Early on, it’s important we learn not to label knitwear as just a winter garment. Implementing knitwear in your spring looks can allow you to get creative with your layering whilst adding another dimension to your outfits.
Many men shy away from layering when the sun peaks through that cloudy sky, but this can often leave outfits looking quite abandoned. Lightweight knitwear and other summer appropriate clothing (such as linen or seersucker blazers) allow you to incorporate the latest styles into a well put-together ensemble.
The good thing about wearing knitwear in the spring is that we can carry over some of our popular pieces from the previous autumn/winter season; saving us from investing more money when it could be spent elsewhere.
Lightweight cable knits are often layered with a coat or jacket in autumn/winter, but due to the warmer weather in spring, we can utilise our cable knitwear as the main element of the look – trying new combinations to make them work.
Lightweight jumpers are a perfect addition. Popular in the autumn/winter season to create preppy styles, a lightweight jumper tends to be layered over a shirt and tie combination, topped off with a blazer and typically a trench coat. When it comes to spring, we can use this lightweight jumper as the top layer and focal point of a look; layering it over a shirt or t-shirt dependent on the look you’re trying to achieve.
Not only can we carry through some of our knitwear pieces from the previous season, we’re also offered a huge variety to choose from by retailers and designers, which are releasing some brighter, seasonal appropriate colours that can really make a statement.
The use of lightweight knits in your spring looks gives you the opportunity to completely redefine your existing outfit. You’ve got a whole new layer to play with; so if your looks are lacking in colour then you can make a bold statement with a bright coloured knit – completely bringing to life a simple shorts and t-shirt combination. Alternatively, you may even need to use your knitwear to neutralise a particular combination – especially due to the printed trend this year – and in this case, knitwear becomes a key item.
The addition of lightweight knitwear can also help to bring an outfit together, or reinforce the underlying theme you were going for. Adding a navy and white striped jumper can help give a subtle nod to the the ever so popular nautical trend, especially when combined with a pair of boat shoes. Likewise, the addition of a simple Aztec print jumper can hint at the current ‘go to’ look of the season, without you needing to force it.
So, there are a lot of benefits to wearing knitwear this spring, and along with the benefits, come the variations. Knitwear can be worn elegantly; for example, layering a lightweight merino jumper over a smart Oxford shirt or polo and pairing with some tailored shorts and loafers.
This is the most stylish way to wear spring knitwear, but you will need to focus heavily on fit. If the jumper looks baggy or, once layered, too small, it automatically loses its elegant vibe:
Of course, knitwear can also be worn casually. Try wearing just a jumper on its own or layering it over a t-shirt and pairing with chino shorts and boat shoes. This is the simplest method, and is easy to achieve.
However, you should be looking to add another element to your outfit via your chosen knitwear – whether it’s simply utilised to add colour, an influence from a trend or to tie the whole colour palette together. With this in mind, it should either be functional and serve a purpose (reinforcing a trend, tying the look together or neutralising a statement piece), or become the true focal point of your outfit:
If bringing through knitwear into spring means you need to invest in a few new pieces, here’s what you should look out for.
Lightweight cardigans are extremely versatile; they can be worn casually and elegantly. Keeping the cardigan unbuttoned is perfect for spring, as this doesn’t generate a great deal of warmth but creates another layer for you to play with. Layering the cardigan over a t-shirt will create a casual effect, whereas a cardigan over a shirt and shorts combination will create a smarter and well put together aesthetic, even when the temperature rises.
When selecting lightweight cardigans, go for lighter tones or pastel colours. If you choose to keep the cardigan unbuttoned, is going to draw attention to your shirt or t-shirt, so look to find a colour tone that compliments whatever you’re layering the cardigan over.
A lightweight V-neck jumper is a great alternative if you’re looking to create an effortless elegance. This works extremely well when layered over a shirt and tie combination as the V-neck draws attention to the knot and collar combo.
By utilising knits in this way, you’ve really got three layers to play with, but it’s not going to generate so much warmth that it will leave you uncomfortable. Again, use a lighter tone or pastel colours and pay close attention to the shirt and tie combination. Why not try a simple printed tie to subtly nail the printed trend this year? The knitwear will help compartmentalise even the boldest of colours and patterns.
This look is based on the shirt. Unless you’ve been under a less than forgiving rock, you’ll know the print trend is in. This shirt is going to draw a lot of attention towards you and it’s important to know what to do with it.
I layered it with a lightweight navy cardigan to slightly neutralise the attention. This being said, leaving the cardigan unbuttoned will bring it all back; it’s like a sliding scale and it’s up to you to choose how to carry it off. I paired this combination with some light grey shorts and loafers to dress it up.
Using the same cardigan, I’ve paired it with a white striped t-shirt. Worn alone, this t-shirt won’t create too much of an effect but paired against the navy cardigan, they work well together. It creates a touch of the nautical and when utilised with some stone chino shorts, it again draws the attention towards the cardigan and t-shirt combination.
Knitwear should by no means be disregarded when that ray of sunshine finally appears. It’s another layer we can utilise in our spring looks and it reaps many benefits. Focus on using knitwear to create another dimension to your look, whether it’s used to add more colour, used to neutralise a look or is used to create an influence from a current trend.
Let us know what knitwear you personally recommend for the spring season – and how you wear it – in the comments below…
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