The ugly, chunky sweater is a staple in my closet most seasons. There’s something so comforting, so casual and effortless in its enveloping… ugliness. What can I say? This winter, no longer satisfied with the grandpa cardigan or fisherman’s cable knit sweater of yore, I’ve moved on to the illustrious Fair Isle sweater. What was once best suited for Nordic ski slopes and holiday parties has made its way to runways and city streets (and suburbs naturally, ahem).Originally hailing from Scotland, Fair Isle refers to a knitting technique that creates patterns using a variety of colors. Read more about it here.
I started scouring the racks for Fair Isle sweaters this summer and embarrassingly, have collected quite the handful. My favorites are from the men’s and little boy’s departments, especially at J. Crew and H&M. The women’s sweaters are a tad too pink, precious, and fitted for my taste, but too each her own!
As to how you can wear these sweaters, the only word of warning I offer is: balance your proportions. If the sweater is oversized, keep the bottoms slim. If it’s a fitted top, then go ahead and shoot for a wider pant. I wear mine with leather pants or black skinnies to keep the look more edgy. More on that in the next post.