The chill in the air is undeniable now. Wrap up warm in these knitted layers.

Autumn and winter might be the traditional moment to bust out your best knitwear but, in truth, a good sweater will get an outing for all the months in which there is not a heatwave (which is to say most of them). Knitwear increases the shelf-life of lighter dresses; enables us to sit out for longer; and just makes us feel inordinately cosy. These are the knitwear brands we really rate.


This Spanish brand makes some of our favourite knitwear. Not only does it use only local and sustainably sourced wool, but it also nails exactly the kind of rustic slouchy look we love. Plus, they make clothes for men, women and children, so that you can do matchy-matchy, should that be your thing. They say, ‘The more we work together, the more we realize that the path to a more sustainable world is forged by merging artisanal know-how with the latest technology. This involves maintaining multi-generational attention to craftsmanship while casting off old techniques that aren’t sustainable. Ancient practices did not always take into consideration the issue of toxic byproducts, and often involved questionable chemicals and wasteful methods. We offer the best of both worlds.’ Quite.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer, that staple of the high street and symbol of stability has, somehow, maintained its cross-generational appeal. No, it may never be cool. But it is dependable, and that counts for a lot. And it just happens to produce some of the best affordable knitwear – and particularly cashmere – on the high street.


Made in the UK and Ireland, &Daughter’s lovingly made knits are made from natural yarns, with impeccable attention to detail. We’d take the whole collection if we could.

Johnstons of Elgin

In 225 years, Johnstons of Elgins has passed between two families only. The Scottish brand marries the heritage with the contemporary to perfection – and every piece is testament to its centuries of experience.

Arthur Beale

Not, primarily, a purveyor of knitwear, Arthur Beale is, in fact, one of the UK’s oldest yacht-chandlers. However, it does a small but strong line in waxed wool pullovers, and they’re so good, we would happily not take ours off until well into spring.

Cabbages & Roses

The heavenly slow fashion and lifestyle brand founded by the equally heavenly Christina Strutt, Cabbages & Roses’ knitwear is sublime. In fact, so beautiful is it that even in a sweltering high summer, a glimpse at it has us willing the arrival of autumn just so we can wear it.


Everything Cos touches is simple, well-cut and cool. Its knitwear is no different.


For a modern take on traditional knitting, Brora – with its regular fun collaborations – is the place to go. We especially love its Fair Isles, which are traditional yet curiously modern.


Ultra-chic East Sussex design destination, Freight, is known more for its homeware than its clothes. And yet its small collection of knitwear for men and women is extremely beautiful, made to last and last, and manufactured in Britain.

Navy Grey

We’d wear Navy Grey’s perfectly cut collection in an array of great colours with anything – from jeans to pulled over floral dresses. The quality is inarguable, as is the fit.


aethel is on a mission to make beautiful knitwear with the same standards as those found in luxury brands, all sold at a more sensible price. It uses the finest yarns (Loro Piana spin the cashmere yarns), the pieces are knitted in London in lots of different colours and aethel breakdowns the costs on each product page so you can see the value for money you're getting.

By Nancy Alsop
November 2022

Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.