Plain sweaters and turtlenecks are long gone as we welcome the new age of woven woollens and cool cashmeres. Nothing is more valuable in your winter wardrobe than a cable knit jumper.
The latest fashion runways have showcased prints and patterns to the extreme. Alexander Wang and Kenzo are championing fashion-forward sweatshirts with graphic animal prints to represent your Chinese Zodiac, while Missoni's geometric zigzags, Balmain's Mohair blends and Dolce & Gabbana's character patches on cashmere put a spring in the step of these winter essentials.
It's a relief to see designers giving kudos to the sweater, although things can get a little bit zany. To avoid looking like a Disney character, make sure you choose key colour blocks, as presented by Christopher Kane, Jil Sander, McQueen and Neil Barrett.
Cooler with cashmere
As our northern cousins laugh at our 15-degree Australian winters, you'll find a cashmere turtleneck will keep you perfectly toasty. Alternatively, if you're wearing collared shirts through the week then a handsomely blended knit will enhance your Aspen appeal.
If you're new to wearing cashmere, be prepared to never go back to synthetic fibres. The fine beauty of cashmere reduces the bulk under your suit or sports jacket in winter and will be all you need to wear in autumn.
Cashmere is commonly defined as wool, but is in fact hair. Cashmere is fine in texture, strong, light, and soft. Garments made from cashmere provide approximately eight times the insulation of sheep's wool, and are much softer with added anti-bacterial elements.
Manufacturers such as Naadam Cashmere are the leaders in this category, as they support their herders' livestock through microeconomic development, where a percentage of their earnings circulate back to their herders through annual vaccination programs.
How to wear it
Jumpers and sweatshirts pull focus, so resist wearing them with trousers that have an equal 'look at me' factor. Wear them with plain coloured shirts, block coloured trousers or chinos, or low-crotch sweatpants.
Allow what is on your torso to dictate the rest of the outfit. If the sweater has classic and elegant appeal, then pair it with a similar pant. If the jumper is crying out 'rock and roll', try a distressed black or selvage denim jean, topped with a leather jacket and a pair of Chelsea boots.
Likewise, make the most of the geometric and characterised sweaters by applying clean lines on the bottom half with a pair of sports luxe leather sneakers to add a minimal feel. Plain cashmere sweaters and cardigans should remain in the area of your wardrobe that shouts 'less is more'.
Scroll through the gallery above to see what's in style for sweaters this season.
Experience within retail trend analysis companies has earned Louise Edmonds cred in the luxury menswear sector. The founder of MenStylePower.com utilises her passion and understanding of fashion to deliver a fresh, edgy take on men's style.