Friday, 23 November 2012

Chunky knitwear for winter - only real men need apply

With winter's grip tightening it's time to buy a warm, chunky, tough explorer/fisherman/sailor type of sweater - traditional in design and which shows that you mean business. No cashmere or bright colours here - the scratchier the better, these sweaters go with chapped hands, an ice-encrusted beard and extreme endeavour, as illustrated by the first image of Captain Oates of Antarctic fame.

Traditional knitwear seems to be taking off; Fair Isle, Norwegian, Guernsey, Faroese (as Sarah Lund), cable-knit, Aran, fisherman's style, and so on. Here's a selection that caught my eye (they're not really scratchy, but at least they look it).

The UK has a long knitwear heritage resulting from its maritime history and strong wool industry. Buy British if you can - but, if you're not from the UK, most countries have their own traditional patterns for you to explore. I'll be looking at more sweaters over the next week or two.

Captain Oates, of Antarctic fame, wearing a jumper as it should be worn
Archie Foal
Peregrine
John Lewis
Nigel Cabourn Lawrence Oates roll neck
D.S. Dundee
J. Crew
Vintage Royal Navy submariner's jumper - Grey Fox Collection

3 comments:

Ben Franklin said...


My favourite would be the submariner, my problem with chunky roll necks is they just seem to swamp me, the submariner just seems more complimentary to the silhouette.

Cracking finds as ever though GF

Grey Fox said...

Thanks for the comment. Yes, the sub sweater is knitted to be not too baggy. They are reproduced by one or two manufacturers. GF

Nick M said...

I bought one of the cream submariner jumpers last year. Ex-Royal Navy stock. Silvermans in Mile End, London -- much better price than available elsewhere, and a lovely jumper.

My hometown of Grimsby used to be awash with good "trawlerman's" gear like this and sea socks etc until the fishing industry was destroyed.