Fair Isle - Time To Get Knit-Picky / by Emmi Sorokin

Fair Isle Sweater
Fair Isle Sweater

Fair Isle knits, named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, are having a resurgence in popularity.  Their distinct pattern of alternating prints in different colored bands stirs polar opinions, people either love or hate them and rarely fall in the middle.

While I appreciate the rustic, country side appeal of the Fair Isle pattern, it's a look that can be distinctly unflattering unless you have the good fortune of having an Adonis upper body that can retain it's V shape no matter the cloth and pattern you drape it in.  Otherwise the horizontal bright bands will make you appear rotund and bulky.

So if you'd like to incoprorate some Fair Isle  into your wardrobe but aren't sure how, try one of these options.

- Select a sweater where the pattern is localized rather than all over, the best placement is across the shoulders since that's the part of your body that should appear widest.

- Fair Isle works better as a supporting character than in a lead role.  Rather that wearing it solo which can overwhelm your frame, layer underneath a solid sport coat or jacket to add depth and interest to your look.

- Try just a touch; since the patterns are so prominent, a scarf with Fair Isle detailing is a safe, stylish alternative.