I may be slightly in denial about how quickly this summer seemed to fly by, but the reality is that autumn is officially on its way. As we pack away our sandals and shorts again for another year, cosy knits and jeans will be coming back to the fore as our reliable daily uniforms, but there's just as much to love about cosy season as there is summer. New-season knitwear has already landed, and although the temperatures haven't dropped quite enough to comfortably wear them just yet, I've already picked up three new pieces.
There's just something about a cute, fluffy knit that adds charm to an outfit. But of course, with all of the styles currently filling the new-in sections, it's important to figure out which are actually worth investing in for the long haul. And that's where we step in. Last winter undoubtedly belonged to the oversized turtleneck knit. Aided in part by chic brands like Toteme and high street favourites COS and ARKET, influencers were suddenly spotted en masse sporting funnel-neck jumpers with leggings and jeans. But what can we expect this year's hot-ticket item to be? The return of the Fair-Isle jumper? The cable-knit cardi? I set about scouring the runways and social media and asking industry experts for that very answer.
"Knitwear defines the seasonal change and gives us that excited Christmas feeling way before it's even winter," says Amy Sturgis, founder of ASC Global and sustainable clothing brand CINTA. "For me, a pair of trousers, ballet pumps and a good knit is my go-to look, and I always feel less put-together in summer, as the fallback option is always a dress. Layering knits makes my outfit feel more considered." So, we're in agreement that autumn opens up our range of outfit choices, and when it comes to shopping this year's new-season knits, there's a veritable goldmine of styles and references to choose from.
"I like to look at vintage for inspiration when designing for CINTA," says Sturgis. "One of the first knits I ever designed was named after my Granny Leslie, as I always used to steal her cardigans for the slightly oversized fit. We have a variation of higher-cut, cropped knits too, but my personal favourites are less fitted with scalloped edging. I then look to colour trends for the season ahead and go from there. Something that is unique to CINTA—and which we make sure to incorporate each season—is our scalloped edging and wave embroidery, which signifies my love for nature (you'll see that as a running theme throughout most of our collections).
"But what trends have I picked up on since last winter? Undoubtedly quiet luxury, but there are also rosettes and floral details creeping in. Also bows, which I love. We have brought back our Classics Collection, which still does so well, but we have also grown up with our customer and their needs, so there's also a focus on a lighter range, featuring pretty pearls and bows."
So, want to know the six major knitwear trends that are set to be everywhere this season before everyone else? Keep scrolling to see and shop them now. Things are about to get comfy.
1. KITSCH KNITS
Style Notes: Nothing brightens up dark mornings and grey skies quite like a cute and colourful statement knit. Unlike the novelty knits we associate with Christmas parties, these charming jumpers have undoubtedly chic retro appeal and could have been plucked from the shelves of a well-curated vintage store. Think '50s silhouettes, '60s embellishments, peter-pan collars and puff sleeves.
Style Notes: This is a trend that comes down to size and fit, and now more than ever you'll spot slouchy, oversized jumpers as options in your favourite stores. This year, baggy crewnecks are the look du jour, especially when styled with wide-leg trousers and chic flats for a dressy spin on masculine tailoring.
Style Notes: Not sold on loose sweaters? Perhaps the mini cropped jumper is for you. This teeny-tiny trend showed up on the Benetton, Christian Dior and Emilia Wickstead runways, usually worn over a dress or long shirt à la Francesca Saffari (pictured above), and it might just be the ideal transitional piece for too-warm-but-too-cold autumnal weather.
4. NAUTICAL KNITS
Style Notes: There's something about the stripey jumper that just won't quit, and year after year we can expect to see it in slightly different variations. This season is channelling maritime energy, with weightier knits, buttons and open collars that are perfectly suited to black jeans and chunky, thick-soled boots. Just add a navy wool coat and you've got the look down to a T.
5. KEEP IT CO-ORDINATED
Style Notes: Ever since Katie Holmes stepped out in that Khaite bra-digan, the twin-set has reached new levels of cool. There's a lot to love about the ease of putting together co-ordinating knits and a pair of jeans, and if Pia's outfit (pictured) is anything to go by, it's also the shortcut to chic French styling.
6. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Style Notes: In the year that Salomons, Birkenstocks, and cargo trousers have emerged as the best-selling pieces, it's clear that we were long overdue a gorpcore revival. For those unfamiliar with the outdoorsy trend, anything that looks perfect for camping can be repurposed for the city and worn with a little Y2K flair. A cosy fleece is next on the list.