Types of Cardigans

Explore 12 Types of Cardigans for Every Occasion

Cardigans are indispensable in any wardrobe because they effortlessly combine fashion and coziness. These products are the go-to options for any event, dressed up or down.

Cardigans, the ultimate wardrobe essential, have a special place in the world of fashion. They have established themselves as a mainstay in both men’s and women’s wardrobes thanks to their endearing designs and seamless ability to improve any outfit.

In this article, we explore 12 different types of cardigan sweaters that will help you out with how to start a clothing line that instantly boosts your style and solves all your what-to-wear woes.

From slouchy and oversized to fitted and embellished, cozy up to the perfect cardigan for every mood and ensemble,

What is a Cardigan Sweater?

A knitted garment with a large front opening is called a cardigan. Typically fastened with buttons or other closures, a cardigan is a sweater with an open front. It’s a multifunctional piece of clothing that serves as both a utilitarian necessity and a stylish addition.

With so many options, the cardigan has become a wardrobe staple. Next time there’s a chill in the air or you want an extra layer of warmth, reach for this versatile classic. The perfect cardigan is out there waiting for you.

What Type of Cardigans Are in Style?

Now is the time to examine all the different styles of cardigans that you can be donning right now. Nearly every fashion style may be achieved with the proper cardigan.

Learn about the types of cardigans that are offered, then experiment with various ways to wear your cardigans.

Button-Up Cardigans: The Classic Style

Types of Cardigans

The classic button-up cardigan type is a wardrobe staple. You may wear it to work with trousers and a blouse or on the weekend with jeans and a tee. You can wear it to any event because of its understated yet elegant appearance.

From airy cotton to soft cashmere, the button-up cardigan is available in a variety of materials. Look for one in a solid color or minimal pattern in a flattering cut. The most versatile and fashionable alternatives are a V-neck, round neck, or shawl collar design.

A top-notch button-up cardigan can become a valued piece of your wardrobe and last for years with the right care. Invest in one, and you’ll have a classic item you can depend on for many more seasons.

Open-Front Cardigans: Relaxed and Stylish

Types of Cardigans

The open-front cardigan is a relaxed, stylish choice for any occasion. This functional item has an open front placket with no fasteners, making it simple to put on and take off. The open front lends the outfit a relaxed, casual vibe and is ideal for layering.

Pair an open-front cardigan with a simple tee or tank and jeans for a cozy weekend look. Alternatively, you could glam it up by putting a sheath dress or button-down top over it. For warm weather, choose breathable types of fabrics like cotton or rayon, or for cozier knits in chilly climates, use wool or cashmere.

You can easily choose an open-front cardigan that matches your style thanks to the variety of patterns, textures, and hues available. Keep it neutral for maximum versatility or make a statement with a bold print. No matter which you choose, an open-front cardigan is a must-have piece for any well-rounded wardrobe.

Hooded Cardigans: Cozy and Casual

Types of Cardigans

For resting at home or doing errands on a cool day, hooded cardigans are perfect and are the same as a type of hoodie material. This cardigan keeps your head, neck, and shoulders safe and gives additional warmth through its built-in hood. When relaxing on the couch or taking a quick stroll outside, the hooded cardigans are ideal.

For extra comfort, choose an oversized style you can wrap yourself in. A hooded cardigan is a wardrobe necessity for casual coziness, whether you’re purchasing one for yourself or someone else.

Long Cardigans: Flowing and Feminine

Types of Cardigans

Long cardigans are perfect for completing an outfit and staying cozy. Their length hits around mid-thigh to knee length, providing extra coverage and warmth.

Oversized Cardigans

Types of Cardigans

Oversized cardigans are roomy, loose, and flowy. They drape beautifully and are ideal for layering over other pieces. Slip one on over a dress, skirt, or pair of pants; they work with almost any bottom. Their loose fit and voluminous sleeves exude a carefree, feminine vibe.

Boyfriend Cardigans 

Types of Cardigans

The boyfriend cardigan is an oversized, casual style perfect for lounging or layering. This one is originally a type of cardigan for men, hence the name, the boyfriend cardigan, which has become popular with people of all genders. It provides a cozy, lived-in feel without feeling frumpy. Pair it with leggings and a tee for a comfy athleisure look or dress it up with a skirt and blouse.

