Another of Autumn's classic sweaters is the Aran fisherman's knit, which takes its name from the islands where it originated, off the West coast of Ireland. Arans were, and to a certain extent still are, knitted by the wives of fishermen using unscoured wool that retains its natural oils, making them water-resistant. But they have a back story that's questionable.
Sellers of Aran sweaters like Clan Arans assert that the jumper is an ancient design that has been used on the island for hundreds of years. The Clan Arans site also says that each family had a sweater with a unique design, so that if a man drowned and was found maybe weeks later on the beach, his body could be identified.
It's a great story, but according to Wikipedia there is no evidence to support there being a systematic tradition of family patterns. For that matter, there is some doubt about whether Aran sweaters were ever widely used by fishermen as the originals with their untreated yarn may not have been suitable for this use. Finally, it appears as though knitting didn't begin on the islands until the twentieth century.
Setting controversy aside, Aran sweaters are unquestionably a trad classic that's equally at home with corduroys, moleskins and flannel trousers. I particularly like Inis Meàin's shawl collar version offered by J. L. Powell in merino wool ($435.00).