If you thought you’d seen the back of the cable knit then think again. The staple of the past two seasons is back to combat the bitter winter chills.
For those of you unacquainted with this season’s hottest knitwear (and if you are one of ‘those’ then really, where have you been?) the cable knit is produced using a crossing stitch, creating the effect of a ‘twisted rope’ that runs through part or all of the garment, ensuring it stands out from its dangerously dowdy counterparts. It may have reached its pinnacle of stylish status yet this staple has its own humble origins, having once served a more practical purpose amongst Irish fishermen at the turn of the century. Nowadays it is more likely to be marched down a catwalk or pinned on a mannequin yet this trustworthy garment continues to protect its wearer from frosty conditions.
But if you associate knitwear with dodgy Christmas presents from spinster aunts then worry not; right now the cable knit is the hottest item for keeping out the cold. The detailing and texture that the cable stitch creates allows even neutral colours to stand out from the crowd. Yes, if you’re a devoted trend-follower then you are welcome to opt for an eye-popping colour clash but the beauty of this garment is its ability to add interest to the beiges, the browns and the greys. Pair a neutral sweater or cardigan with a pair of jeans, chinos or trousers and the texture will guarantee you still have an attention grabbing outfit.
That’s the beauty of the cable knit – it doesn’t require any fussiness. It is ideal for matching with either a shirt or a tee, depending on the formality of the occasion, and can even serve as outerwear. Alternatively, team it with a battered leather jacket for an edgier feel or a classic trench coat if you desire to play on its preppy status. And if the December chill kindly abates then this knitwear can even be worn without underlayering, its cable detailing providing statement enough.
To add to its illustrious charms, for those of you with a slimmer build, the cable knit has the welcomed bonus of adding bulkiness to your frame and width to your shoulders, creating a masculine feel. And don’t be afraid of over sizing – it is meant to be a heavy garment so the slouchier the better!
If you are in any doubt as to the merits of the cable knit then you only have to turn your attention to the A/W 2011 catwalks where Yigal Azrouël, Hermes, Pringle of Scotland and Burberry Prorsum have been championing its cause. And if your pockets don’t stretch that deep then ASOS, Topman and River Island have all reproduced their own recession-friendly versions. Whether you are after a trendy knitted cardigan or a practical winter-warmer, the cable knit fits the bill and by the looks of things it ain’t going anywhere yet.
By Susanna Lazarus