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How Cardigans Became a Summer Trend in Men’s Fashion

If you thought “cottagecore” was the only old-timey trend to sweep over fashion, think again.

Recent data by global fashion search platform Lyst shows that consumers are also inclined to grandfatherly knitwear this summer, also known as “grandad-style.”

It’s a look that two British men’s wear icons embrace.

David Beckham, Lyst reported, has been wearing several different cardigans in his recent Instagram posts, leading to a 66 percent increase in searches for the traditional layering piece week-on-week.

Grandad style like David Beckham's cardigans are a summer style statement.
Cardigans are a staple in David Beckham’s closet. AP Photo/Joel Ryan

The most popular search terms include “knit” and “chunky.” Lyst’s data also shows that consumers are searching for “long cardigans,” which saw an 11 percent increase in searches.

A JW Anderson knit that Harry Styles wore in February is also fueling the DIY-inspired trend. The $1,560 cardigan became a TikTok sensation in recent weeks when fans began to knit and post images of their version of the colorful patchwork piece.

JW Anderson designer Jonathan Anderson responded by sharing the pattern on Twitter and encouraged followers continue making. He wrote: “I am so impressed and incredibly humbled by this trend and everyone knitting the cardigan. I really wanted to show our appreciation so we are sharing the pattern with everyone. Keep it up.”

If you thought “cottagecore” was the only old-timey trend to sweep over fashion, think again.
JW Anderson pattern JW Anderson

Cardigans were present on the Fall/Winter 20-21runway prior to the pandemic. As men’s fashion veered away from streetwear and back toward more tailored silhouettes, cardigans were a soft and heirloom-like addition to collections.

Acne Studios presented a long, chunky knit belted cardigan with a shawl collar. Issey Miyake opted for a more minimal, ribbed knit long cardigan. Facetasm, Balmain and Undercover presented more traditional styles with three-buttons closures.

The season’s shows also saw an uptick in preppy sweater vests—an indicator of how the cardigan trend may evolve into the fall.

And the grandad trend is filtering across other categories. Lyst reported that the traditional look is being carried into accessories. In particular, flat caps—a Beckham favorite—are also having a moment with searches increasing 23 percent month-on-month.