Twinsets are also known as sweater sets because they are a matching set of cardigan and short-sleeved pullover or sleeveless tank top. They are knitted and come in all sorts of solids, patterns, and fabrics. The idea is to wear the cardigan open, or partly open to showcase the under layer that matches in its signature way. The twinset first appeared decades ago, and is often thought of as an item that defies trends and is always in style. I agree. These days you’ll find classic twinsets that look like they came straight out of the ‘40s and ‘50s, and silhouettes that incorporate a more modern and on-trend integrity. The lengths of the under layer and cardigan can match or mismatch.
Here are some good examples.
I love twinsets and have sported many variations through the years. It’s THE way I enjoy wearing a cardigan. There is something about the pairing of items that looks pulled together, neat and tidy, polished, dressy, fun, interesting, and elegant in a relaxed way. I’m also attracted to their Modern Retro vibe. I like the practical aspect of the layers so that you can wrap up or peel off as needed. You can split up the layers and wear them as separates. Dressing up the versions with a more covered under layer can be an easy, comfortable and professional look for a corporate setting. Less constricting than a jacket, and just as effective.
I’m surprised I only have one twinset. I love it, and wear it every Spring and Autumn with trendy bottoms. It layers very well under jackets and coats, which is handy for a Seattle climate. It’s cropped and tailored so it looks great with high-rise and roomy jeans and pants, and a few flared skirts. The pieces were a result of a collaboration between J. Crew and Creatures of the Wind many years ago, and it’s still going strong. The dark components are navy — not black — making it fit seamlessly into my colour palettes.
I’m one of the few people I know who are into twinsets, which is probably why they aren’t that popular at retail. They are a fringe trend at best, or a hard to find staple classic. Some of my clients and friends think of twinsets as conservative, overly corporate, unattractive, or a little twee. Others aren’t too keen on the matchy-matchy vibe, find them a little fussy, or simply too many layers of knit.
I would love to have another twinset so they’re on my radar. I prefer the cropped styles and the versions with under layers that are more covered. I’m open to solids and patterns. How about you? Do you like twinsets, and if so which silhouettes tickle your fancy?