Here at FashionBeans, we have very much given our stamp of approval to the continued move away from strict monochromes. From tailoring in the summer to coats for the winter, we have championed the use of a broader palette to bring some spark back into your attire.

Without sounding too much like a broken record – albeit a top ten hitcolour is an effortless way of easing individuality into your outfits. So this season, utilise that ever-essential knitwear as a vessel for some vibrancy.

Colourful Knitwear

In the past, men’s knitwear – despite the vast array of options – has been guilty of habitually sticking to the robust hues that are notorious for their established wardrobe foothold. Navy, black and grey have for too long built a firm monopoly over the knitwear that resided in the men’s section of any clothing store. However, since last seasons big colour trend, the racks have been brightened that bit more as the influences of the spring/summer collections seep through to the autumn/winter period.

Colour, and the now wavering male aversion to it, is something we’ve discussed before. Working in our industry means we’ve certainly seen a change in the commonplace attitude of the everyday male. Before, the response when recommending a solitary purple jumper bordered on shock and downright panic, but luckily this has shifted to serious consideration and assessment.

We’re hoping (well, rather pleading) that this article will swing the pendulum even more so in favour of chromatic essentials for autumn/winter 2011.


Men's Coloured Knitwear Look Book

Current Season Colourful Knitwear
  • ASOS Cable Jumper
  • Guernsey Woollens Traditional Guernsey Jumper
  • River Island Chunky Knit Cardigan
  • Red Open Weave Jumper
  • Teal Heavy Gauge Cable Crew
  • MEN Pure Cashmere Polo Neck Sweater A
  • hardy amies Merino wool sweater
  • Acne Twist-Knitted Crew Neck Sweater
  • Raf Simons Men's Cable Backed Shetland Jumper
  • hardy amies Geelong cardigan
  • Jil Sander Ribbed Wool Sweater
How to Wear

Whether worn as a statement or as an accent, this is where we present our case for the presence of colourful knitwear in your autumn/winter ensembles.

It’s inarguable that brighter knitwear commands a vast spectrum of possibilities. From a red cable knit layered under an on-trend tweed blazer to a standard blue V-neck utilised as an accent to some red trainers; on the evidence below, an essential tag is definitely warranted.

Before we throw some potential outfits and further inspiration your way, it would be awfully rude not to point you in the direction of our fashion basics boss, Matt Allinson. Matt has compiled a selection of articles on colour from combining them (in part 43) and mixing with monochromes (part 42), to articles dedicated to one individual colour for example red (part 58) and purple (part 57). This collection of work is a one-stop shop for any gent looking to master the art of incorporating some day-to-day flashes of colour.

Look 1:

As you can see from the collection of items above, autumn/winter offerings are cropping up in a myriad of designs and types of knit. Therefore which type you opt for is a personal preference – I would certainly recommend a chunky knit and standard crew or V-neck to start off with, as these are the most versatile.

This look makes use of the standard V-neck. A grey wool suit is bang on trend with the tactile of the current textured look. Pair one with a white shirt and layered with a burnt orange V-neck. Some suede desert boots will finish off the outfit and bring in another texture into play. The subtle pale blue detailing on these boots will compliment the orange jumper (so clue yourself in on key colour combinations), as will a spotted navy pocket square.

Finish off your look with a dark brown leather briefcase/messenger bag. The darker tone means it won’t offset any of your complimentary colours or close attention to detail.

  • Farah Vintage Haggerston White Oxford Shirt
  • Aubin & Wills Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater
  • Grey Gianni Herringbone Suit
  • Drakes Spot Print Silk Pocket Square
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Brown Leather Soft Saddle Briefcase
  • Ted Baker Tullik 2 Suede Desert Boots
Look 2:

We’re going the way of the chunky knit for our second look. A pastel pink cable knit is a great spin on the heritage influence. Pair with some slit fit blue trousers; juxtaposing the (limited) ruggedness of the pink cable knit with some tailored trousers.

Careful consideration for footwear adds that extra texture, creating character in itself. Tie the top to the bottom (not literally) with a grey and white patterned scarf. Should the weather require, try adding a beige or camel trench – a classic neutral tone that will bring out the best in both the navy and pink, whilst keeping the whole silhouette clean and refined.

Is this look a winner in your eyes?

  • Polo Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Cashmere Sweater
  • MEN Double Breasted Trench Coat
  • ASOS Slim Fit Blue Trousers
  • Tan Leather Weave Belt
  • Missoni Black Grey Classic Zig Zag Scarf
  • KG By Kurt Geiger Sullivan Crepe Sole Suede Shoes
Look 3:

For the third look we return to the fine knit with this purple or ‘blackcurrant’ crew neck. A light blue cutaway collar shirt worn underneath a knit offers a little bit of difference from the standard shirt. Black trousers, brogues and leather belt play anchor for the statement jumper because the key is to work with the statement knit, not against it.

A grey trench over the top adds that extra layer of insulation (and style) for when the mercury falls.

  • ASOS Slim Fit Cutaway Collar Shirt
  • John Smedley Blackcurrant Hunter Merino Crew Knit
  • MR. by Roland Mouret Suede-Panelled Trench Coat
  • Black Slim Trousers
  • gucci Classic leather belt
  • Ask the MissusArthur brogue black leather
Look 4:

Our fourth and final look makes use of what we see as an autumn winter essential in itself – the turtleneck. This red roll-neck jumper is the definition of luminous, statement knitwear. When paired with a third essential – a tweed jacket – it creates the perfect mix of classic and contemporary.

You can’t go wrong with the timeless combination of indigo wash jeans and brown Chelsea boots. Finally, add the details with a neat turn up in the jeans and a paisley handkerchief for a dandy-in-training appeal.

  • Folk Peepin Roll Neck Sweater
  • ASOS Slim Fit Tweed Blazer
  • Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Dry Selvedge Slim Jeans
  • Cream Paisley Cord Pocket Square
  • PAUL SMITH - ACCESSORIES 2257-B79 California Chocolate Belt
  • PAUL SMITH Dip–dye chelsea boots

Hopefully we’ve made a successful case for block colour knitwear to be taking up residence as a true essential in your wardrobe this season. If our styling tips have fallen on sartorially deaf ears, perhaps we can interest you in more of the same. If they haven’t, and our ideas on how to successfully pull off this brighter layering option have been met with open arms we want to hear about it!

  • Are you ready to go out and purchase a V-neck in every colour imaginable?
  • Or are you happy with your timeless classic coloured crews?
  • Finally, are you one of the few gents who fought your instincts and left with a purple jumper?

Let us know in the comments below.