There’s enough cable on men’s knitwear this season to kit out a fleet, and Pringle of Scotland – which has long made luxe cable designs – is leading an experimental charge. The traditional cable-knit jumper plays on fishermen’s ropes and originates from different Irish and Scottish fishing clans, but Pringle has evolved the style using tailored cuts, shaved furs and oversized stitching. We’ve also played with scale to create an ultra-chunky cable that feels surprisingly light and elongates the silhouette,” says head of design Massimo Nicosia. One argyle jumper (£1,395) features a gorgeous mélange of thick cabling woven with leather strips. Others use 3D-printed cables, while a thick black wool-mix jumper has roping in a blue Herringbone print (all £795). Most luxurious is a cashmere Aran-stitch knit (£3,495) with shaved mink fur.
There are more fur-trimmed styles at Anderson & Sheppard. A dark green musk-ox-wool, merino-wool and silk zipped jumper (£1,500) with a beaver-fur collar is smart and light with a sporty edge. It works well for more casual occasions as do rugged cable crewnecks (£395) and merino/cashmere Aran numbers (£495).
Dunhill’s cable knits have a slouchy, midcentury art-school air. I like the smart, navy roundneck (£550) with square cabling, a camel mohair/silk V-neck (£715) with lattice argyle pattern, and those handknitted in black merino alpaca (£1,250). In contrast, there’s an aristocratic feel at Ede & Ravenscroft, where a double-breasted, shawl-collar Scottish cashmere cable knit (£550) with wooden toggle buttons fits almost like a tailored jacket, and a single-breasted rich chocolate cashmere style (£450) has debonair flair.
More vintage in feel are knits from that connoisseur of cable, Ralph Lauren. In addition to perennial flat-cable classic knits (£690) in nine Shetland-inspired colours are new pieces including a cream Italian cashmere poloneck (£1,300) with oversized, unevenly twisted cable. I also like the camel-coloured cashmere/mohair handknitted jumper (£1,215) with leather shoulder buttons on one side, which I can imagine the dashing Dominican diplomat, racing car driver and polo player Porfirio Rubirosa wearing with a scarf tucked in while driving in an open-top Bugatti.
Gieves & Hawkes’s twist on the look is to play with mélange yarns, unusual roping and interesting cable combinations. Particularly smashing is a mottled burgundy cashmere/wool knit (£395) where the roping follows the raglan sleeve, and a merino wool/cashmere navy turtleneck (£450) that mixes cabling, lattice and rope panelling.
Strong pattern can also be found at Belstaff, where the lines of roping on a handknitted dark grey mélange alpaca/wool jumper (£795) is inspired by biker jackets. Elsewhere, Joseph’s Uruguayan wool knits (£285) have a grid-like design; despite being factory made, these have the substance and clout of a handknit.
Geometric tessellating cables can also be found on Dolce & Gabbana’s grey and black cashmere knits (from £1,030) and on a hooded style (£675) – and on Lanvin’s honeycomb-patterned jumper (£715), which is stocked at Mr Porter alongside Isaia’s navy and off-white wool shawl cardigan (£535) and Maison Margiela’s lightweight cotton patchwork of ribs, waffle and cable (£645).
Versace, meanwhile, has majored in oversized knits: there are chestnut and navy cashmere cable-knit Maxi sweaters (£1,200) and cardigans (£1,570) with matching engulfing scarves (£930). More scarf and cardigan sets can be found at London designer Katie Eary, in Geelong/mohair, vibrant colours, ombre fades and with just three ultra-loose giant cable twists. Some colourways are a touch too eye-popping, but as all are made to order, it’s possible to commission different colour combinations – though I’d be happy with the cobalt/electric blue (£680).
While this sort of multistyle cable might confuse fishing communities, its sophisticated new take on the traditional knit will certainly leave a style-savvy crowd hooked.