Darling knits of May to keep yourself warm and stylish

May 09, 2024
Image source: Supplied

Who remembers the British TV series of the early 90s, The Darling Buds of May? I recall seeing the gorgeous, young Catherine Zeta-Jones shining in her role as one of the daughters and knew she would be big in Hollywood soon, and she was! David Jason as Pop Larkin? Priceless and hilarious.

May is a spring celebration in many parts of the world, when wildflowers are gathered and gifted to friends and relatives, whilst here in Australia, we celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of the month. Not a mom? Don’t feel excluded as at some point, we have had to mother an animal, a friend, a relative, an employer, an employee, a colleague, or a spouse, right? It’s in our genes, therefore we deserve to spoil ourselves on that day too as we deserve it!

Here in our big, beautiful country, we are celebrating the golden hues of autumn and entering winter, and I could not be happier as I have always been a sucker for soft, luxe, and cosy knitwear, and we are positively spoilt for choice, given the plethora of wool choices that are available here.

We produce 25 percent of greasy wool sold on the world market, and I’d imagine merino being top of the bale, whilst alpaca wool has starred spectacularly Down Under in recent years too. How lucky could we get?

So many of us are on a budget, whereby the pricey brands are not always within our reach. Have no fear. I recently walked through Kmart and was impressed with the selection of stunning knitwear on offer, from trendy sweaters to fabulous, knitted coats and snug cardigans. Whilst not all pieces were produced with pure wool, some containing a small portion of it only, even synthetic yarns will keep us snug and last a lifetime if cared for as if it were cashmere.

When some knitwear styles went out of vogue some years ago, I simply packed those in tissue paper with sachets of cloves to keep moths away from my treasured stash, and I am delighted to see those colours and styles are now back on trend!

Imagine my delight in unpacking and unwrapping these darlings again after their lengthy sabbatical. Earth tones, with shades of brown ranging from milk chocolate and dark chocolate to raisin, have turned me into the proverbial kid in a lolly shop – without adding kilograms to my hips!

Timeless styles that have returned to our fashion knitwear smorgasbord include fitted rollnecks, vests, big sweaters, long cardigans, big scarves, and the list goes on…

I have a few rules when it comes to knitwear designs, such as: wearing a fitted knitwear top with a wide skirt or wide-leg trousers; and wearing a big sweater with a more fitted skirt or slimline pants will balance the silhouette.

However, rules are not cut in stone, so, the trend of tucking a big swear into the waist of wider-leg trousers or even adding a belt to accentuate the waist, is a popular trend too. That comfy chic look always reminds me of Coco Chanel’s early years. It appears nonchalant, yet it always looks effortlessly elegant.

Look at the current colour palette for the colder months and decide which colours and styles would be a good investment for your winter wardrobe. I’ve often been called out for calling fashion an investment. However, I believe we invest in skincare to look good, we invest in a perfect lipstick, and we invest in our style as it confirms we care enough about ourselves, especially when we are older, not over.

Earth tones, of which one of my favourites is taupe, or mushroom or latte, can be tweaked to suit most skin-tones and it works well with our silver tresses if we’ve opted for our hair to age naturally. If you feel a tad pale in it, add a deeper red lip colour, it elevates our complexion.

Red is on trend again, and it is said a woman who wears red is confident enough to stand out in a crowd. Ah, then there are those sweet shades of lavender, from the soft lilacs to deeper purple hues. Remember that heart-wrenching movie with Judie Dench, Ladies in Lavender? Well, years ago it was a colour for the aged but now it is earning its rightful place as a hue to enhance women of all ages, we wear it with pride and panache, and mixing these tones will make for a soft, yet sophisticated look.

As I’ve never allowed ponchos and wraps to go out of style in my winter wardrobe, I’m thrilled about the latest colours available on our fashion platforms. Ponchos are also handy to hide the bits we wish to hide, whilst emphasising our most redeeming body parts (tell no-one).

Knitted sets don’t date and the tops with matching skirts and pants make for versatile styling. I recently invested in a long-sleeve midi-dress, ideal for evening, or a wedding, as it has a slight metallic sheen, which creates a glamorous vibe.

Play with styling knitwear, see what makes you feel comfortable to mix and match. Also check your existing wardrobe before deciding on new additions, gorgeous tribe, as in the end, the best accessory is confidence, and nothing shouts that message louder than feeling fabulous. Have a happy May…

Outfit 1 (From the left): Knitted vests have made a big comeback since the 80s. Practical and versatile to wear on its own or over a shirt. I’ve styled it with a scarf for a softer touch with the striped shirt.
Outfit 2: The trench is always a good idea and works well over a vest.
Outfit 3: Taupe or mushroom hues are versatile, and big scarves are ideal as wraps.
Outfit 4: Ponchos pair well with wool sets too, add a cap or hat to make it stand out in neutral tones.
Image source: Supplied
Outfit 4 (From the left) : Autumn is not only about earth shades, I love this shade of aqua, mixed with an old scarf that just happened to match.
Outfit 5: Lavender is soft and exudes a feminine vibe.
Outfit 6: Knitted pants and skirt sets work well with wraps and long cardigans.
Image source: Supplied
Outfit 8 (From the left): Knitted maxi-dress with a soft metallic sheen, ideal for a special event, or making any event memorable.
Outfit 9: Mixing the blues with scarves to elevate a casual look.
Outfit 10: Add an animal print woolen scarf to a neutral outfit and poncho to make a statement.
Image source: Supplied

Note: Fashion items from my wardrobe, sourced over several years, are from mostly Australian fashion outlets such as: Witchery, Trenery, Country Road, Seed Heritage, Zara, Showpo, and Decjuba.

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