A streamlined take on the shawl-collar cardigan

Anderson & Sheppard’s knitwear combines the best of the traditional and the modern – and in fantastic colours too

Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in powder blue, £325 
Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in powder blue, £325 

Interesting takes on men’s knitwear are few and far between. Anderson & Sheppard Haberdashery on Clifford Street has tried to change that since it launched in 2012, systematically redesigning everything from Shetland vests to slipover sweaters. My favourite, and now freshly back in stock, is its Shetland shawl-collar lambswool cardigan (£325).

Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in forest green, £325 
Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in forest green, £325 

The classic model – bulky and ribbed, with enough room to fit yourself and two children and featuring leather buttons that look like little footballs ­– is cosy, but you’d hardly call it stylish. The Anderson & Sheppard version is shorter and sleeker. It falls just on the hips, particularly suiting high-waisted trousers, and its streamlined shape makes it much easier to wear under a jacket or coat.

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Most importantly for me, it keeps the generous shawl collar that makes such models so flattering. There’s something about that roll around the neck that makes a man look both taller and stronger, as fans like Steve McQueen and, more recently, Daniel Craig have demonstrated on film. The collar is particularly impressive on Anderson & Sheppard’s version as the contrast with the more streamlined body is heightened, and I find it looks especially stylish rolling out of a mac or raincoat. The icing on the cake is the colours, which include the familiar navy or grey, but also a wonderful forest green, powder blue or violet.

Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in violet, £325 
Anderson & Sheppard lambswool shawl-collar cardigan in violet, £325 

Simon Crompton is a men’s style writer and consultant. He is the founder of the award-winning website Permanent Style (www.permanentstyle.co.uk) and author of Le Snob Guide to Tailoring (Hardie Grant Books, £8.99) and The Finest Menswear in the World (Thames & Hudson, £24.95).

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