On Fair Isle for AW11.

May 22, 2014
From its origins on one of smallest of the Shetland Islands to regal outings in the form of vests worn by Edward VIII during rounds of golf in the 1920s, the fair isle knit undergoes somewhat of a renaissance this AW11 season.
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^ River Island rust jumper (available at ASOS – £36)
Featured in the collections of high-end stalwart Brit brands (Burberry Prorsum), as well as those populating the high-street (River Island, Topman etc.), fair isle knitwear seems, in the majority of cases, to have narrowly escaped its former kitsch factor and most of this season’s incarnations have managed to evade obvious ‘Xmas jumper’ references.
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Topman Crewneck Jumper – £40
Still, as an unabashed bore when it comes to pattern and colourways, it’s with a certain degree of reserve that I welcome the iconic Scottish look into stores. 
d5fca johnsmedleyfairislejumpermrporter
^ DO – Burberry Prorsum (available at Mr Porter – €667)
f0da8 ralphlaurenpurplecashmerefairisle
^ DON’T – Ralph Lauren Purple (available at Mr Porter – €1,448)
As Mr Porter outline in their ‘How-to-wear’ guide, just ensure it’s slim-fitting and you’re not smoking a pipe. Adding my own two cents, I’d advise giving any muted greens or browns a wide berth, as well as avoiding anything remotely snowflake-y like the Winter plague.
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^ Scott Nichol boot socks (at ASOS – £18); boot socks are a great way to incorporate the dynamic fairisle pattern without blinding yourself and the rest of the populace.
Shop more fair isle styles at ASOS, River Island, Topman and Mr Porter.
Read some concise and informative features on fair isle from The Observer (here) and GQ (here).

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  • krazygaga November 4, 2011 at 12:36 am

    do you know the name of the model in the first picture?

  • Stephen November 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

    That R.L number is hidz. The problem with buying something like this from the high street is that you will spot every second person in the exact same jumper as yours come December. A big 'howiye' to those socks though. What is correct boot sock etiquette? Do you pull them up high enough so that they appear over the top of the boot? Advice needed.-Stephenhttp://www.stitchesfabricandsoul.com

  • Cillian November 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

    krazygaga: I don't actually, sorry.Stephen: Yeah, pretty much. Mine are from Penneys and are thin enough to be worn either under the leg of your trousers/jeans or over so you can alternate depending on whether you're feeling fisherman or not.C.

  • Mat November 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    i like the RL one best you know, if it wasn't a v neck anyway. think it's cos i like the way vic reeves dresses and he's always busting one of them out.

  • Mr.Apparel November 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I love this post and can really see Fair Isle doing well this season, especially more towards this Christmas days. I mean who doesn't want to wear a fair isle knit with deer printed pj bottoms on christmas day (just me then?!).Funnily enough, I actually prefer the high street versions, and even if they are high street, you can make it your own with your clothing choices and stand out from the crowd!Joshuawww.mr-apparel.com