Discover modernised takes on a tried + true classic.

knitwear, knits

Words by Jamal Grootboom | Images: Getty Images + Supplied

Knitwear is traditionally a textile synonymous with winter. However, in recent years this once prudish and uninspired fabric has received a second chance at life.

No longer relegated to the blistering cold weather in the winter months. It’s become a year-round feature thanks to modernised silhouettes, cuts and applications. Everyday street style gents/huns and your favourite celebrities and influencers also latched onto it, with Gen Z and Millennials grabbing onto the trend with both hands.

Luxury fashion houses such as MaXhosa by Laduma are known for modern interpretations of knitwear. More recently, unique knits have popped up on the runway in Spring/Summer 2022 for Italian high fashion house Miu Miu, Autumn/Winter 2022 for the Gucci and Prada shows and turned the concepts of knits on its head.

knitwear, knits

Knitwear has an extensive history in the textile and fashion industry going as far back as ancient Egypt and is believed to originate in the Middle East during the 5th century. The technique of knitting made its way to Europe through wool traders, eventually becoming of the most fashionable items thanks to Chanel through the use of jersey. This was due to a wool scarcity caused by it being used in armies during World War I. The ripple effect led to wool being a luxury which opened the door for Chanel to step in.

knitwear, knits

Today, knitwear is utilised in so many ways outside of a simple jumper or jersey. The 90s and early 2000s fashion trends are still leading the pack, even influencing knitwear styles. Coming in various shapes and sizes from crop tops, tank tops, slouchy cardigans styled with cargo pants, baggy jeans or micro mini skirts, knitwear is no longer just for warmth. Bodycon dresses also got the knitwear treatment both with or without sleeves.

Traditional knitwear pieces such as vests, jumpers and polo necks have also received an update in vibrant colours, abstract patterns, prints and stripes. Even the more conventional knitwear has also been reimagined in fun and exciting ways through the use of 3D elements, giving them an edge that wasn’t previously there.

Modern-day knitwear is a treasure trove of options that go beyond just being an extra layer in the winter for warmth. All the different applications and techniques have made it far more exciting than your grandma’s knitwear. Whether you heading out for brunch, a daytime festival, date night out or planning on grooving till the sun comes out, there’s a knit that fits.

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