Since it’s designed to be loose and slouchy, go up one or two sizes from your normal size for the perfect fit. Look for boyfriend cardigans in soft, pliable fabrics like cotton, rayon, or lightweight wool. Deep pockets, chunky buttons or toggles, and a longer length help complete the laid-back vibe. The boyfriend cardigan comes in both solid colors and fun prints to match your style.

For extra coziness, you really can’t beat the oversized comfort of a well-loved boyfriend cardigan. It’s the perfect grab-and-go layer you’ll reach for again and again.

Cropped V-Neck Cardigans

Types of Cardigans

A cropped V-neck cardigan is perfect for those warmer months when you want light coverage. This type of cardigan has a V-shaped neckline, as the name would imply, and hits at or above the waist. The deep neckline and shorter length keep you cool while still adding a dash of elegance to your ensemble. A cropped V-neck cardigan looks great with a t-shirt and denim, a sundress, a tank top, and shorts.

For a casual daytime look, choose a cotton or linen cropped cardigan. At night, a cropped cardigan made of a silk, rayon, or polyester blend will dress up a simple camisole or sleeveless blouse. Look for cropped cardigans in solid colors as well as prints, stripes, and lace for variety. Button or zip styles are common, allowing you to adjust coverage as needed. Cropped cardigans are a versatile layering piece for your wardrobe.

Wrap Cardigans 

Types of Cardigans

The wrap cardigan is ideal for chilly days when you still want to look stylish. This long, loose cardigan “wraps” around your body for extra coverage and warmth.


Wrap cardigans come in cozy, insulating fabrics like:

  • Wool 
  • Cashmere 
  • Thick cotton  

The loose, oversized fit of the wrap cardigan allows for layering underneath, whether you want to pair it with a tank top in the summer or a chunky sweater in the winter.’

This versatile piece can take you from season to season. Look for a mid-thigh to knee-length wrap cardigan in a neutral color like black, gray, or camel that you can wear for years to come. When buying, consider going up one size for the perfect drapey, cozy fit. Once you have your staple-wrap cardigan, you can play around with accent colors and patterns.

A wrap cardigan is a must-have for comfortable yet stylish lounging at home, running errands around town, or cozying up for a night out. This closet staple belongs in every wardrobe.

Zipped Cardigans 

Types of Cardigans

For extra warmth or a sporty look, zipped cardigans are perfect. These cozy cardigans have a zipper closure rather than buttons, allowing you to quickly throw one on when there’s a chill in the air. Look for zipped cardigans made of insulating fabrics like wool, fleece, or a soft knit. Zip them all the way up for maximum coziness or leave them partly unzipped for a laid-back style.

Zipped cardigans pair well with:

  • Jeans and a tee for casual wear
  • Leggings and boots for a sporty outfit
  • A dress or skirt for a feminine look with an edge

Whether you prefer a snug or oversized fit, a zipped cardigan can complete so many outfits. Keep one in your bag or car so you’re ready for changing weather or temperatures.

Belted Cardigan 

Types of Cardigans

The belted cardigan is a stylish layering piece perfect for transitional weather. Cinching at the waist with either a matching fabric belt or a belt of your choosing, this cardigan creates a flattering silhouette while still being cozy.


Belted cardigans come in many styles, from cropped to knee-length, fitted to oversized, and in all colors and fabrics like cotton, wool, or knit. For extra warmth, look for a belted cardigan made of thicker materials, like cable knit. Prefer lighter layers? Opt for a belted cardigan in a breathable fabric like linen. With so many options, you’re sure to find a belted cardigan that suits your needs and personal style.

Cardigan Vest 

Types of Cardigans

The cardigan vest is perfect for those in-between days when a full cardigan is too much but you still want an extra layer. Cardigan vests, also known as sleeveless cardigans, provide coverage for your core while leaving your arms unrestricted.

  • Look for a cardigan vest in a lightweight, breathable fabric like cotton or a cotton blend for maximum comfort.
  • A longer-length vest that hits at the hips is versatile and can be dressed up or down.
  • For extra style, look for details like buttons, pockets, or an open draped front.
  • Pair a cardigan vest with a simple tee or tank top and jeans for a casual weekend look.
  • For work, wear one over a blouse or dress shirt with slacks or a pencil skirt.
  • A cardigan vest is easy to layer under jackets and coats for an extra bit of warmth without the bulk.

