Fit should be comfortably loose but not saggy.
The shoulder seams should end on top of your shoulder — if they’re coming down your bicep at all the sweater’s too big. The bottom hem should cover your waistline but not your trouser pockets. It should button tight enough that you don’t get a big sag in front of your body any time you bend forward.
If you want a little looser of a look go for an oversized shawl collar rather than a looser fit — it’ll give you all the blanket-like spare cloth you could ever want in a sweater and still look good.
Construction is something to check in all garments.
Give the wool a feel and think about how much you’re going to enjoy wearing it. Anything that’s too scratchy will be impossible to wear without a collared, long-sleeve shirt. Which is fine when layering but a scratchy wool reduces the cardigan’s versatility.
Looseness at the seams or any “pilling” (little round balls of wool that form when you rub the jacket surface) are also indications of a poorly-made sweater.
Flexibility is all about how it’ll work with your wardrobe.
You don’t want to buy something that’s identical to clothing you already own, and you don’t want to buy something that doesn’t go with anything at all. Dark grays and blues and earth tones are the most flexible but also the most generic; brighter colors are more eye-catching but less flexible.
Think about what your wardrobe needs more — reliable core pieces to build off of or bright accent pieces to go with the staples you already own.
Cardigans Sweaters in Conclusion
As we head into fall and winter a couple of good cardigans are going to be some of the best pieces you could add to your wardrobe. Be thinking about it if you haven’t, and if you have congratulations — you’ve already got some key wardrobe pieces for being a well-dressed man!