The shawl collar cardigan is a classic, with roots in ivy league style and traditional smoking jackets,
popularised in the 60s by Hollywood icons, counting the likes of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Alain Delon amongst its champions.
Although a traditional garment, the shawl collar cardigan need not be worn in a traditional way.
We have reimagined how it makes for a stylish accompaniment to numerous outfits that incorporate sartorial, workwear and vintage pieces alike,
making this not only the thickest, cosiest piece of knitwear you will have in your wardrobe, but also the most versatile.
- Shawl Collar Cardigan in Navy -
The dark navy we have chosen goes well with elements of black and white.
The elongated shape of the two shawl collars align with the pleasing v shape of the lapels of the black leather jacket when unzipped.
The navy of the shawl collar and the even darker navy of the denim work well together tonally.
The higher waisted, wider legged denim balances out the larger volume on the body,
which is manfully carrying the weight of the leather jacket and 1.2 kilos of wool in the shawl collar.
Dark horn buttons to match the black leather.
The shawl collar adds a touch of formality to the plain tee and jeans look, making you look well put together without trying too hard,
for those desperate milk runs in the morning when you're not quite ready to face the world just yet.
The plain dark navy on the shawl collar mixes well atop the relatively busy black and white houndstooth pattern.
The dark horn buttons on the shawl collar to match the black buttons on the sport coat.
As the shirt and shawl collar are both block colours, we accessorised with a light wool paisley scarf with base colours of muted navy and grey,
mixed in with a splatter of white and mustard to add interest, and to keep the neck warm on those colder days.
Staying with the darker colours, we have styled the navy shawl collar here simply, with a grey/brown motif silk scarf, black denim jacket and charcoal flannel trousers.
- Shawl Collar Cardigan in Ecru -
The doubling up of wool layers in the mock neck and shawl collar makes this a supremely warm outfit for those bitter winter days.
Dark brown in mock neck and brown check trousers work harmoniously with the ecru shawl collar to create a beige/brown tonal palette,
with some ruggedness thrown in the middle by way of the denim jacket.
The smart brown trousers contrasts with the more casual denim jacket.
The versatility of the shawl collar complements both the workwear and sartorial elements alike in the same outfit.
Mid-brown horn buttons to match with the brown tone in the rest of the outfit.
Brown check pattern on the sport coat mixes well with the plain ecru colour of the shawl collar.
The texture of the flannel on the sport coat matches well with the rugged wintry texture of the rib-stitch of the shawl collar,
both being woollens, so that the sport coat does not look out of place.
The shawl collar works as an overcoat alternative, for a more stylish take on a classic menswear combination.
Both are medium wash, which we find complements best with the ecru shawl collar, rather than darker denim colours.
An easy, casual outfit that takes hardly any effort to throw on for that stroll in the park,
but would leave you looking nonchalantly cooler than everybody else around you nonetheless.
You can see clearly here that the darker shade of the ecru means it can go with any dark grey/blue/black outfit (left),
as well as an outfit consisting more of a beige/brown palette (right).
The below also shows that stripping these outfits back to two layers doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the natural cool of the shawl collar.
Some days, you are just in the mood to keep things simple, and wearing the ecru shawl collar over any simple outfit will still instantly set you apart.
- Shawl Collar Cardigan in Grey Mélange -
Colhay's mock neck in navy, blue cord shirt, charcoal flannel suit.
Our take on tonal layering where we have the charcoal flannel suit under the slightly lighter grey mélange of the shawl collar cardigan.
We then completed the look with the light blue cord shirt over our dark navy mock neck - the two blue shades complementing each other tonally.
With the shawl collar cardigan over the top of all the layers, working as the modern version of a "great cloak",
we think it finishes what is an otherwise very refined outfit with a small dose of craggy charm, in typical Colhay's fashion.
Note the flannel suit here, again given that it is a woollen cloth we believe this works better with the chunky knitwear.
Colhay's cashmere crew neck in dark olive, tobacco brown suede jacket, pleated cream trousers.
In contrast to tonal layering above, this is more of a high contrast outfit,
but we find that the grey mélange of the shawl collar works well with the cream trousers, dark olive, and brown.
The slight fuzziness of the suede jacket also works well with the woolly texture of the shawl collar cardigan.