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The Origin of the Men’s Cardigan: and it’s strange military history.

Now just about every man sometime in his life has worn or owned a Cardigan sweater.

This nifty wardrobe wrap has completed many a gentleman’s outfit, whether lounging at home by the fire or bookcase, to strolling in the park in mid Autumn amid a shower of colorful leaves, or in the case of  James Thomas Brudenell, charging into battle in the “Valley of Death“; which is where the strange origin of this popular wardrobe piece begins.

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(James Thomas Brundenell)

In 1853 James Thomas Brundenell, who was a British commander during the  Crimean War who led a light cavalry against the Turks, with the mission of retrieving captured guns from Turkish positions to prevent them from falling into the hands of Russian forces. However due to mixed up communication coming down from the British chain of command, Lord Cardigan and his troops was send to another artillery frontal assault enemy battery that had strong defensive fire, and was very prepared.

(Artist depiction of The Charge of the Light Brigade. Portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.)

Lord Cardigan’s “Light Brigade” suffered huge casualties and had to retreat very soon after they came under fire. This event was immortalized in the narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”.

The 7th Earl of Cardigan wore this type of sweater during his failed charge, and thus the sweater got it’s name and became quite popular in the British isles as well as the French fishermen, due it’s warmth and comfort.

Today this indispensable and very fashionable apparel item is still very popular in both men’s and women’s fashion, which comes in many different fabrics and styles. Just in time for the Fall, indeed!

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