At Lamuchacho Our Primary concern is to provide Quality Comfort and Style

It’s spring in Nairobi, did you get the memo? NO? You must be living under a rock or just came from overseas. If so don’t worry you are now informed. The weather has been acting up and as a dapper gentleman we sometimes find it a daunting task to have to take off our suit jacket just because we learnt a thing or two in our childhood about obeying the weather and we don’t want to look like we just came from a construction site. Two things about a gentleman is he should always look and smell good, I believe you are a modern man who recognizes he should be presentable. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this article. Cardigans previously associated with older men (gives off the vibe of sitting by the fire and smoking a pipe) is now a must have for all guys in all seasons as it makes you look smart and casual and it can be worn to many places and events if styled properly. Cardigans have become a unisex garment which has made some gentlemen shy away from it as a masculine sweater option. Don’t let anyone tell you that cardigans are not manly, know your history and don’t allow what others say or think determine how you dress. Cardigans are a classic and should be a core item in your closet. If you’ve never worn one you’re missing out on a useful addition to the wardrobe.

Despite its connotations, there are ways to break it from its old fashioned constraints and take it to new stylish heights. First things first, you may be asking what a cardigan is. If so, you might have problems styling it so it’s safe we break it down before we delve into matters style. A cardigan is more like a sweater but opens down the front instead of pulling over with the option of being worn open or closed. A proper cardigan will give a little tapper at the waist to flatter your figure the same way a suit coat does.

The cardigan is a master of versatility worth including in your wardrobe. It has the look-feel-warmth of a sweater along with a jacket-functionality. Worn alone, it’s an excellent option to a sports coat or blazers during transitional seasons (remember the spring thing at the beginning). In the cold season it becomes a rich, insulating layering piece worn under coats. A chunky shawl collar cardigan is the perfect style to wear as a stand-alone sport coat substitute. The heavy knit provides warmth and substantial structure, while the collar mimics the look and feel of a jacket. {see above} Some are a hybrid and come with a lining. Literally called a ‘cardigan jacket’, it looks like a sweater cardigan from the outside, but the added lining provides further insulation and wind protection like a real jacket.
Practically, your cardigan is a more functional piece of clothing than a lot of menswear. It’s what people sometimes refer to as a three-seasoned wear; useful all year round except when it’s extremely hot, or you live somewhere to the North of the country. On cool days that haven’t got really cold, it can be an easily-removable outer layer. When the temperatures drop it can layer with shirts, ties, vests, jackets and overcoats to be a thick layer of insulation. The cardigan’s also a little looser than a sports jacket or blazer and takes a little less handling. Its good on the go-to wear; easy to toss in the car or a backpack, forgiving of creases, and big enough to wear over a men’s dress shirt or flannel work shirt while still being small enough to wear under a men’s blazer jacket.

 

Since both sexes wear them, how do you separate a man from a woman’s or a “unisex” cardigan? Your first step will be the fit- anything too tight obviously will be suitable for the females. They look more appealing when they’re stretching the limits of their sweaters; for gents it would look overstuffed and uncomfortable. A good cardigan should have a little bit of soft drape at the shoulders and hang long enough that it covers your belt when its buttoned up. Big round buttons are also a feminine feature. A man’s cardigan should have modest buttons, wooden “toggles”, or a zipper. The latter is the least formal and downgrades the cardigan into some form of sweatshirt, so proceed with caution if you want to go down that line. Also, zipped cardigans are fine as casual outer layers, but may look a little goofy under a nice blazer or paired with good slacks.

“ A quality cardigan for menshould have a taper that flatters our bodies – narrowest under the ribcage,widening back out down by the hips to give your chest a little bit of a tappered shape .It wont be the sharp ,precise lines of a suit jacket,but it’ll be creating the same effect in softer and more casual style.”- Real Men Real Style

Basically, when shopping for what cardigan to buy the major factors to consider will be fit, construction and how flexible it is. For the fit you’ll prefer something loose but not baggy. The shoulder seams should lay comfortably at the top of your shoulder- if they are coming down to your biceps at least they are too big for you. I’m sure you are not a chemistry teacher or older than 60 years old and retired reading this. The bottom helm should cover your waistline but not your pants pockets.it should button tight enough such that you don’t get a big sag in front of your body any time you bend forward. (see pic above) Some gentlemen would prefer a little loose of a look and its advisable to go for an oversized shawl collar rather than a looser fit; it’ll give you all the blanket-like spare cloth you could ever want in a sweater and still look good.

“ Fashion fades, style is eternal”

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