I have always had a tricky relationship with knitwear. For some reason it’s not ever been an area in my wardrobe that I have ever invested heavily in. The few jumpers that I own are from the Primark knitwear section, as well as few from TU, some from Zara and Mango and two cashmere cardigans from Max Mara that I absolutely never wear. To keep warm in the winter I have always been more likely to wear thermals and fitted tees beneath the endless collection of Zara shirts and blouses I once owned, as opposed to piling on cardigans and jumpers, purely for commuting reasons. However, I am referring to an Ayesha that worked Monday to Friday and commuted on hot and packed trains and tubes into London.
As a work from home mum knitwear just seems far more practical, functional and much easier to throw on for the nursery run than a shirt, which in all fairness, these days, I prefer to save for when I am going out. However, it was important for me when shopping for knitwear that these jumpers could do more for me than just be thrown on with a pair of jeans. So I made sure that I purchased jumpers that can be, as always, dressed up and dressed down and can easily mix and match with lots of other items in my wardrobe to create new looks.
What to Consider When Shopping Knitwear
Either opt for neutrals, black, beige, grey and navy blue and cream or go for colours that you know will compliment the colours of items you already have in your wardrobe. Think of the trousers, dresses and skirts in your wardrobe and pick out a colour that you know will go with most of those items. I bought the pink chenille jumper because I knew it would go with my maroon coat, two patterned dresses in my wardrobe that have a pink floral pattern and with a pair of trousers that also has some pink going through it.
Think about how you plan to wear your jumpers, this will help determine which type of knit is best for you. I knew I wanted jumpers that can be worn over my dresses, as dresses are my thing. So selecting jumpers that aren’t too overpowering or statement making was paramount as all my dresses are printed and patterned. As was going for jumpers that aren’t too heavy or thick, because I plan on layering them and layering heavy knitted jumpers just becomes far too hot for comfort. Many of my dresses also have particularly voluminous sleeves, so I needed to make sure the sleeves on the jumpers were able to accommodate the sleeves of the dresses. Balloon sleeve knitwear are amazing for this. I also avoided jumpers that were v-neck or had any sort of cut-out detail on the front or back, as I wouldn’t want the body of the dress to be showing.
Consider your outerwear and whether you imagine wearing your knits beneath coats. Capes and coats with slightly larger sleeves are brilliant for accommodating a chunkier knit without the arms of the coat appearing as though they have been stuffed like sausages. In my slimmer days, I had numerous super chunky knit oversized jumpers that would sit dormant in my wardrobe because I couldn’t fit them comfortably beneath my coats. This limited the wear of these jumpers and I’d end up only ever wearing them when I was driving and didn’t plan to be out and about much. To tackle this issue, I invested in capes. Capes are the perfect coat to wear over knitwear, because they have no arms. Whether your knit has batwing sleeves, balloon sleeves, giant fur sleeves or is just oversized, your cape will sit nice and comfortably on top of it and your knit clad arms simply slip through the gaps. Alternatively, oversized coats with larger arms, often with a drop sleeve can also work well with chunkier knits, as does a gilet. If a fur gilet is a little bit too cliche, then why not opt for a shearling gilet like this one. I am definitely now considering one of these for myself.
Know what flatters your body shape and don’t be tempted to size up or opt for oversized knitwear to conceal and hide lumps and bumps. I like everything oversized and size up a lot, however, I certainly don’t apply this to knitwear. I have learned to steer clear of oversized knits. Oversized jumpers obviously add volume and mass and without much structure, this can make you look bigger. I am much broader on my upper body since child birth, so adding volume with knitwear is something I generally avoid. For this same reason I will also avoid any brightly coloured knits and any boxy or cropped jumpers too.
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