The cardigan is back. Yesteryear’s clothing necessity has become this season’s fashion must have for the men, preferably in a range of retro colours making the perfect link between the 70s (the first heyday of the cardigan) and the 80s, where we all grew up.

Let’s face it, retro is the biggest fashion necessity of the moment. If it used to be in or it looks like something that used to be in then it’s probably cool again. And with cardigans you get this double whammy effect because you’re wearing a garment that used to be in, with extra cachet for being retro styled too.

This Season’s Hot Fashion Tips for the Man About Town – Number One, Cardigans 3

You’ve got two basic types of cardigan – the “grandfather” style, which looks exactly like the clothes your granddad wore when you were two; and the “geek chic” style, which takes the original cardigan and makes it much more 80s (as noted above). Which style you go for depends on the rest of your look – and, to a certain extent, your age.

The younger man tends to look better in that retro 80s geek chic ensemble – a brightly coloured thin wool cardigan, preferably with different panel patterns or colours for a real slice of 80s overload. While the older or bigger guy often looks best in a chunkier knit with those old skool 70s patterns all over it. We’re talking beige snowflakes and knitted herringbone : )

So what do you wear with your cardigan to keep that look fresh? Think hip hop and go with coloured jeans and sneakers for a real Beastie Boys look. Or opt for the “actor between roles” effect – rock that cardigan with trendy jeans and a white t shirt, grow a little designer stubble and restaurant owners will be giving you that look that says – “I’m not sure if you’re someone famous or not, so I’d better treat you well tonight”!!

If you want to see some exemplary cardigan action, have a look at, where there’s a whole selection of big brand cardigans and some pretty neat outfit ideas too.

The geek chic look doesn’t begin and end with a cardigan. These days the hippest kids are very much down with their inner Where’s Wally – so if you wear specs already, make sure you swap them up for a Tiny Tempah pair, go skinny on the ankle and wide through the thigh and match your Day Glo cardigan with a back to front baseball cap. The basic idea is to look like a cross between the eponymous striped hero of the much-loved Wally series and the uncredited sixth member of Public Enemy!

For the hobo chic look, you need a beard. The fashionable beard at the moment is a full on mountain man mat – trimmed and kept neat, but the bigger ad thicker the better. Here you’re going for a look that says “I was a philosopher living in the woods til I got myself a social life”. Think browns, beiges, off whites and, where possible, sensible walking shoes. Trust me – it does the trick every time!

This was a guest post written by Tina Tyrell.