You Need a House Cardigan

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You’re working from home on a cold winter day.  It’s so cold that even inside your home there seems to be a chill in the air. You wish you could turn the heat up, but last time you tried that the 2-degree difference seemed to make you sweat even while you were chilly.  What you need is a house cardigan.  

A house cardigan is basically a cozy indoor jacket.

Ideally, it’s thick.  Chunky, really.

It can be ugly or merely unattractive but not in an ironic way.  It’s concerned with function rather than style.  

The house cardigan is warm.  Too warm for those last warm days of fall or those spring days when the sun is almost hot and you can feel the flowers growing.  The house cardigan is made for winter; specifically, winter in places that get actually cold.  

This is not Mr. Rogers’ iconic thin zip-up cardigan (though he did wear some thicker sweaters that would qualify).  This is not a cozier version of a blazer.  This is not a hipster hoodie.

You could wear it outside, on a quick block walk with the dog maybe, but it’s not really meant for social situations. Think of the house cardigan more like a better version of a robe.  

This is a parka for the house.  It’s indoor outerwear.  It’s big.  Preferably with a shawl neck that you can pull up to your ears and hairline above your shirt collar.  It’s bulky.  Chonky.  Like a lot of butches, really.

The house cardigan is a tool.  This is not some thin, sleek sweater meant to be worn out on the town or that can replace your blazer in a smart casual scenario.  This is the grown-up alternative to a toasty hoodie.  You can, and should, wear it with your warmest sweatpants on the coldest days of the year.  

You can wear it over t-shirts or even thinner sweaters.  You can wear it with a henley or an OCBD.  But, remember: this is a sweater with one job to do.  It’s going to keep you warm. 

This winter, you need a house cardigan.  Here are some great ones.

  1. Goodfellow & Co Collared Cardigan (Green) ($35)
  2. American Eagle Super Soft Cable Shawl Cardigan (Cream) ($42)
  3. Marine Layer Easton Cardigan (Woodland Brown) ($130)
  4. OId Navy Shawl-Collar Button-Front Cardigan (Gray Marl) ($60)
  5. J. Crew Cotton Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan (Pale Green) ($128)
  6. Banana Republic Marled Shawl-Collar Cardigan (Navy) ($54)
  7. L.L. Bean Classic Ragg Wool Cardigan (Burgundy) ($99)
  8. Orvis Wool-Blend Shawl Cardigan (Navy) ($169)
  9. Abercrombie & Fitch Oversized Cardigan (Dark Grey) ($55)
  10. L.L. Bean Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater Shawl-Collar Cardigan (Colorblock) ($120)