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The modern way to wear knitwear

The modern way to wear knitwear

At Thread, we love playing with expectations when it comes to style, and one of the best ways to do that is to take an old-school piece and make it feel was it was made for the modern day. Cue knitwear, for instance. When you think of cosy cardigans, Fair Isle knits, and chunky rollnecks, you probably see them in a mahogany-clad library, worn by a mustachioed, pipe-smoking fellow. But we’d argue they can look equally at home in your high-spec flat or an avant garde restaurant as they do in an Ivy League dorm room circa 1932. To make our case, we tapped Thread stylist Alexander McCalla to put together some tips to keep your knits looking less ‘Bingo night’ and more 21st-century cool.

Style it in a contemporary way

“Wear a classic knit and dress it in a contemporary, minimal way,” Alexander says. A transformative trick is wearing a standard knit with a workwear-inspired overshirt or a utility jacket to give it a modern, rugged edge. You can opt for smart trousers, but keep them current by choosing a material like flannel, and finish with a pair of cool, box-fresh white trainers.

Dress down patterns

If your knitwear is a bit jazzy, then keep it looking contemporary by dressing down the rest of your look. Patterned knits, like a classic Fair Isle, can come across a little fuddy duddy unless you pair them with super minimal and casual pieces. “A pair of trainers instead of, say, Chelsea boots will keep things modern and laid-back,” Alexander says.

Play with shape

If you’re not abreast with the oversized trend, get on board. Playing with the shape of the knitwear you’re wearing can totally transform your look from old-fashioned to ahead-of-the-curve. “Loose and oversized will immediately lean towards a casual vibe, and give off the impression that it’s just something you’ve thrown on,” Alexander says. While the tartan pattern of this knitted cardigan is classic, the oversized bomber shape hurls the look right into the 21st century, and the rollneck jumper underneath keeps things nice and smart.


Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Jamie Stoker
Styling: Alexander McCalla