The Knitwear Edit: what’s hot and how to find the right style for you
I live in the stuff for several months of the year but I actually find it quite tricky to get right mainly because what’s in fashion, isn’t actually always that flattering. Now that can be said of everything, but for some reason I find knitwear is where it comes undone. So here are a few lessons, if like me, you haven’t quite cracked it:
Chunky and thick knitwear is not always hugely flattering on the body as it can add unwelcome extra breadth.
If you find this, then go for finer, drapey styles that will fall well – this will often mean forgetting about what is on trend. Try Uniqlo’s Extra Fine Merino Wool Crew Neck £24.90 sweaters which come in lots of different colours, including this on-trend mustard. Whether you tuck in or wear out will depend on your shape. Size up with this to get a bit of room as they tend to come up fairly snug. Or go for the men’s £29.90.
Speaking of trend, there are lots of dropped shoulders and batwing styles which again aren’t always good on unless you want to look like an American Football player. So either stick to sleeves that sit on your shoulder or go for yarns that will drape but are more challenging to find. This Double Faced Scooped Jumper £98 is one of those that doesn’t have sleeves sitting on your body, but does still manage to work.
If you are bigger in the bust department knitwear can be a nightmare with a combination of high necks, chunky yarns and off the body sleeves which inflate your chest. Never mind the huge sleeves that are also everywhere this season. V necks are the most slimming but can often end up looking like school jumpers, so instead try to go for a wider neckline or a scoop that doesn’t sit quite so close to your neck. Something like Hush’s Liberty Jumper £89 is a v but not a whiff of uniform about it.
Adding a longer line necklace makes all the difference with a higher necked styles – trust me, try it. Likewise, add a shorter necklace to sit in a v neck.
If you are tummy conscious then fitted styles won’t be what you want, but don’t go baggy to cover up as you can end up looking larger. Instead try to find something that will follow your body’s contours.
Actually, going for a longer line cardigan can be the answer to a lot of problems as they tend to elongate the body, particularly if they have straight lines. Try this Bar Fastening Pique Cardigan £175 from Jigsaw which comes in different colours and is a great option for this time of year.
Or this Soft Longline Cardi £46 Warehouse but size down so as not to be swamped.
So with this in mind, the below may or may not work for you. Although if you love something and feel great in it then who cares about rules.
The cable knit
Now this comes in sweater and cardi form and a couple of the best are at M&S:
Ribbed Cable Knit Cardigan £39.50 which would have to be in this season’s orange, but does also come in cream. This will look perfect with denim and boots as it gets cooler. I am not sure I have quite done this justice here as it was a bit too big.
They also have this Cable Knit Turtle Neck Jumper £35 also in orange but in mustard too. They have also styled this with a check pencil skirt which I cannot ever imagine doing – a softer chiffon style with a bit of a tuck yes or jeans/coated trousers as a no brainer – although here it looks trad M&S at it’s best/worst! But it doesn’t have to.
Or River Island has this Chunky Cable Knit Cardigan £40 which is not red. It’s definitely orange. I wouldn’t wear patent-look trousers but I would wear with coated skinnies. Big sleeves are still very much around but beware that coupled with a voluminous style this may just be too much and certainly won’t be for everyone.
For a departure from orange try Hush’s Braid Jumper £125, paired perfectly here with leather leggings and trainers and in a very wearable colour.
This Miss Selfridge Cream Cable Knitted Jumper £35 is lovely. It also comes in red and may be one to size down.
Somerset by Alice Temperley at John Lewis has this Chunky Cable Jumper £79 – unlike the Miss S style, this one is definitely much shorter and neater in fit.
It’s not a cable knit but I do have this Boxy Rib Roll Neck Jumper £36 from Topshop which I am dying to wear with my burgundy coated trousers and also with leather and chiffon pleated skirts as here.
The future’s bright, the future’s orange
Impossible to ignore the fact that as well as red, there is a lot of orange about and as well as the chunkier knitted styles above, here are some finer knits. &Other Stories nails this with some great styles:
Cashmere Sweater £110 which looks great with the track pants but would work just as well over skinnies or boyfriend or straighter legged denim.
