Whether it’s those itsy-bitsy clingy knit dresses, chunky turtleneck jumpers, sweater crop tops or lurex-mixed concoctions, the consumer is spoilt for choice when it comes to trendy knitwear. This year in particular, designers and brands are shaking up traditional winter styles and adding different cuts, shapes and techniques.
Fendi’s knitted twinset, for instance, comprises a bralette with a sweetheart neckline and a matching skirt for a sensual twist. Chanel’s ski-resort-friendly take on knitwear lends it an athleisure edge. Marni’s multihued twinsets bring to mind the decadent, laid-back holiday spirit, while Coach’s new midi-length knit dresses are apt for a picnic in the park. Such is the demand for knitwear with a twist that fast fashion labels like ZARA, ASOS and H&M are offering everything from cut-out knit evening numbers to woollen crop tops.
Also read: Velvet is getting a brand new shine
The beauty of a knitted ensemble is that it instantly alters your look with the transformative power of styling. Think a preppy sweater styled into a mini dress, or a polo-neck with a pair of PVC pants for an evening out.
Designer Aniket Satam has generously mixed his knitwear with shine-on threads. “This party season is more special than before as people are going to look beyond house party dressing. Statement-making metallic lurex knitwear is the ultimate sartorial weapon as it’s warm, fuzzy and glamorous, all at once,” he says. “Think twinset separates which can be dressed up or down depending on one’s mood.”
The bold touch
If you look beyond frumpy sweaters and dorky jumpers, winter fashion can easily be made sassy as well as elegant. “When in doubt, a cashmere granny cardigan with delicate pearl buttons is always a saviour,” suggests Satam. “An oversized cable-knit sweater from your boyfriend’s closet could even double up as a sexy mini dress for your holiday dinners. Cinch the waist with a broad belt and finish it off with some statement stockings and boots. Needless to say, a classic black polo knit is an ultimate investment; team it with an heirloom choker and wear it with your brocade lehnga for a fun evening.”
Besides the usual waffle and cable knits, the super-light knit crop tops are turning out to be the defining piece this season. Stylist Sheefa Gilani observes that what started as a micro trend last year is slowly becoming a major one. “Knit crops, popularly known as micro-crop, is now a Y2K mainstay, and whether you love it or hate it, you have got to accept the fact that this trend is experiencing a surge. Sometimes those instant sleeves are exactly what you need to make you look your street best,” she says.
Myriad knit variations work well for the Indian winter closet and varying degrees of cold, from extreme to mild. So the pure woollen blend isn’t always needed. Stylist Isha Bhansali says: “These edited knit variations help when it’s not too cold. The cable knit is a classic, and my favourite. For party outings, pick one with a shiny yarn from high street brands. The best way to style a knit is with leather, as it offers a play of textures and never overpowers the sweater. Crop tops in knit can be teamed with faux leather pants and knit dresses could be teamed with boots.” The oversized chunky sweater, she adds, can be paired with a hot pair of pumps or sexy shorts.
Stylist Eshaa Amiin suggests teaming a knit trench with a plain white tee and jeans and finishing off the look with a pair of ankle boots or high top sneakers. Recently, she styled actor Kartik Aaryan in a knit jacket from Zegna in camel and a cardigan in nude from Benetton. You can style an oversized cardigan with a tee inside or a bodycon dress, Amiin says. “Complete the look with a pair of high boots. An oversized long sweater can be cinched with a belt or worn loose depending on one’s mood. Go easy on accessorising and team it with dull Egyptian gold jewellery, solid pearls or a stack of bracelets.”
The style bulletin
Tips to help you work the knitwear for a party
Style one with a fanny pack or a crossbody pouch and finish off the look with monochrome Chelsea boots.
GRAPHIC PRINT KNITS
Pair these with a solid mini and a pair of tights and high heels.
They work well under a trench or over a slip camisole. Team them with corduroy pants and chunky dad sneakers.
LANDSCAPE PRINT KNITS
Wear these as a mini dress with trainers and let the landscape motif stand out. Keep it simple and neat.
CUTOUT KNIT DRESSES
A cutout knit dress merits a statement watch or a T bracelet from Tiffany. Throw on your studded Louboutins and you are ready to party.
EMBROIDERED KNIT CARDIGANS
Borrow style notes from Simone Rocha’s pearl-studded cardigan dresses and pair these with a metallic minaudière and ankle-length boots.
Nothing beats a marinière striped jumper. Add a faux fur beret and your old favourite Levi’s jeans and you are ready for that soothing walk in the park.
Also read: Why a bodycon dress is for everyone
Manish Mishra is a Delhi-based journalist and digital creator.