We’d expect the autumn season to hint at a knit in particular that would become a must-own piece by winter, but we didn’t expect that to happen as soon as the second week of September.
It’s undeniable that the knit of the season is the striped polo. A few high street stores (we’re looking at you, & Other Stories and Arket) have produced versions that have already been selling out as quickly as they’ve come back into stock, prompting the style to gain cult status.
Global fashion shopping platform Lyst has reported that since the beginning of September, demand for big collar polo-style knits has increased by 41%. Design details like relaxed collars and open necks are the most popular, and among the best sellers are that elusive & Other Stories knit, and – at the pricier end of the spectrum − versions by Loewe and Khaite.
Eagle fashion eyes might have already spotted the coveted jumper on social media. It is most often in an ivory and navy colourway, complete with an oversized polo neckline and often rather weighty. Here’s everything you need to know about the new It knit:
It’s not just any old Breton…
In fact, it’s barely a Breton at all. Think of a Breton top and it’s likely a jersey long-sleeved striped top springs to mind, which is the traditional design. Back in 1858, it was decreed the official uniform of the French Navy, since the stripes made it easier to spot sailors who had fallen overboard. This sellout knit may borrow the striped print from the original, but the fit, shape and material are all different.
They’re incredibly popular for good reason
The humble striped polo has been a hit on social media, but as it’s so classic, it could easily have passed you by. But that’s exactly where its appeal lies. Post-lockdown there’s been an undeniable shift towards hero classics, rather than those trend-led flash-in-the-pan pieces that go against the conscious shopping mantra we’re all striving for. What’s great about the striped knit is that it’s as of-the-moment as it is timeless, so it’s a chic option for this season and beyond.
The details are important
For maximum new season style points, your knit will tick as many of the following boxes as possible: chunky weight, oversized polo collar, half-zip design, block panels, fine or very thick stripes, contrasting cuffs, loose fit and a timeless colourway.
It sounds like we’re asking for a lot, but there are myriad options at all price points that cover two or more of these design requirements. Zara’s offers a colourful twist, while Mango’s is the ultimate classic that you’ll turn to year after year.
The styling is key
An oversized knit doesn’t need to feel sloppy, though of course it pairs well with blue denim and white trainers. Thanks to its slight structure and minimal print however, it’s actually rather easy to wear this knit in a polished way.
If your knit is a slouchy and oversized style, look at cigarette trousers to balance the proportions, and wear with loafers and a sleek leather bag for a smart look. For fine slim-fit or jersey styles like the Zara or Massimo Dutti numbers above, wear with wide-leg trousers and chunky sandals for an effortlessly chic ensemble.