We've all heard of them, but what is a cardigan sweater? Simply put, a cardigan sweater differs from a pullover by virtue of being buttoned, tied or zipped. Hoodies are an example of cardigan sweaters. Cardigans are usually, but not always, knit (either by machine or by hand).
The wonderful thing about cardigans is they are incredibly versatile. They can literally be worn to just bum around in during the day and then switch out to an evening cashmere version of the same style. There are much heavier knits available for people who work outside in cold and wet conditions, or just live in a climate where they need all the help they can get to fight the cold.
The cardigan was popularized in the '60s by television. BBC star Michael "Val" Doonican always wore a cardigan while performing on his variety show. It's said that he gave new life to the cardigan sweater. Fred Rogers did the same in his years on his long running children's program "Mister Rogers Neighborhood".
Cardigan sweaters have been around for well over 100 years. They were named for the 7th Earl of Cardigan, It was the 7th Earl of Cardigan who led the charge of the light brigade during the Crimean War. Any fashion that can survive that great of a time span will likely be around for decades to come.