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The Best Men’s Cable Knit Sweaters For Winter

With winter in full swing, you're likely considering how to upgrade your wardrobe, stay warm, and look good. While ironic holiday sweaters are great in December, you're going to want something slightly more comfortable, rugged, even sophisticated, for your winter attire. While you might think it hard to achieve a garment both rugged and sophisticated, you may not have worn a cable knit sweater before. This stylish garment originated in Ireland where it was popular with fishermen. The unique cable knitting of the fabric added warmth and, when left untreated, wool has natural waterproof properties.

What Is a Cable Knit Sweater?

If you've ever wondered what exactly is a cable knit sweater or why they call it that (because we have), there is a specific reason for the name. A cable knit sweater is simply put, a sweater with a cable pattern to it. The patterns were made to resemble braided ropes like the kind you would find on ships. These cable knit sweaters originated from Ireland and were handmade. The pattern was said to have been made in order to identify sailors drowned at sea, with each pattern varying from Celtic clans. Thankfully, we no longer need to use the cable knit sweaters for identification and instead can don them in perfect fashion.

Steve McQueen wearing cable knit sweater

The beauty of the cable knit sweater is its versatility. Pictured above, Steve McQueen wears a cable knit sweater with a ballcap while smoking a cigar. As you can see, this sweater looks great as a casual piece when you'd like a little extra warmth. They're perfect for outdoor activities (like sailing) or a walk around town, yet a cable knit sweater can also be dressed up with slacks and loafers for date night or more elevated affairs. You could easily wear it to a swanky event Friday evening before continuing on to a ski weekend at the lodge where Hemingway worked without missing a beat. In fact, Hemingway himself was a fan of the cable knit sweater.

image of Ernest Hemingway wearing a cable knit sweater

<p>L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater</p>

L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater

Cotton Cable Knit Sweater
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<p>Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater</p>

Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater
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<p>J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan</p>

J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan

Cable Knit Cardigan
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<p>Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater</p>

Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater

Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater
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<p>Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater</p>

Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater
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<p>Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest</p>

Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest

Topman Sweatervest
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L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater

L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater

Cotton Cable Knit Sweater

L.L. Bean takes the classic cable knit look but has made a sweater from 100% organic cotton. This is your go-to for a super comfortable cable knit.

<p>L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater</p>

L.L. Bean Crewneck Cotton Cable Knit Sweater

Cotton Cable Knit Sweater
Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater

Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater

If you're looking for a 100% wool sweater, this merino cable-knit from Aran is a great option. Made in Ireland, this sweater is 100% merino wool which is less itchy than other wool. Available in a variety of classic, stylish colors, all at an affordable price, this sweater is a great option.

<p>Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater</p>

Aran Woolen Mills Cable Knitted Fisherman Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater
J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan
J. Crew

J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan

Cable Knit Cardigan

The warmth of a cable knit sweater combines with a cardigan look in this stylish piece from J. Crew. With hand-warming pockets and wooden buttons, this cardigan walks the line of casual and dressy perfectly.

<p>J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan</p>

J. Crew Cable-Knit Shawl-Collar Cardigan

Cable Knit Cardigan
Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater
Ralph Lauren

Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater

Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater

If you want the ultimate in cable-knit comfort, consider going with a cashmere sweater. This sweater from Ralph Lauren checks boxes for both comfort and style.

<p>Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater</p>

Polo Ralph Lauren Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater

Cashmere Cable Knit Sweater
Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater

Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater

If you were admiring Hemingway's turtleneck above, the Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck might be for you. The combined warmth of wool and the turtleneck design will keep you cozy and looking good.

<p>Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater</p>

Boss Nannos Oversize Turtleneck Cable Knit Wool Sweater

Cable Knit Sweater
Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest

Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest

Topman Sweatervest

Sometimes you don't need a whole sweater. While vests aren't right for every occasion, this vest paired with a nice flannel could be just the ticket.

<p>Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest</p>

Topman Cable Knit Sweater Vest

Topman Sweatervest

If sweaters do not currently factor into your wardrobe, you might check out our round-up of the best sweaters for 2022 and our guide on how to buy a quality sweater. But if you're already on board with the cable knit, read on to see our top choices.

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