A cardigan vest is a wardrobe essential that provides an easy extra layer for transitional weather. With minimal fabric and maximum style, the cardigan vest is ideal for any occasion.

Cardigan Sweater 

Types of Cardigans

The cozy cardigan sweater is a wardrobe staple perfect for layering. Whether you prefer an open-front style or one with chunky buttons, there’s a cardigan for every occasion.

Shawl Collar 

Types of Cardigans

The shawl collar cardigan has an oversized collar that drapes around your shoulders like a shawl. Often made of a heavier knit, it provides extra warmth and is a stylish statement piece for any outfit. Drape it over a dress for a casual yet polished look or pair it with jeans and a tee for a cozy weekend ensemble.

Net Cardigan 

Types of Cardigans

A net cardigan is perfect for those breezy summer nights or chilly offices. This lightweight layer is crafted from open-knit or mesh fabric, creating an airy, net-like appearance.

The Net Effect

The open weave allows for maximum lataStalatx, keeping you comfortable in warmer weather. At the same time, the knit construction provides a casual, cozy feel. Net cardigans come in a variety of knit styles, from loose and lacy to tighter and more structured. They can be dressed up or down and paired with everything from t-shirts and tanks to blouses and dresses.

For the office, a fitted net cardigan creates a polished look over a sleeveless sheath dress or shell. On the weekends, an oversized mesh cardigan is ideal for throwing on over shorts and a camisole for a trip to the farmers market or brunch. No matter the occasion, a net cardigan is a versatile and ventilated layering piece for your wardrobe.

What are The Features of a Cardigan?

A cardigan is the perfect versatile layering piece for your wardrobe. Some of the main features that make a cardigan so versatile include:

  • Its open front Unlike a jacket, the open front of a cardigan makes it easy to slip on and off and is more casual and relaxed.
  • Knitted fabric. Most cardigans are made of knitted wool, cotton, or a synthetic blend, which provides insulation without being too heavy.
  • Buttons or belts Many cardigans have buttons, a belt, or both to allow you to adjust how it fits and how much coverage it provides. This allows you to wear it open, closed, or belted.
  • Length. Cardigans come in a variety of lengths, from short-cropped styles to mid-thigh and longer. Choose a length based on your needs and personal style.
  • Pockets. Some cardigans have pockets that add functionality and a laid-back feel. Pockets are perfect for keeping your hands warm or holding small items.

A cardigan’s versatility, comfort, and style are why it remains a staple in any well-rounded wardrobe. Explore the many types of cardigan sweaters to find options for any occasion.

What are Those Small Cardigans Called?

Have you spotted those tiny, cropped cardigans in stores or online and wondered what they’re called? Those adorable little numbers are aptly named “shrug cardigans”. 

Shrug Cardigans 

Types of Cardigans

Shrug cardigans are short, cropped cardigans that sit just at or above the waist. They’re meant to cover just your shoulders and upper back, not your whole torso. These little cardigans are ideal for adding a little warmth without becoming excessively heavy. They come in a range of styles as well. Consider them an easy layering piece for any season. Some other names used interchangeably for different cardigan styles include:

  • Crop Cardigan 
  • Bolero cardigan 
  • Short cardigan 
  • Waist cardigan 

Whatever you call them, shrug cardigans are a versatile and figure-flattering style of cardigan to have in your closet. They’re easy to throw on for a quick dash out the door and add just enough coverage to keep you cozy without overheating. Give a shrug cardigan a try—you’ll wonder how you lived without one!


There you have it: 12 different types of cardigans to suit every sartorial requirement. From classic sophistication to cozy comfort, cardigans are available in a range of styles to match your own preferences. 

When it comes to clothing manufacturers for new startups, always keep in mind that there is no universally applicable answer. Each design offers its own flair, taking into account the situation and your attitude. Cardigans are your blank canvas, whether you’re creating a capsule wardrobe or experimenting with unique outfits.

Never underestimate the basic cardigan the next time you want to layer up in a simple, comfy manner. You’ll undoubtedly discover one (or more!) that complements your own sense of style among the various possibilities available.

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