The cable fair isle sweater is one that never goes out of style. True, it’s definitely a “winter” sweater though it doesn’t have to be a heavy woolen fabric.
As the name implies, these sweaters have a geographic context. Here is how good ol’ Wikipedia describes them:
Fair Isle (/fɛəraɪ̯l/) is a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colors. It is named after Fair Isle, one of the Shetland Islands. Fair Isle knitting gained considerable popularity when the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) wore Fair Isle jumpers in public in 1921.
Don’t you love the British use of jumpers rather than sweaters? I used to wonder why they were describing what we here in America call a dress that goes over a sweater! Lol! Here is a definition of the term jumper and where it comes from:
“Jumper” is actually derived from the noun “jump,” a modified form of the French “jupe,” a word used to mean a short coat in the 19th century (and completely unrelated to “jump” meaning “leap”). The use of “sweater” in its modern sense of “heavy knitted top worn for warmth” appeared by the early years of the 20th century.
So, there is your fashion history lesson for the day! I’m always interested in the connections between history and fashion terms. I hope you are, too!
Now let’s move on to the outfit of the day!
Two Easy Ways to Style a Fair Isle Sweater
The Fair Isle Sweater
Like most of you, I already have a couple of these sweaters in my wardrobe. You might recall this soft grey version from last winter in the post, Trending: The Fair Isle Sweater Outfit. However, when I saw this simple black-and-white version, I picked it up for the following reasons:
- Slouchy knit style
- Cable Yolk
- Side slits
- Machine Washable
- Longer length
This sweater is very lightweight as opposed to some of the heavier wool-blend versions. I see it as wearable for at least three seasons.
From Loft, you can pick one up at an amazing sale price right now, too!
There is nothing Earth-shattering here in terms of styling, but these two looks are meant to highlight the possibilities with a sweater like this. It’s available in Regular, Petite, and Plus sizes.
Jeans and Fair Isle Sweater
While this is a pretty basic outfit–jeans and a sweater, the black-and-white sweater contrasts nicely with the gray jeans. Of course, once again, these are my very favorites from Wit & Wisdom. To make my short-ish legs look longer, a pair of suede booties create a longer line with the jeans.
Boho-styled earrings in silver filigree and an older saddlebag style handbag keep the simple look.
Styled up with Trousers
Naturally, white trousers are a nice look with this sweater. It instantly looks a bit more dressed up. If you have some red trousers or even a plaid with black and possibly red, that would also look super cute! I styled the sweater over my white paperbag ankle pants for a looser look.
Cuteness and comfort? These low-heeled slingback pumps are perfect for holiday entertaining. (Even for a small socially-distanced affair). While I am a sucker for a red shoe, these pumps, from Naturalizer, comes in several colors. I’m showing it with a cute red bag from my (growing) collection. Lol!
Can you see yourself styling one of these looks? Which one fits your particular style? Casual with jeans? Or with slacks and heels? Regardless of how you might style it, this black-and-white version of the Fair Isle style deserves a place in your closet.
Holiday Tip: the Red Lip