Fall Trend: The Fair Isle Sweater

The Fair Isle sweater, named for a small island in Scotland where the multicolored knitting technique was invented, has been a popular winter staple since King Edward VIII wore one publicly in the 1920s. The Fair Isle pattern is created row by row using a special knitting technique, and is usually made of three to five different colors. Over the years, the patterns and colors of Fair Isle have varied slightly to reflect trends, and this season the sweater has again seen a revival in popularity.

Clockwise from top left: Fair Isle Sweater, $145; Light Brown Herringbone Sportcoat, $650; Five Pocket Chino. Sportcoat available at http://www.hartschaffnermarx.com. Sweater and Trousers coming soon to http://www.hartschaffnermarx.com.

Pair a Fair Isle sweater, like our Merino/Cotton Blend Fair Isle Sweater, $145, with a pair of chinos in a color that blends well with the sweater. Wear a pant in a shade similar to the sweater’s main color, like in the image above. Alternatively, wear it with a pant that incorporates one of the pattern’s colors, like a red or a blue.

For a more formal look, wear a slim-fitting collared shirt and add a sport coat in a light tan herringbone over the sweater, like our Light Brown Herringbone Sportcoat, $650. A tie can be worn with this outfit for work, but take the tie off and relax when you go out for drinks. For your feet, wear a cool wingtip or brogue, like the Alden for J.Crew Waxed Longwing Bluchers, $515.

For a casual look, pair this sweater with a light Henley underneath and a great pair of distressed, worn-in jeans. Push the sleeves up and reveal a cool leather bracelet or vintage watch to add a bit of attitude. To keep in line with the comfortable and relaxed, but definitel stylish, look, pair with a suede desert boot, like the J.Crew Classic MacAlister Boot, $148, in snuff.

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