Cardigans can get a bad rap, especially in menswear where they are often pigeonholed as boring and nerdy. But the colourful or patterned statement cardigan is a great vibe-shift, outfit-hack and the perfect way to bring a sprinkling of spring into your regular wardrobe. Forget school-uniform grey and play-it-safe navy, this is knitwear with personality. These cardis come with a side of SoCal skater cool; think less staid academic and more Kurt Cobain. But don’t let the skater tag trick you into thinking this is a look for under 25s only. It’s all in the styling: the beauty of a statement cardigan is that the rest of your outfit doesn’t need to be over thought – a white T-shirt and jeans or workwear trousers and simple trainers are all you need. On the runway Hedi Slimane at Celine does it best: Californian youth is his go-to style oeuvre. At London fashion week, Ahluwalia showed a striking psychedelic style (pictured left).
See also Marni for the best stripy mohair in juicy colour combos. Get the look for considerably less via a host of US skate brands: Obey Clothing’s lilac with red squiggle style (2, below), and SNS’s pinky/blue sunset sky design (6), from sneakersnstuff.com both nail the brief. Bright, golf-inspired Argyle patterns (1, below) and (9) are all over the high street. If it’s all getting a bit too jazzy, try brown-based prints such as Wax London’s abstract style (3) or Pleasures’s leopard print (8). Alternatively NN07’s allover landscape design (5) is a conversation starter. Vintage stores are stuffed with similar styles: it’s worth a trawl online at Rokit or resale sites like Depop to find a retro gem.
1. Argyle £42, Topman (asos.com)
2. Squiggle £110, obeyclothing.co.uk
3. Schill £165, waxlondon.com
4. Wavy £180, marketmarketmarket.com
5. Landscape £299, NN07.com
6. Sunset £155, SNS (sneakersnstuff.com)
7. Lilac £250, ariesarise.com
8. Leopard £140, pleasuresnow.com
9. Golf £49.99, zara.com
10. Floral £260, thehipstore.co.uk