Abercrombie’s Cable Knit Sweaters Are An Absolute Steal
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Long before cable knit sweaters were en vogue (or in Vogue, literally—one of the earliest fashion editorials to reference them was in a 1950s issue of the magazine), they were favored by fishermen off the coast of Ireland who prized their unbeatable warmth and durability. Over the last few decades, though, the cable knit became a totem of casual WASPiness, often done up in materials so luxe they’d confound any sailor struggling to pronounce “Cucinelli”. Even the ones knit in the Aran islands that birthed them can cost a pretty penny, a frustrating dilemma for wannabe prepsters on a tight budget or, like, anyone trying to dress up as Chris Evans in Knives Out.
But thanks to the prep 2.0 wave buffeting the menswear boat right now, getting your torso into a formidable approximation of the real deal has never been easier—or more affordable. Want proof? Just peep the grip of options Abercrombie dropped last week, each one clocking in at less than a Benjamin. The big-box retailer has been on an absolute knitwear tear recently, and for the price, its cable knits are some of the best we’ve seen in a minute.
If you fancy yourself a traditionalist, the mall brand mainstay makes plenty of pseudo-accurate options in standard-issue eggshell, but they also come in a handful of fall-ready tones, like a rich shade of coffee brown or concrete gray. The one element they all share in common, beyond the approachable sticker price? The fabric involved: a decidedly un-scratchy cotton-nylon blend that’s a serious upgrade on the itchy wool that used to define the silhouette. Looking to dive headfirst into the waters without sweating your next rent payment? A&F sells a cable knit cardigan imbued with Aran inspiration and geezer-approved good looks in equal measure. Not quite ready to go full-on seafarer? Scoop one of the brand’s mock necks instead, which feel less like a painstaking recreation and more like a “loosely based on historical events” riff, thanks to a tidy geometric pattern with plenty of visual oomph.
Abercrombie’s recent string of menswear hits isn’t totally unexpected: it’s consistent with the brand’s ongoing push to shed its heavily-cologned past by leaning into the aesthetic it honed a century before Netflix had enough material to make a harrowing documentary on its downfall. But its makeover isn’t happening in a vacuum, either. The prep wave we were talking about before is very real and very here, and a brand like Abercrombie stands to gain considerably from digging around in its archives and, ahem, fishing out the pieces that slot neatly into today’s menswear landscape. That ethos extends to how you should wear it all, too. The obvious move here would be to pair your cable knit sweaters with corduroys and boots—and if that kind of swerve sounds up your alley, go for it!—but any one of these might feel a little more city streets than open seas paired with a vintage tee, faded jeans, and thrashed loafers. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong. So look yonder, matey: we spy an absolutely tremendous fit on your horizon.
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