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This season’s snuggliest, most charming men's knits

From bold patterns to quiet luxury

26 September 2023

Men’s fashion is getting a whole lot more fun. Yes, there have always been eclectic, boundary-pushing dressers such as David Bowie and Harry Styles, but this is different: dress codes for guys across the board have suddenly become looser, brighter and more joyful. Perhaps we have the aforementioned singers to thank for it, or maybe it’s the influence of recent ‘dopamine dressing’ trends. No matter its origins, ‘clothes that make you smile’ ought to be your starting point as we head into the darkest months of the year.

What defines joyful knitwear? Anything that makes you feel just a little bit chirpier, really.

The obvious choices are bright colours and patterns, as seen on Gucci‘s jumper – the mushroom jacquard channels Super Mario-coolness and will delight anyone you encounter. Meanwhile, Dior‘s intarsia style is similarly offbeat – the orange design is inspired by space operas from the ’70s (use this as your conversation piece every time someone compliments you on it).

Marni (at Harvey Nichols) has made its fuzzy striped knitwear a cult item over the past few years, so it’ll be a sound investment and promises the utmost cosiness. Speaking of important fashion items, Polo Ralph Lauren‘s ‘Polo Bear’ jumper is simply iconic (and has long been a collector’s item), as is the brand’s American flag intarsia knit. Fun fact: the latter is inspired by early US flags that didn’t have the full collection of stars – Lauren himself helped to fund the restoration of one such flag back in the ‘90s.

If bright patterns aren’t for you, Burberry‘s avant-garde co-ord might be – the ruffled drawcord roses demonstrate Daniel Lee’s excellence in design. Valentino‘s cut-out wool crew neck is also the height of contemporary design and will look best worn in a monochromatic outfit.

There will always be a place for subtlety – or, as it’s now called, quiet luxury – and there’s no one better to school us in that than the king of cashmere, Brunello Cucinelli, whose varsity jumper is a lesson in low-key luxe. Meanwhile, Kiton’s cashmere rollneck is knitted with tonal leather in a showcase of the Italian house’s craftsmanship. Look to Berluti and Hackett, too, for pared-back, high-quality clothes.

Whatever style you go for this season, don’t forget that fibres are key: look for merino wool and silk-blends for lightweight, fine-gauge jumpers that layer nicely under shirts and blazers. Rare materials such as vicuña and baby cashmere (available at Kiton and Loro Piana, respectively) will feel softer than anything you’ve worn before and are perfect for wrapping up in during the coldest months.

Lambswool might be a little scratchy to start, but that’s part of its charm (and it’ll soften over time), while acrylic is best taken only in small doses. And finally, be sure to read through our clothing care guide to ensure your knits last for many winters to come.

Gucci cotton wool jumper, £1,750
Dior jumper, £1,700
Marni at Harvey Nichols striped jumper, £950
Tom Ford jumper, £1,350
Saint Laurent jumper, £1,130
Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Bear jumper, £549
Polo Ralph Lauren flag jumper, £349
Burberry jumper, £1,450
Burberry wool trousers, £1,290
Valentino cut out jumper, £1,950
Berluti jumper, £POA
Brunello Cucinelli jumper, £2,950
Kiton turtleneck jumper, £2,920
Dior jumper, £1,100
Burberry jumper, £950
Hackett jumper, £170

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