Waistcoat Wednesday: Nigel Cabourn, not knitted by your Granny

Welcome back to the 20th edition of Waistcoat Wednesday! Whilst today is another unseasonally warm day here in sunny Norway, today’s waistcoat selection is really a number I’ve been saving for when it gets a little chillier. A woolly little number, and what I consider to be a vest. A knitted vest. Not usually an article that would would be part of a stylish wardrobe, but eminently sensible and a practical Xmas present from your Granny, whilst she’s still a whiz with the knitting needles.



This one is from Nigel Cabourn’s AW12 collection, unless I’m much mistaken (and I’m sure I’ll swiftly be corrected if it proves I am) and is the 5th Cabourn waistcoat to be featured in the series (first Mallory, second Mallory, madras linen and khaki linen). It goes by the name of “Ink Vest” and as is par for the Cabourn course, made in England of fine new wool. The knitting is fairly coarse, of a type comparable to hand knit, in an almost black wool. The border trim is in a grey wool.



The buttons are the usual Cabourn quality horn buttons. No extra included, as far as I can recall, which is a point deduction. 4 pockets, of a size that would allow a small pouch of tobacco, or Scandinavian wet snuff. I’d be very hesitant to keep anything of value in them, as they’re neither deep or of much structure. In fact, it’s knitted, there is little structure at all. It’s a decent layer to keep your torso warm though, as you’d expect.



Now, I really like the look of this vest, and initially saw it as part of an ensemble shot by
Superdenim. It was modelled with the quite singular Cabourn Bombay pants in Harris Tweed and made for a very pleasing look. What I can’t get to grips with is how basic the construction is. When I initially mentioned it was something your Granny could knit, I was not cracking wise. Your Granny would do it even better than whoever did this knitwear though. This is machine-knitted, in several parts, where the border trim is machine-stitched to the main body.


Having observed the wonders WellDressedGirlfriend pulls from her knitting needles, the workmanship of this vest leaves me very unimpressed. There is no reason for this to be constructed from several parts. The borders could have been knitted into the main body, and the overall impression would have been much better. And given the price they were initially pitched at, I think this one was a rare mistake by the usually very on-the-ball Mr Cabourn. The sale price wasn’t bad though, and as I said, I like the look of it. A properly knitted version would be very very nice. Show the photos to your Granny today and see if she won’t knit you one before the cold really sets in.


More wickedly wanton waistcoats in the Waistcoat Wednesday archives!


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