Knowing your knits 1

While some of us are basking in close-to-springtime climates, the majority of women in the U.S. are still facing chilly to freezing temperatures. What comes with bone-chilling weather is the ever-growing sense of how to dress both appropriately and attractively. It’s time to know, and know how to wear, your knits.

The quality of cashmere and wool wardrobe essentials continues to elevate to new levels and, the best news is that our ability to stay warm on a night out is being brought up to the same degree.

While it has been close to 20 years since I’ve lived in a climate that got down to 30 degrees … it still haunts me. Growing up in Southern Maine, I was once accustomed to wind chills in the negatives, heel-forbidden sidewalks covered with ice and snowfalls that required coats that looked more like you were taking cover rather than heading to dinner. It wasn’t cute. Mind you, I was never destined to be a snow bunny, but I did learn how to dress the part. As I got older, out of desperation for warmth coupled with a desire for fashion, I learned the art of layering. I started to collect items that kept me looking and feeling both cozy and cute. Over time, I realized that most of those wardrobe staples were knits.

Fast forward to today, designers like The Row, Tibi, Fendi and, yes, the ever so popular shoe brand, Gianvito Rossi continue to design staple knits, from sweaters to leggings and booties. The quality of cashmere and wool wardrobe essentials continues to elevate to new levels and, the best news is that our ability to stay warm on a night out is being brought up to the same degree. Think thick sweaters that can be worn over tight long sleeve shirts and t-shirts, but also work under coats and vests. And unlike silk, satin or light denim, a little snowflake or damp drizzle won’t affect their look much at all. The other thing I love about knits is, even the most elevated designer’s piece still looks approachable and relatable. It’s tough to look stuffy or standoffish in a knit.

The best quality “sweater” I have seen in the past five years is made by our favorite Full House twins. The Row has everything from over-sized sweaters to snug turtlenecks to cool ass cardigans. The line is classic, simple but undeniably attractive on any body type. Oh yeah, and its F-ING warm!! Their color choices are simple, but their diverse silhouettes suit every body type.

Other lines have come out with wonderful knit tops in memorable colors. Below is a cropped sweater by Tibi … in a beautiful blue! Pair it with jeans, some cool kicks and a one-off bag and you have a day look people will be drooling over:

Knowing your knits 2
Mignonne Gavigan

Knits aren’t reserved for tops and sweaters. How about a form-fitting knit sweater dress, or some cool knit leggings? It took me months to track down a pair of Fendi knit leggings for a friend, and when she didn’t want them, I scooped them up immediately. I’ve worn them with sneakers and a tee on a 70-degree day in Florida, and thigh high boots and a Moncler overcoat walking the streets of NYC in January.

And, speaking of walking the streets, how about investing in a pair of knit booties. Gianvito Rossi came out with their first pair of “sock booties” what seems like forever ago and, each season, I see a new color I love more than the last. They are cozy, easily worn with socks and look chic. I wouldn’t tromp around in the 5-foot snow in them (mainly because I wouldn’t be outside in the 5-foot snow), but they are practical for nippy nights.

Gianvito Rossi (above)

Oh! And storage is everything when it comes to keeping your knits looking good. A few tips:

1/ Have your knits cleaned before storing them for the season

2/ Wool can be stored in airtight bins, but try not to stuff them too tight, so they can properly breathe 

3/ Store  cashmere  in canvas storage bags so they have extra breathing room and


4/ Toss in a lavender sachet or cedar block to keep the moths away 

Know your knits. They are staples for any closet and, while they may get shoved to the back in certain seasons, like most things you depend on, they will always be there when you need them …

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