How to Style a Fair Isle Sweater
- January 2, 2019
- by Melissa Lawrence
During middle school in my rural Connecticut town, I sported an array of brightly colored Fair Isle Sweaters. The “Preppy Handbook” had recently hit bookshelves and many kids my age dressed accordingly: pink and green, headbands with bows, whales sewn onto corduroy pants, L.L. Bean duck boots, and yes, Fair Isle sweaters. I matched my Fair Isle sweaters with cotton turtlenecks (some bearing a Lacoste alligator logo!), wide-legged corduroys, and loafers with no socks.
Let’s say goodbye to that look, shall we?
Fair Isle J Crew Sweater
Fair Isle sweater find their place of origin in Scotland’s Shetland Islands, where the tradition of knitting them began in the 1600’s. The colorful patterned sweaters are famous for their comfort and warmth. This year’s version of Fair Isle sweaters come in a fun array of colors and are cut longer and wider, making them easy to match with fun jeans or leggings. They’re also comprised of more comfortable looser knits than the thinly-stitched wool of the 80’s. My family offered me this lovely ivory-colored sweater for Christmas and it’s so comfortable, I want to wear it every day!
For dinner at our ski lodge in France the other day, I happily wore my sweater with stretchy Madewell black jeans with rips in the knees and my new fav DSW studded black leather booties. Comfy, modern and fun for a mama a bit worn down after a day of skiing with four little ones (since poor Beckett (11) had broken his leg the day before — story to come!).
Making an effort to look good and put on something nice always lifts my spirits! I try to take a little time to get ready and splash on a bit of makeup no matter how chaotic the circumstances.
As you can see from this photo, I have fairly broad shoulders and long arms. Fair Isle sweaters can suit a variety of figures and look good whether you are tall or not. They make a smaller bust look a little more robust, which helps me out!
Sweater Styling Tips
I am a huge sweater person and opt for sweaters from October through April. I also love turtlenecks (this sweater is a mock turtleneck). With turtlenecks, you lose the possibility of a necklace (unless you follow the preppy handbook and want to string a pendant over the neck of your sweater!). So what to do? To dress up a simple sweater, go big with your earrings and try some funky boots. If your sweater is a neutral color, try some fun colorful earrings. Stick a barrette in your hair. Add some bracelets and try some heels.
Ladies, check out J Crew’s super fun Fair Isle sweater collection.
Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays! And if you are interested, read the story of how Beckett broke his leg!