Novelty knitwear is a broad knitwear category of infinite variety. In this post I’m talking about the sort that has an animal knitted into its front panel as seen in these photos. Hens, owls, dogs, cats, foxes and the like. This trend is fringe, but it has been embraced all the way from high end houses like Burberry Prorsum to mainstream brands like J. Crew and even budget retailers like Target.
I don’t dislike the trend. The young models below look sweet, especially in the outfits with the mini skirts. Celebrity Kate Bosworth wore an owl sweater with dressier separates to the Burberry show earlier this year and I liked that outfit too. That said, I do think that this type of novelty knitwear has a very juvenile integrity and short fashion shelf life.
I wore this type of knitwear when I was part of the Pony Club many years ago. I was a very horsey child and teen, and anything with a horse on it found its way into my wardrobe. But the pullover was not a fashion statement. I wore it when I went riding so it was essentially sports gear. Part of me still associates this look with the Pony Club, which is why I’m a very, very cautious yay vote on others, but a definite nay vote for me.
What are your thoughts on this type of novelty knitwear? Is it something that you would wear? Can it be worn in a sophisticated way, or will it always look juvenile?