This links to the second reason, which is the shawl collar’s versatility. A T-shirt is fine for Sunday mornings, but a shirt and tie also works for dress-down Friday. And it is the default choice when I get home because I know it will work with whatever else I am wearing.
The shawl-collar cardigan is more comfortable than a jacket around the house and more stylish than a normal cardigan. I always like clothes that are functional as well, so the fact the collar can usually be turned up and buttoned across appeals.
I have a few favourites. One is an old charcoal Ralph Lauren I bought during a conference in Chicago years ago. A second was an acquisition earlier this year from Albam – in a chunky cotton, which is unusual, and the last style they had made by Stevenage Knitting. And the third is the Drake’s cashmere sweater pictured.
Michael Drake calls the sweater iconic. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it has certainly been popular (as demonstrated by the special orders now available) and I’ve coveted the flannel grey version for going on a year. Having finally secured it, I recommend going for a relatively big size – I’m a 39-inch chest, but the XS (38 inch) was rather too short in the body and the S (42 inch) fit far better. It is not a very slim fit, but then a comfortable sweater like this shouldn’t be.