Winter Weather Style: The Shawl Cardigan

Changing up the winter routine with a newer outer layer. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Shirt by J. Crew. Watch by Invicta. Boots by Stafford Camlin. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.
Changing up the winter routine with a newer outer layer. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Shirt by J. Crew. Watch by Invicta. Boots by Stafford Camlin. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.

In case you haven’t noticed, the theme across much of this year and last year at Siblings With Style has been dressing for the weather. Namely, extremely cold weather (comes with the territory of living in Michigan, right?). That can make things boring and sometimes mundane in terms of what to wear each day. Departing from a more routine outfit even slightly is a good way to shake things up without getting too crazy. And in the cold weather, there’s no better way to do that than shaking up layers, and reaching for a nice cardigan. Plenty of us already do this, but for those who are less acquainted (and even for the rest of us), it’s valuable to get a refresher.

A casual way to switch up the v-neck sweater. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.
A casual way to switch up the v-neck sweater.

A solid v-neck sweater is a personal favorite, a go-to at least three or four days a week. But when it comes to sweaters, some trends recently have come back into vogue. Although some aren’t partial to it (and the style doesn’t necessarily work well with everyone), the cardigan has showed some serious staying power across the past three or four years. For some, it never really went away (kind of like those sharp black shoes in your closet), but when something like ‘geezer style’ gets popularized so much, it becomes ubiquitous. However, the cardigan hasn’t quite fizzled out yet, and likely won’t anytime soon. When James Bond himself (gets a lot of play on the blog, doesn’t he?) rocks a thick shawl-collar number, you know it’s almost certainly a safe bet to try.

A sharper take on the shawl cardigan. Shirt and blazer by J. Crew. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Tie by Frank & Oak. Boots by Stafford Camlin.
A sharper take on the shawl cardigan. Shirt and blazer by J. Crew. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Tie by Frank & Oak. Boots by Stafford Camlin.

The great thing about a cardigan like the shawl-collar option from Gap pictured above, is that it can — and should — be treated just like a v-neck sweater or crewneck sweatshirt. Note that it looks like that Gap version seems to be out of stock, but this appears to be similar in terms of inspiration. The right cardigan can be worn casually, like over a rumpled chambray shirt (see below) or a henley, or dressed up under a blazer (see above for inspiration on that). If you’re hesitant about a thinner or flimsier merino option, for example, the cardigan pictured from Gap has a very nice, thick sweatshirt-type feel to it, and the shawl adds some visual bulk — just like with the cardigan worn by Bond. On a personal note, the cardigan has held up great with weekly wear from October to now. It’s exceptionally comfortable on top of that, and it’s easy to layer, as you can see by photos with the blazer. But, size down if needed for a slimmer fit.

The shawl cardigan sans tie and blazer. Chambray shirt by J. Crew.
The shawl cardigan sans tie and blazer.

Additionally, because it can be treated like a v-neck sweater or crewneck, it pairs perfectly with a style staple and personal favorite, dark denim, as seen above. Along with that, a good pair of chunky boots add crisp yet rugged style to the overall outfit. In dressier situations, a knit tie adds some more texture than a standard silk tie. Work in something like a braided leather belt for even more texture and a more casual feel than a shinier dress belt. And as seems to be the case, we can look toward Daniel Craig for the ultimate example of how to wear a nice, thick cardigan. In addition to some of the examples above, there are plenty of ways to make this on-trend piece a part of your daily wardrobe.

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17 thoughts on “Winter Weather Style: The Shawl Cardigan

  1. Heya Beau, I really love the photos in this post! The cardigan looks great, and my fingers have been itching to spring for the purchase as my next wardrobe addition, but unfortunately, my wallet’s been less than accommodating. Still, it’s definitely on the future acquisitions list!

      1. I definitely hope they’ll (the nicer photos) be a recurring theme in your subsequent posts 😛

        Much as I love my v-neck, I feel the shawl-neck cardigan’s more friendly towards other styles of shirts, unlike v-necks, which is kinda hard with anything without a collar

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