It was good while it lasted. But, as we start to pack away the sun cream and roll down our sleeves and trouser hems, thoughts turn inevitably toward the new season, and the chillier days to come.
With this in mind, a great jumper is likely to be your first foray into layering up for the cooler months ahead, and this season’s big knitwear trend is the return of all things striped. From bold block colours to classic Breton stripes (as worn by everyone from Coco Chanel to James Dean), if it’s knitted then it’s got to have some lines across it. Here’s five we’ll be adding to our wardrobes this autumn.
1. Sunspel sweater
Sunspel started life in the 1860s as an underwear brand, and up till now has been mostly known as a purveyor of quality British basics in a pleasing array of colours. They’re less known for their knitting prowess, but this sweater earns Sunspel its place as serious knitwear contender. Crafted from wool sourced from a workshop in Northern Scotland, the sweater’s knitted in a Fair Isle-inspired design and finished with a contrasting ribbed trim. Wear yours with dark raw denim jeans, hiking boots (they are coming in their droves this autumn) and a lightweight olive workwear jacket, before the temperatures drop too far.
£295, shop now
2. Howlin’ sweater
Perhaps not a brand most folk are familiar with when it comes to specialist knitwear, but Howlin is a label we think you need to know better. Based in Antwerp, Howlin’ has been making great quality knitwear in Scotland and Ireland since 1981, manufacturing in small batches and finishing their products by hand. This classic grey crewneck is given the bold stripe treatment with a central cream band sandwiched between two black stripes. Super soft to the touch, it’s a cosy piece that offers a whole lot of quality knitwear at a rather competitive price. We suggest you opt for cream corduroy trousers and white leather trainers to show this one off at its best.
£160, shop now
3. The Gigi ‘Chad’ roll neck sweater
The Gigi first came to my attention this summer, when I bought a pair of their pleated wide-leg cotton trousers. Their winter offering also looks like it’s packed with great everyday pieces, such as this striped rollneck. The brains behind the brand are the brothers behind the Italian label Boglioli, Mario and Pier Luigi Boglioli – think of The Gigi as the rebellious younger sibling, a little looser than their original brand. We love this ‘Chad’ wool rollneck, especially with its well-placed stripes across the neck, hem and cuffs, which make a nice alternative to all-over stripes. Knitted in Italy from pure new wool, it’s cut in a flattering slim silhouette. Team with a pair of camel corduroys (trust us they are still big business this autumn) or go for looser navy drawstring tailored trousers and dark brown leather lace-up boots.
£210, shop now
4. Prada sweater
It may have started out as a small leather goods shop back in 1913, but Prada today sets the trends, with others following in its wake. Despite being guilty of sometimes over-intellectualising a leather jacket or an ugly trainer, Ms Miuccia Prada always produces a number of timeless, covetable pieces – always with a twist. This Shetland wool knit is a case in point. Knitted from fine Shetland virgin wool, the splash of block coloured stripes will cheer up any dull autumn day. Take one of the colours in the stripes, such as the olive or tan, and match it to a pair of loose cotton chinos. Wear them with simple black suede desert boots for a relaxed vibe.
£360, shop now
5. John Smedley ‘Jakob’ pullover
If you can’t bear to say good-bye to your summer Breton stripes, then this fine knit sweater from British brand John Smedley makes a great substitute. The cobalt blue stripes across the navy background are a subtler contrast to a standard blue and white Breton, and the super-fine merino wool gives a neat fit. Smarten up your casual wardrobe by teaming it with a navy suede bomber jacket and a pair of pleated navy tapered trousers. Finish off with black lace-up leather boots or suede sneakers for when you want something casual, but a bit more refined.
£160, shop now