To clarify, by knitwear I mean knitted sweaters, and not tops made of T-shirt fabric or jersey knits. In my 22 years in the fashion industry I haven’t seen knitwear make as big a statement as it has this year. It has absolutely exploded, with sweaters becoming the fashionable piece, paired with every style of bottom. And there is no stopping the trend. 

In Spring and Summer we saw an abundance of warm weather knitwear in breezy cotton, silk and linen yarns, across all sorts of silhouettes and colours. In Fall and Winter we’re seeing an even larger assortment, and my head is spinning just thinking about it. Fine gauge, semi-chunky, and chunky knitwear in body con, tailored, fluid and oversized fits. Cropped, regular and longer lengths. Pullovers, cardigans, and sweater coats. High-low hemlines, welts, swingy styles, and peplums. V-necks, scoops, boat necks, crews, cowls and turtlenecks. Neutrals, brights, jewel tones, earth tones and pastels. Patterns, heathered yarns, and solids. Merino wool, cashmere, angora, alpaca and man-made fibres. Hardware, cables, mixed media, leather trim, elbow patches, pockets, hoods and asymmetry. Sleeveless, short sleeves, three quarter, and long sleeves. Set-in sleeves, dropped shoulder seams, raglans, round shoulders, and dolmans. Dressy, casual, distressed and sparkly. And textures galore in plenty of non-scratchy fabrications.

WOW. Knitwear is the star of 2013.  

Retail has also offered a wider assortment of coats to complement the knitwear, because coats layer more easily over knitwear than do blazers and jackets. As a result, blazers and jackets have taken a back seat, allowing their knitwear mates to shine. Very unusual. 

I’m a huge yay for the bumper knitwear season. I often find on trend and fashionable pieces lacking in insulation, which is bad news for me because I run cold and live in a chilly city. But not this year. It’s been a brilliant season for me and those of my clients who welcome cozy and warm trendy fashion. We stocked up accordingly. It’s also a breath of fresh air to see knitwear being offered as professional and dressy options. Especially in the middle of Winter when it makes no sense to freeze in a little black sleeveless dress or skimpy blouse. 

Even in Summer, I loved wearing soft slubby fluid and oversized cotton, linen and silk knitwear as an alternative to shirts and blouses. It was a nice modern and extra comfortable addition to my style. I look forward to doing the same in 2014. 

I do realize that I’m very biased in favour of this trend. I love wearing knitwear year round, in all sorts of weights and yarns, depending on the weather. It’s comfortable and a good way to dress down dressy bottoms. You will probably feel different if you’re generally not a knitwear fan, live in a warm climate, and feel hot at the drop of a hat. Or if you prefer to wear dresses and blouses with blazers. 

Are you enjoying the explosion of knitwear styles this year, or are you more of a T-shirt, blouse and shirt person? Perhaps you prefer to layer knitwear over shirts and blouses. Have you noticed your own blazers and jackets taking a back seat because knitwear is making a fashionable statement, either on its own or layered under a coat?