Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

Knitwear & Sweaters

Four ways to wear: A navy jumper

Four ways to wear: A navy jumper

The navy jumper doesn't exactly merit shock and awe, but in some ways that's the point. "It's one of those pieces you can just throw on without thinking about it too much, which means you can wear it in dozens of ways," say Thread associate stylist Alexander McCalla. "And while it's the definition of inoffensive, if you put some thought into it you can make a navy jumper quite stylish, too."

Below, Alexander talks us through four occasions when a navy jumper will save the day.

1. For a weekend of walking

Outfit: Khaki parka, navy jumper, navy chinos, brown leather boots

Why this works: "Urban or rural, outdoors or in, this outfit works. The chinos and jumper are smart-ish, but the parka and work boots are practical, so the look will fit right in whether you're in the woods or at the pub."

Photographed: Bleu De Paname parka (£265, Mr Start navy jumper (£110), Research Garments white t-shirt (£15), Norse Projects navy chinos (£100), Red Wing boots (£239)

2. When you're unsure of your plans

Outfit: Stone blazer, navy jumper, navy chinos, brown desert boots

Why this works: "There are a few layers to this outfit, which means you can adapt it throughout the day. The chinos, jumper and boots are signature smart casual, while adding the unstructured blazer will make it appropriate for an impromptu meeting or a nice dinner out."

Photographed: Visvim blazer (£449), Oliver Spencer chambray shirt (£99), RRL slim selvedge jeans (£215) 

3. When you can't tell if an event is smart casual or just casual

Outfit: Navy jumper, white t-shirt, indigo jeans, black leather boots

Why this works: "This is failsafe. Because everything fits well, and everything's understated, and because the leather boots are on the smart side, this outfit is just about on the casual side of smart casual. And yet the same understatement means you won't look out of place if everyone else is wearing t-shirts and trainers."

Photographed: Mr Start navy jumper (£110), Research Garments white t-shirt (£15), Jigsaw black boots (£249), Levi's Vintage 501 jeans (£225)

4. When an event calls for a suit, but it's cold out

Outfit: Navy suit, navy jumper, white shirt, navy tie.

Why this works: "If your navy jumper's on the finer side, it'll work well under a suit of almost any colour—particularly navy, black or deep grey. It adds warmth, and it's also nice when you're bored of the standard shirt and tie and want to add something new."

Photographed: Selected navy suit (£129), Mr Start white shirt (£110), Drake’s black silk tie (£105) 

Plus: How to pick the right navy jumper

Choose a crew neck. "Go for a crew neck, as this shape works well with both t-shirts and button-down shirts—so you can wear it twice as often as you would a v-neck (which doesn't look as good with a t-shirt underneath)."

Look for ribbing. "Small details like ribbed cuffs and necklines are good, as they keep out the cold and help the jumper preserve its shape."

Go natural. "Cotton, wool, merino (a type of wool with thinner fibres) and cashmere (another, fancier, type of wool) are the best fabrics to go for. They're all natural and won't irritate your skin, and their fibres are stronger and more resilient than synthetics, which means they'll last longer. Cotton's the lightest, while merino and cashmere are ideal for winter weather."