As the winds pick up and nights in grow more and more appealing, there’s a trusty wardrobe staple that must eventually be called upon for winter-combating comfort and thermal support: knitwear.
Not only will the right knit save you from looking like a slightly tubby teddy bear, it’ll also provide much-needed protection from the elements. And this autumn/winter, there’s something for everyone when it comes to matters woollen.
So, part ways with that football hoody and stick to these simple rules to crush the cold in style this season.
1. Roll Necks
It’s hard to imagine a time before the roll neck’s comeback – what did we do without this trusty dress-up or -down workhorse in our wardrobes? Worn off-duty or on more special occasions, in lightweight cotton or warming wool, the roll neck remained a firm fixture at January’s London Collections: Men showcase.
At Pringle, they came dusk-coloured and slotted beneath patterned knits and tailored outerwear, whereas Belstaff went for guaranteed warmth with a variety of chunky gauge styles nestled neatly under leather biker jackets.
Get The Look
- River Island Knitted Roll Neck Jumper
- Topman Burgundy Cotton Roll Neck Jumper
- Armani Jeans Cable-knit Wool Roll-neck Jumper
- John Smedley Lode Merino Wool And Cashmere-blend Sweater
- Uniqlo Men Soft Touch Polo Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt
ReissObservatory Merino Roll Neck Jumper
2. Graphic Knitwear
Say goodbye to your slogan sweatshirt and make way for plenty of prints instead. Punchy statement knitwear was the champion of autumn/winter 2015 runways, ranging from Peter Jensen’s kitschy lip-printed crew necks to arty, abstract merino styles from Royal Warrant knitwear designer John Smedley.
Not unlike the Kenzo sweatshirt phenomenon a few seasons back, AW15 heralds patterned jumpers as the new standout pieces. But, a word of warning – the hint is in the adjective here: a ‘statement’ sweater should always be treated as such, so balance out the eccentricity with pared-back garments in neutral hues to let your graphic knit take centre stage.
Get The Look
- Faconnable Braided Fair Isle-patterned Wool Jumper
- Asos Jumper In Twist With Aztec Design
- Topman Mono Zig Zag Crew Neck Jumper
ReissChurch Printed Lightweight Jumper Bordeaux
- Uniqlo Men Cotton Cashmere Cable Crew Neck Striped Sweater
- M&s Collection Colour Block Dogtooth Tailored Fit Jumper With Wool
3. Primary Colours: Red And Blue
In terms of colour, it’s a game of two halves this season and the palette is predominantly primary. Shocking red pullovers with colour-block motifs were paired with quilted gilets on Christopher Raeburn’s runway, whereas both Marc by Marc Jacobs and Agi & Sam mixed it up by decorating monochrome knits with splashes of traffic light red and bright blue.
Go for a standout look with Folk’s blood orange waffle knit or try a subtler blue hue with M&S’ two-tone jumper. Combine with slim-fitting jeans or a pair of tailored chinos in black or shades of grey for the perfect understated counterpoint.
If you’re feeling daring, go the whole hog by layering up with a contrasting quilted gilet or puffer jacket for a sporty and slightly sci-fi-flavoured take on the trend.
Get The Look
- John Smedley Luke Sea Island Cotton Sweater
- Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino V Neck Cardigan
- Folk Waffle Crew Knit
- Hardy Amies Hopkins Ribbed-knit Cotton Sweater
- M&s Collection Pure Cotton Tailored Fit Jumper
ReissSaber Textured Knit Jumper Bright Blue
You’d be forgiven for thinking we’re going to war this season, with designers having showed structured overcoats, khaki trousers and shedloads of camo on the runways.
To carry the military theme through to knitwear, opt for fatigue green styles with pocket detailing and cable-knitted sleeves, as seen in Barbour’s autumn/winter 2015 collection. Make sure to team with one of the brand’s classic waxed overcoats, or the lighter, Kirknasu waxed cotton jacket – the hero of the new Barbour x White Mountaineering collection.
