June 13th, 2013

Trend Watch: Oversized

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It can be hard to translate runway fashion into our everyday lives. (After all, can you really see yourself wearing Alexander McQueen’s over-the-top heels to your 9-5 office job?) Designers put their spin on oversized garments for the Fall/Winter 2012/2013 season, and the trend shows no sign of stopping as breezy blouses, dolman-sleeved tops and easy sundresses now fill the racks of stores everywhere. Positive ease makes positively perfect sense for warmer weather, so how to explore this look with your knitting?

Raid the men’s section like Katie did! This is Fairbank from Rowan Dalesmen. Men’s patterns are a great way to add ease and a relaxed feel to your wardrobe, since they eschew the waist shaping that many women’s patterns favor. Bonus: You can borrow from a man in your life to have twice the clothes to choose from!  Katie balances the masculine nature of the vest by adding a cute necklace, bright tights and heels, while her menswear-inspired hat matches the vest. Those tights (love the tights!) coupled with the shorts show off her legs and draw the viewer’s eyes down her body, which further helps to keep everything proportionate.

A loose, oversized cardigan can take you from day-to-night with a quick change of styling. Theresa, our Customer Service Supervisor, knit this gorgeous Creature Comforts Cardi and graciously let me borrow it for the shoot. For a daytime work look, I paired the cardigan with a sleek pencil skirt and a waist cinching belt–the combination highlights the smallest part of the body and helps the cardi look chic-ly loose rather than sloppy. When the clock hits 5 and it’s time to head into Northampton for a date, slip on some skinny jeans and untuck the shirt for a more casual, but still put together outfit.

Here are my top tips for rocking an oversized knit:

  • Opposites attract. Try and pair your oversized piece with slimmer ones to provide contrast and show off your shape. A vest like Katie’s can work with voluminous trouser pants that properly fit in the waist and when paired with a fitted blouse, so don’t feel like you always need to reach for the tightest clothing you own.
  • When in doubt, wear your favorites and then add a new garment. You already know that your stand-by sheath dress is a winner, so why would a swingy cardigan suddenly change that? If you’re confident in what you’re wearing you’ll exude that same confidence all day long.
  • Start small. Add a large shawl like Color Affection to get comfortable playing around with volume, or another accessory of your choice.
  • Educate yourself! Amy Herzog’s Knit to Flatter is a great tool to help learn more about your body shape and how to best flatter it. The book includes patterns, fashion advice and tips on how to modify patterns to better suit your body. And Amy has weekly ‘Fashion Friday’ posts on her blog where she showcases different outfits while explaining what works and what doesn’t.

For more inspiration, check out these other oversized patterns: VersaciKnits’ Suit, Manos del Uruguay’s Mirkwood, Blue Sky Alpaca’s Smock Top and multiple patterns from Berroco’s Norah Gaughan Collection Volume 12. Pay attention to how the model is styled–would you wear it like she does? What part of the body is highlighted or downplayed by the garment and the styling choices? Pick the right pattern for you and join the oversized bandwagon! I’ll save you a seat next to me.

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