A breakdown of winter’s real star players
Words: Scott Dodds | Photography: Glen Montgomery | Styling: Kelly Fung
People look at winter one of two ways. For some locking down for the season, clearing their social calendar and spending every moment they’re not obliged to be anywhere wrapped up in the comforts of home. The rest are thriving in the elements, hiking up things to Instagram, actively making plans regardless of how much cold/wind/rain nature has in store and driving the former group mad with FOMO.
Whichever category you fall into, taking on the chill is all the better with a few choice knits, whether you’re cosying up under all of the blankets or throwing on layers for a weekend adventure. While they can sometimes be hard to look after, they add texture to otherwise bland looks, and are all about the balancing and contrasting of an outfit. Below we’ve broken down the key styles every man should own.
Few words are needed to explain why this style is vital for those cold-weather months. Comfort levels are through the roof here, with enough knit to keep every ounce of warmth well and truly on your person. The extended neckline is a lifesaver on that walking commute, as you can layer it underneath a jacket and use it like an incredibly comfortable scarf. Style-wise it works similarly to a polo neck in that while it works on its own, using it as a layer with a blazer or trench coat brings an air of sophistication to a well-rounded look.
A staple that’s stood the test of time, the cardigan has the ability to completely shift the tone of an outfit as soon as it’s added. It’s a versatile layering option in that it’s easy to get in and out of, and it works buttoned-up or left open. Wear it over a plain tee with jeans to elevate the look to smart-casual or opt for a louder tone and add it to your work attire to add a little intrigue to an otherwise straightforward uniform.
The bread and butter of the knitwear world – and who could hate bread and butter? It’s a good idea to opt for a cut that has a wider neckline, as the most beneficial way to style a pullover knit is over a button-up shirt, and the more shirt you see, the better. If your pullover has a darker tone like navy or black, play with louder shirt colours and patterns for added interest, while the opposite applies for knits in camel or beige colouring – keep it simple and opt for solid colours.
Effortlessly stylish and able to stand on its own just as well as it works as a layering option, the roll neck has seen a notable resurgence with the knitwear trend. It can sometimes lack the texture of a traditional knit but that’s where you can experiment with colours and combinations. A simple black roll neck coupled with a bold bomber is a great way to contrast elements, while a burgundy or mustard knit under a navy or black parka shows you know what you’re doing when it comes to styling. When in doubt, you could always just add jeans and your go-to New Balances, and embrace your inner Steve Jobs!
Perhaps a lesser-known style but just as useful, this is ideal for adding textures and melange tones to your look. Not as thick as its pullover cousin, a raw hem pullover works very much the same, and once again you can make it work by experimenting with different button-up-shirt combinations. If you’re feeling bold you could try doubling down on the knitwear by wearing it over a black or grey roll neck, and you can add a little intrigue to the look by pulling the sleeves down to make sure they’re exposed.