What’s the Difference Between a Cardigan and a Sweater?

Going shopping for a cardigan? Or do you have a sweater in mind? Don’t worry. You are not the only one who has mistaken one for the other. The confusion is understandable as both the cardigan sweater are just knitted garments that are worn over the upper body. However, they do have some features that distinguish them from each other.


Knowing the difference between a cardigan and a sweater can be beneficial the next time you go shopping. You no longer have to waste time checking sweaters when you are actually looking for cardigans. In a similar way, you also get the benefit of knowing what qualities to look for in each type of garment.

Here, we provide some more insights into what sweaters and cardigans are. Though the answer seems obvious, there are some uncommon nuances that you might find surprising and informative. If you wish to learn more, feel free to read on.

Sweaters: The Ultimate Guide

To start, a sweater is one of the most popular types of knitted garment that is worn over the upper body. The term sweater is mostly used in American English. Here in Australia, we typically refer to them as jersey or jumper.

Structurally, a sweater comes with long sleeves that cover the arms. They are typically made with adequate room around the belly area to provide more warmth during cold weather. They are traditionally made using wool. But the modern era has ushered in the use of synthetic fibres to manufacture sweaters.

The differences between natural wool and synthetic fibres are still highly debated until now. Regardless, different kinds of fabric produce a different kind of feel and level of comfort. The jury lies on the wearer on which he or she will prefer.

In addition to that, sweaters can be worn directly over the skin. But they are usually worn over another piece of clothing like a shirt or blouse. Fashion doesn’t have a hard and fast rule on how to style a sweater as it can be worn with almost anything – be it short skirts or bulky pants.

There are so many shops that sell high-quality sweaters nowadays. Most of the shops in Australia offer sweaters that come with unique designs and patterns. They also come with various necklines including turtle neck, V-neck, crew neck, among others. You can also purchase sweaters with varying sleeve lengths. You can find sweaters with full-length sleeves, three-quarters, short-sleeved, and some are even sleeveless.

Cardigans: All that You Should Know

Cardigans are knitted garments that have an opening at the front. They are, in essence, under the sweater category. The only difference is that they have an opening at the front which can be closed through buttons or zippers. Most modern cardigans don’t even have buttons or zippers and are designed to simply hang open.

Like sweaters, they come in various necklines. But perhaps the most common type of neckline for cardigans is the V-neck style. Another similarity it shares with sweaters is that they are also traditionally made with wool. Modern times have since shown quite an evolution in the way cardigans are made.

Cardigans were inspired by the waistcoats that British male officers wore in the 19th century and so, for a long time, men were commonly seen wearing them. But that’s not to say that women can’t rock cardigans. Today, cardigans are worn by almost everyone!


In a nutshell...

All cardigans are sweaters, but not all sweaters are cardigans. The main difference between a cardigan and a sweater is the opening that is present in all cardigans. Each type of clothing has a place in your wardrobe as none of them is better than the other.

Now that you know the difference between a cardigan and a sweater, we hope that your next shopping trip will be a breeze.

If you are thinking about online shopping, we have a host of selections here at Aklanda. From simple to designer cardigans and high neck sweater that are made with the highest quality Merino wool in Australia, you can always find something exceptional here. Visit the Aklanda Australia shop today.