Fall in love with the quirky British appeal of fugly retro knits this spring – we discover 15 of the best

Words Joy Montgomery

They ain’t sexy, they’re the epitome of ‘man-repellers’ and look like they’ve been fished out of your mum’s wardrobe c.1975. But my goodness do we love them.

There’s something quintessentially British about a quirky, patterned jumper. The queen of off-beat vintage style, Alexa Chung, has had her fair share of nerdy-retro knitwear in her time. Lumpy cable knits, colour-clashing stripes and mumsy aran jumpers. All intensely uncool on their own, yet somehow elevated when paired with Chung’s effortless styling.

Countless designers went crazy for the muted oranges and browns of retro styling this season. Ricardo Tisci’s SS17 collection for Givenchy was awash with ’70s-inspired colourways – seen on collared dresses and vibrant spotted shirts. Miu Miu, meanwhile, channelled the swinging ’60s with geometric, pool-side prints. It’s impossible to talk about quirky-cool style without mentioning Gucci’s Allesandro Michele. His eclectic creativity somehow makes sweater vests and mustard-coloured polos objects of veneration. Genius.

So when retro knitwear hit the stores this season we were pretty excited. Designer hues + Chungian silhouettes = serious fashion kudos. You can’t argue with the maths.

Spring might be in full swing, but there’s still need for woolly layers. We live in England after all. We’ll be styling our chunky retro jumpers with pretty pleated midi skirts and plimsoles. While skinny knits – such as Bella Freud’s 1970 polo – will work wonders when tucked into a vinyl a-line mini and grounded with pointed flats. Multi-coloured stripes are the easiest way to work the ’70s bohemian look. We’ll be going all the way with high-waisted flared jeans, skinny scarf and bug-eyed sunset sunnies.

Scroll down for our round-up of the 15 best retro knits available to buy now


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