Knitwear, in general, provides a romantic narrative for the approaching cold season – toasty fires and hot chocolate. My favourite thing to wear this time of year is an oversized cosy jumper for everyday lounging and a heavily embellished cropped sweater for glam evenings and weekends. In fact, sequin skirts, rhinestone chains, chandelier earrings, a 90’s silk slip skirt, billowing sleeves and bedazzling shoes all get my seal of approval when paired with a chunky-knit jumper.
Like jeans, when you find the right knitwear, you just know. I recently discovered a new knitwear brand that answers all my knitwear qualms and I’m hooked (you can read about it here). It sits on me and hugs me in all the right places, it covers my bum – an important defining factor for any piece that enters my wardrobe, it’s ethically produced (bonus points), and I generally feel really great in it.
Curiosity has gotten the better of me and so I’ve recruited a new batch of IMAGE staffers to show me their favourite knitwear. Hold onto your seats.
Lucy White, Editor of Cara magazine
This old thing? A GAP purchase from more than ten years ago that’s ageing considerably better than I am.
I detest winter – the cold, the seemingly perpetual gloom and the arduous layering of clothes. So a surefire and easy way of lifting my spirits is to wear colour, whether that’s clothing, accessories or makeup – or even hair; for a few months this autumn, my bob was bright pink.
I’ve very little black in my wardrobe as I’ve gotten older – navy would be my darkest neutral of choice – and even when I do venture into monochrome territory, I’ll nearly always punctuate it with a red or orange lip, or a high pigment eye colour. It’s not a conscious thing, it’s instinctive, and I wouldn’t think twice about clashing colours or prints. (Well, sometimes I do. Obviously, as a fortysomething woman I don’t want to look like the entertainment at a kids party, which is why the fluoro-pink hair had to go).
So when I spotted this multicoloured jumper in the GAP sale, it was a no-brainer. Pure lambswool, it was guaranteed to keep me toasty and negate the need for a pesky extra layer. In truth, it’s not the world’s softest wool… strokeable cashmere it ain’t, however, the cheery stripes and natural warmth far outweigh the somewhat bristling texture. The label says it should be cold, hand-washed only but life is too short to be bent over a sink with sore hands so I stick it in the washing machine on a delicates cycle. Actually, the reshaping while flat-drying is more high maintenance than the cleaning – at some point during its lifetime, I somehow overstretched the arms, so now have to turn them up.
Unfortunately, I have short legs and wide hips so I almost always tuck tops into high-waisted trousers to help give me length and a neat waist. This jumper is no exception.
Its button detail is the cherry on top of what has become a winter staple that has kept me cosy everywhere, from the bracing, coastal-wilds of Dungloe, Co Donegal many moons ago, to one brisk New Year’s Day in Florence to an ill-advised French ski trip in February 2018. While my piste artistry was lacking, my magic jumper proved to be a trusty triumph once more. Long may it continue.
Hannah Hillyer, Office Manager
Despite loving knitwear, I’m not really a ‘jeans and jumper’ girl. My go-to piece for winter is always a turtleneck because it’s a classic that never dates and looks great on everyone. Personally, I love to layer them, it’s a great way to take a dress you love that has short (or no) sleeves and wear it in the colder months. I layer mine underneath so many different pieces, and it can also be an interesting play on textures too.
Here, I’m wearing one that is quite sheer underneath a neoprene dress so even though my outfit looks entirely black, there are lots of different textures at play. The knitted turtleneck I’m wearing is a favourite from COS. It’s very thin and sheer so is an easy piece to layer. It’s also 100% wool so despite it being light, it keeps me toasty.
You can also make a turtleneck like this work for the evening by wearing a black lace bra underneath and tucking it into a skirt or jeans. Even though you are almost completely covered, the sheerness exposes enough skin that you don’t look like Steve Jobs. Who said turtlenecks can’t be sexy?
Marie Kelly, Fashion Director
Unlike my colleague Lucy, I love winter. I love dark evenings and chill winds, and the – arduous? No exciting – layering of clothes. I’m the human equivalent of a hibernating animal: happy to retreat into a cosy cocoon till May. Knitwear is my sartorial cocoon at this time of year. I own more cardigans than shoes, more scarves than I do necklaces and I never tire of wearing them, playing around with different permutations and combinations from day to day.
The cashmere scarf I’m wearing here was gifted to me by a beautiful Irish label called Madigan. I adore the colour. It’s a poppy orange and it adds definition and personality to the simplest of outfits. Plus, It’s softer than the softest baby blanket! The cardigan is one I hand-knit myself. I realised after coveting many €600-plus cardigans in Zadig & Voltaire that I could probably have a go at knitting the simpler designs myself. This was my first attempt, created with wool that was literally lying around the house. I’m on cardigan number three at the moment, which I suspect may put my first effort to shame when it’s finished.
I love to pair tactile, warm knitwear with smart tailoring as it softens the whole look and feels less obvious than a blazer. And I always go a little bit oversized, as I think “sloppy” sweaters can look sexy and they always look cool.
Eve Herbert, Intern
I love wearing warm, cosy knitwear during winter months. I used to think knitwear was the ugly, frumpy jumper your aunt would wear, but knitwear can be so much more fun and stylish.
I love wearing a basic jumper like this because it’s so easy to style with a pair of simple, everyday jeans or a skirt for the weekend. It’s my comfy and casual go to, yet I feel smart and fashionable at the same time.
Photography by Niamh O’Donoghue.