Knitwear is getting a major upgrade this season. From Loewe’s angular necklines, JW Anderson’s sculpted pieces and Dior Men’s embroidered jumpers, many luxury as well as fast fashion brands are going all out when it comes to winter wear. Celebrities across the world, from Harry Styles to Tom Daley, are also embracing all styles of winter clothes, especially granny-core styles (think hand-knitted jumpers worn with separates in heritage fabrics).
There are plenty of chic styles to pick from, be it Chanel's sweater dresses, Louis Vuitton's knitted twin sets or Gucci's wool mohair cardigans. Among the high street brands, H&M's cable knits come with crafty details like tactile tassels and Zara's bodycon ribbed knitted dresses come styled with matching cardigans. What's more, the all-pervading balaclavas look cutesy and romantic, thanks to their heart-shaped interpretation seen at Loewe.
Designer Jayesh Shah observes that the oversized knitted vests help one transition for cold-weather clothes without losing one's aesthetic appeal. "We have ‘Granny squares’, a common crochet motif in knitwear, once again. The colours, loose sleeves, cropped finish give off a fantastic 1970s impression," says Shah.
He notes that the poncho knits, or knit ponchos with fringe that look like Snuggies, also indicate revival of a vintage trend. "It is a piece of clothing rising in popularity because, thanks to its adaptability and a range of designs, you may personalise your appearance. Curves can be artfully concealed by its ample, fluid shape and occasionally asymmetrical cut-outs. Some are cut loose, while others are straight and plain, with or without buttons that can easily replace a vest or a jacket when temperatures drop," he adds.
Designer Ranjit Rodricks points out that knitwear is changing the face of fashion and designers are exploring multi-dimensional ways to present their silhouettes, which are fashioned from knits. "For instance, Irish designer JW Anderson will have you wear a sweater with a broken skateboard sticking out of the chest or 3D wool elephants stitched on to a sweater dress where it looks like they are pressed up against a glass wall. Not for the faint hearted, you can be assured of that. But labels are open to experimenting a lot more now," says Rodricks.
The key trend for knitwear is the oversized/fitted look. "For instance, wear an oversized wool sweater or cotton knit sweatshirt with slim fit pants or leggings. Conversely, you could wear a fitted sweater or knit top with baggy jeans, pants or a voluminous ruffled skirt. The contrast is key," Rodricks adds.
Designer Saurabh Maurya from label Margn recommends a fun vest. “Hand-knits have particularly gained momentum in recent seasons, so a nicely crafted hand-knit piece can be a good layering option,” he says. “Vests are a great style for layering and achieve a more eclectic look, whereas a full sleeve cardigan or sweater is a great option for someone wanting to display a more classic take on this trend. Also, knit cape vests are a great way to move away from conventional options, creating a distinctive style if layered well.”
A cross between a cropped tank top and a sweater, the cropped knitted vest gained popularity after men in Seoul wore the ideal transitional piece that expertly bridged the gap between casual and formal, summer and winter. "When the weather is warm, you can wear it alone or over a white T-shirt, over a shirt for a preppy twist, or layer with heavier jackets in the winter," suggests Jayesh Shah.
Pair a knit vest with textured, pleated trousers with either a fitted top or a slightly relaxed shirt. "Layering is a key trend this season so to show your fashion credentials juxtapose your proportions and go for a longer shirt to offset the silhouette," Maurya suggests.
Bhavisha Dave, co-founder of Capsul, shares that this season is seeing a resurgence of plush, cozy cardigans to give streetwear an elevated, grown up look.
Dave suggests a look for light winter months: "A knit cardigan could be layered over lightweight tees or even tank tops to keep the fashion quotient fun. One can always throw on a Cuban chain to add bling to the look."