There’s something about the holiday season that makes fair isle knits—those perfectly chunky sweaters and cardigans with colorful geometric designs—feel just right. The style, which was originally used in fisherman’s caps and sweaters on the chilly and remote Shetland Islands, first became popular in the 1920s, when the British royals started wearing fair isle knits out and about. This season, designers are taking the traditional technique and updating it with luxe yarns, contemporary silhouettes and not-too-country colorways. Some of our favorites include an ultra-soft Dôen cardigan in a sophisticated autumnal palette, a technicolor version by Molly Goddard, a slim crew neck cut by Moncler and fuzzy, cropped take on the look by Maison Margiela. Each would look fabulous paired with corduroys or velvet pants for a holiday party, or a worn-in pair of jeans for a cozy weekend in the woods. Check out all of our picks, here:
We only include products that have been independently selected by W's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.