If you’re a fan of camo, take a step further into the fray with Michael Kors’ camouflage print options in either smoke or navy. Oh, and that’s not to forget the ingenious structured jacket-jumper hybrid – we’re fans of Ralph Lauren’s take in particular.
Get The Look
- Ferndale Jumper In Cotton Merino
- Reclaimed Vintage Military Jumper
- Topman Khaki 2×2 Rib Crew Neck Jumper
- Michael Kors Camouflage Wool Jumper
- Ralph Lauren Shawl-neck Knitted Cardigan
- Allsaints Sabre Crew Jumper
Allow us to introduce you to the colour of the season – don’t worry, it looks a hell of a lot more exciting than it sounds. Once thought of as merely a supporting hue, fifty (and more) shades of grey have come into their own this autumn/winter.
At Dolce & Gabbana, thick, smoky-hued sweaters were printed with black and white antique photographs while Calvin Klein’s mohair, button-down round-neck jumpers are a great office-to-dinner option.
Still feeling cold? This season’s grey trend comes in cardigan form too. Japanese brand Beams Plus provides a fine mélange knit, which would look super slick layered over a plain white or black tee. Team with wool trousers or tailored joggers to extend the low-key luxe effect.
Get The Look
- Marc By Marc Jacobs Ribbed Cotton And Wool-blend Sweater
- Uniqlo Men Cashmere V Neck Cardigan
- Beams Plus Melange Cardigan
ReissHope Contrast Hem Jumper Grey
- He By Mango Shawl Collar Sweater
- Topman Grey Cashmere Roll Neck Jumper
6. Roll Neck Layering
Indecisive types are in luck this autumn, as multiple knitted styles have been combined to produce one of the standout looks for autumn/winter 2015. A thin gauge roll neck is a must to execute this styling technique, so dig out the one you stashed away when the sun came out.
On the runways, Christophe Lemaire layered roll necks under charcoal crew necks while Margaret Howell had them cheekily poking under white dress shirts and sharp-lapelled blazers.
To get the look at home, try a rich burgundy roll neck underneath a navy cable knit jumper, or a white merino wool polo neck beneath a camel shawl collar cardigan – so long as you create a clear contrast between the two pieces (whether via texture or colour), you can’t go too far wrong.
Want to take the aesthetic to the next level? Invest in a quality scarf and throw it over your layered knits for a texture-filled look that shows winter who’s boss.
Checks aren’t just the industry-wide favourite for tailoring this season, but knitwear too. Taking its creative cues from way up in the Highlands, tartan – or plaid as it’ll be best known to some – was the toast of designers across the board.
Ever the champion of eccentricity, Jeremy Scott showcased his take on tartan using his usual audacious approach. Moschino’s head designer paired wrap-around canary yellow tartan kilts and matching scarves with… well, not much else. Don’t worry – you can still nail the look without freezing to death, or worse, looking like something from Narnia.
Try combining loose-fitting jeans with a checked hooded knit, in pillar box red or monochrome, as seen at Astrid Andersen. Alternatively, take your styling cues from Paul Smith, who paired smart earth tone jumpers with textured charcoal suits and wide-leg trousers to create sophisticated ensembles ideal for dress-down days in the office.
Get The Look
- Allsaints Mikkelsen Crew Jumper
- Another Influence Check Jumper
- Asos Mesh Jumper In Checkerboard Design
- Sacai Checked Wool-blend Sweater
- John Smedley Lag Merino Patterned Jumper
- Topman Black Windowpane Crew Neck Jumper
The drop in temperature can be overwhelming when it comes to getting your cold-weather wardrobe sorted, but by injecting a subtle nod to your designer of choice and rolling out some old classics, knitwear is easily nailed.
Whether you’re partial to a loud print or prefer to layer plainer pieces, there’s a means of keeping warm (stylishly) for everyone this season.
Which of our key knitwear trends will you be getting on board with?
Let us know in the comments section.