King-size knits rule for autumn/winter '˜18

Oversized knits are cool for the autumn, taking you from day to night. Stephanie Smith has tips on how to get the look right.

M&S Collection knitted hoodie, £39.50; sports bra, £25, and leggings, £39.50. All at Marks & Spencer.
M&S Collection knitted hoodie, £39.50; sports bra, £25, and leggings, £39.50. All at Marks & Spencer.

Oversized is a trend that many of us can leave or take. Huge, body-swathing clothes tend not to work for anyone under 5ft 9in, and even then, who wants to look like a 12-year-old who has had to borrow from their giant elder sibling’s wardrobe?

However, when it comes to knitwear, all bets are off and all concerns set aside, because we love a big sweater – the bigger, the better. And we positively adore a massive cardi. There’s something so comforting, as well as rather chic, about an all-enveloping piece of knitwear. Throw it on and it instantly makes sense. It’s chilly, it’s grey, we need softness and warmth and texture – and we need it now.

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The big knit goes upmarket for this autumn/winter, pairing with swishy skirts, silks and sequins for easy evening glamour. Erdem has created an autumn collection inspired by Adele Astaire, sister of Fred and all-American showgirl, who married the son of the Duke of Devonshire. He imagined her wearing cocktail dresses with knits borrowed from her aristocratic husband and so came up with looks featuring brocade and sequin gowns worn with oversized cable cardigans and brown fairisle knits. As you do.

Brushed zebra tunic knit top, £45, at JD Williams.

In a topsy-turvy world, it’s all about the comfort of everyday luxury, and oversized knits, reminiscent of ones that might have belonged to your dad or granddad, offer sartorial solace. In keeping with the family heritage theme, look out for chunky, lofty-knit cables in retro shades of brown, copper and soft mustard. Team with a pencil skirt, perhaps in tweed or leather, for high-low glamour.

Boxy oversized shaped knits will work well with floral-print, floaty chiffon or silky pleated midi-length dresses and skirts, and pretty much any slouchy sweater looks perfectly current this season when worn with slim cropped trousers, exercise leggings, or with side-stripe track-style pants, for a cosy and chic athleisure look.

As well as texture in abundance, there’s a variety of pattern on offer when it comes to new season knits. Animal print is everywhere for autumn/winter 2018 and knitwear does not escape. The all-over zebra-pattern sweater, in a variety of shades, will be far from lesser-spotted. This rainbow pattern sweater, from F+F at Tesco, pays homage to Christopher Bailey’s final collection for Burberry with pleasing playfulness – guaranteed to raise the spirits on a grey, misty day.


Yellow cable sweater, £60; spotted dress, £99. Both at Monsoon.

September 18: Pure Collection Sale at Pavilions of Harrogate. Bargains from the Harrogate-based cashmere and luxury clothing brand. Tel: 0844 8481030

Also, Dermalogica UK at Harvey Nichols Leeds team is hosting a Yorkshire Skin Fitness day featuring: a free Skin Fitness plan from professional skin therapists; a free glass of fizz; free samples; a free Skin Fit lesson teaching how to care for skin.

September 27-28: Sweaty Betty Sale at Pavilions of Harrogate. Tel: 07715 568663.

September 28: Autumn Fashion Show at The Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn. In support of the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, 2.45pm-3.30pm drinks and canapes, Shopping in The Fashion Village, 3.30pm Fashion Show with Barkers of Northallerton, The Wool Booth of Northallerton, Georgie’s and Julie Fitzmaurice of Harrogate and John Lewis Leeds. Email: [email protected]

M&S Collection chevron jumper, £32.50, and fronr pleat skirt, £32.50; boots, £45. All at Marks & Spencer.

September 29-30: Made Up Leeds, an inclusive, city-wide beauty festival with two days of free events, demonstrations, tutorials, speakers and special offers. Beauty Space pop-up on Briggate with Glam Bars hosted by John Lewis, a Beauty Bridge at Trinity Leeds with mini makeovers, hair tips and beauty advice. Harvey Nichols’ Eyes & Lips counters located at Leeds Train Station throughout the weekend.

Rainbow jumper, £18, F+F at Tesco.
Slouchy merino rollneck sweater, £105, from
Brown, gold and orange jumper, £32, at Next.