Knit Sweater £35 – this is a style that comes in a myriad of colours so you don’t have to go bright at all. In fact, if you don’t want orange then there are other colour choices out there for you. A shorter style which works well with a looser fitting jean or even with a soft midi skirt.
If you haven’t yet scratched your red itch then take a look at my blog from the other week all about it but here is another red option in the form of this Wool Blend Round Neck Bell Sleeve Jumper £45.
Think ochre, burgundy and pine if the bright red and orange aren’t your thing. The same &Other Stories Knit Sweater £35 also comes in this colourway.
A more oversized style is Hush’s Helen Jumper £69. I am totally sold on this tousled hair, sex-kitten look. Great marketing.
Another oversized option is this knit £69 from &Other Stories which also comes in burgundy. A styling win here too with the shirt underneath. Once the colder weather hits, the skinny jeans and boots combo comes into its own again and then I think an oversized sweater is what you need. Being short, I cannot do volume all over so try to keep it to one area only ie a big jumper with skinny jeans (which I will often do a front tuck to avoid looking like I have borrowed someone else’s clothes) or a smaller, more fitted knit with boyfriends.
If you want a basic that is a very nice basic, then Jigsaw is a good bet and has this Button Back Drop Hem Jumper £98 with enough detail to make it anything but bog standard. Love this green but it does come in several other colours. And this is a very nice soft yarn so will fall nicely.
Moving onto mustard with this Zip Hip Sweater £45. If the PVC skirt is off putting, just pair it with your favourite jeans, be they skinny or straight or boyfriend. This colour looks great with blue or indigo denim as well as black.
Or try this Grace Button Jumper £60 from Boden.
That’s the shiny stuff and it’s everywhere even though it is nowhere near Christmas. There are lots of ways of doing this to avoid looking like you are wearing your Christmas jumper in October.
Starting off with a more subtle look, M&S has these hilariously named sweaters: Metallic Trim Round Neck Prawn Sleeve Jumper £29.50 which come in navy and yellow. You could easily pair these with trousers for work or with any form of denim. I quite like the idea of these with a denim culotte. I think that is probably my husband’s biggest idea of fashion hell though. Having said that he did sport his best charcoal grey marl ‘school jumper’ and check shirt at a work thing the other day and had his photo taken with David Gandy…. I would put the photo up here but I think his sense of humour would fail as I have mocked him one too many times for this. I know he doesn’t tend to read much of these beyond the first couple of paragraphs so I may have got away with this….! If I haven’t – this is the last time I mention it, promise.
Sticking with a more sporty take on the lurex theme with cuffs and hems being the only sparkle, M&S Collection also has this Metallic Trim Round Neck Jumper £29.50. Love in the orange but it also comes in cream.
Moving up a gear, but not crazily so with this Metallic Colourblock Jumper £135 from Hush which is a nice relaxed fit that you can pair with coated jeans or straight denim or wear with a soft midi skirt or even a leather mini and ankle boots.
Meanwhile at H&M you can go all over shiny with their Fine Knit Jumper £17.99 which come in a whole host of colours from this green to burgundy, grey and lots of lighter neutrals.
Or at &Other Stories with their Glitter Sweater £49. I knew there was a reason I had held on to an old lurex Zara sweater from years ago. It’s coming out to play again.
This isn’t lurex but it is a nice way of doing sparkle – Annie Sparkle Knit £65 Whistles. These come in different colours from this orange to a more subtle navy. Wear with pencil skirts (wool or leather) and tailored trousers for a sharp look or soften with a chiffon skirt or culottes. Or just pop on with skinnies or straighter styles and a heel for the evening. You can’t see the silvery yarn very well here on the photo – it is there but it is pretty subtle.
And so there you have it – a whistle-stop tour of all things knitted and hopefully a bit of inspiration to brighten up your winter wardrobe.