Distinguishing Between Shrugs & Cardigans

Key Difference – Shrug vs Cardigan

Shrugs and cardigans are two outer garments that are worn over other clothes. While both these garments have an opening at the front, there is a difference in these two garments in their appearance and use. The key difference between shrug and cardigan is that shrugs only cover the arms, shoulders and the upper part of the back whereas cardigans cover the whole upper body, including arms.

What is a Shrug?

A shrug is a short, close-fitting, cardigan-like garment worn only by women. This covers only the arms, shoulders and the upper part of the back of a person. They cover less of the body than a cardigan. Shrugs are typically made from knitted garments and may have short or long sleeves.
Shrugs can be worn over a dress, tank top, t-shirt or a blouse. Many women wear shrugs with sleeveless or strappy dresses to cover their back and arms. They also help to keep the upper body warm.
Shrugs are typically more tailored than shawls. There are different designs and patterns in shrugs as well. Some shrugs can be tied together below the bustline whereas some are left open. Some other shrugs are cut off at the sides and look like a pair of sleeves joined at the back.
Shrugs can be made at home by knitting or crocheting. Since they are relatively smaller than sweaters, they are easier and takes less time to make.

What is a Cardigan?

Cardigan is a knitted garment worn over the torso. Cardigans always have an opening at the front, which makes it easier the wearers to put on and take off them. These openings typically have buttons or zips, but some modern cardigans have no buttons or zips and are open at the front. Cardigans are typically easier to use than pullovers since they are easy to put on and take off. They typically have V-neck necklines. They are made from wool or synthetic fabric. Cardigans can also be made at home if you know knitting.
Cardigans are worn by both men and women. Men generally wear cardigans for casual occasions, but women wear cardigans for dressy events such as teas and garden parties as well. Some women’s cardigans are made from different fabrics such as light wool, cotton, and cashmere and are decorated with jewels or pearled buttons.

What is the difference between Shrug and Cardigan?

Shrug vs Cardigan:

Shrug is a cropped, tight fitting cardigan-like garment.
Cardigan is a knitted garment with an opening at the front.


Shrugs are worn exclusively by women.
Cardigans are worn by both men and women.


 Shrugs only cover the arms, back, and the shoulders.
Cardigans cover the whole upper body, including the arms.


Shrugs may have one button or a code to tie the two ends.
Some cardigans have zips or buttons at the opening.


Shrugs are shorter than cardigans; they just fall below the bustling.
Cardigans are longer and reach the waist or hips.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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