cardigan can serve as a nice alternative to a fleece jacket, but what if there was a way to get the best of both worlds? This Amazon cardigan blends warm fleece with a durable shawl collar design. Plus, the rich Burgundy color is perfectly on-trend for winter.

From $22.93 at

Barbour Bay Shawl Cardigan


McQueen himself favored cardigans that could be worn in plenty of places beyond just the house, and this Barbour cardigan carries forward that functional tradition quite nicely. Made from a tightly knit blend of organic cotton and organic wool, this cardigan was made to buttoned up to the top for added warmth on the open road. Wear it with slim black jeans and moto boots to drive home that travel-ready style, literally.

$200 at

Bonobos Shawl Cardigan Wool Blend Blazer


A shawl cardigan already hits the mark quite nicely as far as hybrid sweaters are concerned, with a heavier weight and more visual interest than others in your closet. This one from Bonobos embodies that multi-faceted design approach perfectly, as it’s both a blazer and a shawl cardigan. Wear it to the office or on Zoom calls over a chambray shirt for perfectly rugged style.

$198 at

Polo Ralph Lauren Shawl Collar Cotton Cardigan

Polo Ralph Lauren

The cardigan epitomizes the sort of casual, city-meets-country style that’s never really gone out of fashion, and if there’s a brand that can tie it all together these days, it’s Polo Ralph Lauren. From the just-different-enough shade of blue to the layering-friendly cotton weave, it’s a new classic meant to be worn for dressy nights on the town or laidback evenings at home.

$200 at

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