What is a Cardigan

A cardigan is defined as a sweater which can be opened or closed in the front using buttons, hooks, or a zipper. Cardigans may have originated in France or Britain in the 17th or 18th century. These were originally worn by fishermen as hand-knitted woolens. They were actually known as fishermen’s sweaters but gradually gained popularity in normal wear. These were traditionally made out of the heavy wools as they were used in the outdoors.

Cardigans are primarily worn for warmth, but with the passage of time have been included in the casual wear and thus not limited to heavy wools. Having become a style statement these can be made out of any material, be it wool, rayon, cotton or even blend of natural and manmade materials. They are equally liked by men and women having been made famous by media personality.

Today some cardigans are even made to wrap around body secured by a belt or tie. They can be knitted by hand or made on machine in any of the materials available depending on the needs of the region. They are available in both full sleeves and sleeveless versions.

The name cardigan comes from a British Major, who was the Earl of Cardigan who had lead the infamous cavalry assault against the Russians that failed miserably. Brudnell and the officers wore similar clothing to save themselves from the harsh winters. In the early 1900s, cardigans had become popular with American college students and gained popularity with every passing year.

Cardigans come in several styles. They can be Shawl-collared, they can be embroidered (popular with women). They can also be Hooded to provide extra warmth. Some famous television personalities and political figures over a period have time have worn them and prevented them from going out of fashion. Cardigans are quite frankly much more sensible form of clothing compared to jackets as they are lighter, take less space, easy to manage and tend to go with most of the style of clothing. In not so harsh weathers cardigans can be considered as a more casual substitute for a blazer or jacket. Cardigans can also add color and pattern to a mostly what we call a drab wardrobe for office as they are now considered more or less formal. These are used more often by men in comparison to women but make no mistake they are as good a casual wear as they are formals.

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