Show jumpers: The best winter knits for the days ahead

When it comes to design, Irish knits are smash hits – wear them any way you want

Slit sleeved knits and oversize shirt collars at Victoria Beckham

Slit sleeved knits and oversize shirt collars at Victoria Beckham

 

The only clear direction in which we are heading at the moment is into winter. For chilly days and uncertain times with not much to look forward to or plan, comfort in clothes is what’s needed for the coming season and knitwear’s softness and cosseting power has never been more desirable.

When it comes to design, Irish knits are smash hits – wear them any way you want over sweatpants, over wild metallic or feather skirts, over long dresses the 1990s way, or in the latest trend incarnation decorated with oversize shirt collars. Slimline, figure hugging knits are best when worn with flared trousers or skirts and tank tops show off fancy shirt sleeves.

Milky Way by Sphere One - corsaro yarn with night blue Lurex with silver stars €700 (sphereone.ie)
Milky Way by Sphere One - corsaro yarn with night blue Lurex with silver stars €700 (sphereone.ie)
Chunky cables from Isabel Marant
Chunky cables from Isabel Marant

Knitwear played to the gallery on the 2020 international catwalks – from the chunky oversize Aran cables at Isabel Marant to the bold colours and slashed sleeves at Victoria Beckham. Jil Sander, no longer minimal, topped a white, ankle length knitted dress with a short, knitted cape – a difficult combo to carry off. Fine or heavy gauge, laid-back or slickly tailored, the high street picked up the threads from the runways so there are many ways to capture modernity in knit with rich browns, caramels and grey the season’s most stylish shades.

Cashmere abounds; from inexpensive jumpers in cashmere mixes at Dunnes Stores to Lucy Downes’ Sphere One artistic knits in luxury yarns, some in night blue featuring embroidered stargazer motifs. Using innovative recycled cashmere through a commitment to a zero-waste policy, she is following in the steps of Stella McCartney concerned by the environmental destruction that exploding demand has created in the Mongolian grasslands. Elsewhere, Colin Burke’s lush, richly patterned Aran sweaters with their puffed sleeves are knitted in wool – find them in Havana.

Oversize cashmere mix polo neck sweater €50 by Carolyn Donnelly for Dunnes Stores
Oversize cashmere mix polo neck sweater €50 by Carolyn Donnelly for Dunnes Stores
Edel cashmere sweater €845 (castanea.ie)
Edel cashmere sweater €845 (castanea.ie)
Cream hand knit Aran jumper €480 from Stable (stableofireland.com) with rings, earrings and bracelets from MoMuse (momuse.ie)
Cream hand knit Aran jumper €480 from Stable (stableofireland.com) with rings, earrings and bracelets from MoMuse (momuse.ie)

If you are not thinking of knitting your own (and you can find some tempting yarns on the Irish knitting site, yarnvibes.com), here’s a selection of some stylish choices to keep you warm in the sweater season, many with a fresh twist on familiar cable knits or in colours to lift the spirits in darker days ahead. 

Pink Mixed Sleeve Knitted Jumper from Topshop, €42 (eu.topshop.com)
Pink Mixed Sleeve Knitted Jumper from Topshop, €42 (eu.topshop.com)
Cropped roll neck jumper €79 Cos (cosstores.com)
Cropped roll neck jumper €79 Cos (cosstores.com)
Pale blue Ciara cardigan from Shrimps €390 (shrimps.com)
Pale blue Ciara cardigan from Shrimps €390 (shrimps.com)
Pink cashmere crew neck sweater with rib details €168 from The White Company (thewhitecompany.com)
Pink cashmere crew neck sweater with rib details €168 from The White Company (thewhitecompany.com)
Fair Isle sweater €195 Gant at Arnotts
Fair Isle sweater €195 Gant at Arnotts
The Colossal Chunky Knit Jumper €471 by Hope MacCaulay (hopemaccaulay.com)
The Colossal Chunky Knit Jumper €471 by Hope MacCaulay (hopemaccaulay.com)
Light green alpaca blend ruffled cable knit sweater, from &OtherStories, €69 (stories.com)
Light green alpaca blend ruffled cable knit sweater, from &OtherStories, €69 (stories.com)
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