In search of…evening jumpers

Mulling over the coming season, it has become glaringly obvious to me that there’s a gaping hole in the knitwear market. Namely the ‘evening jumper’ category.

Let me clarify. An evening jumper is a dressy jumper with a little bit of quirky flair. It needs some sort of excitement or surprise, or extravagant detail. But not too much. I admit, I like a hint of novelty in my evening jumpers but only a hint, and it must be juxtaposed against a backdrop of simplicity. So if it’s going to have a bonkers print or motif, the colour, shape and details must be absolutely plain and fuss-free. To quote my styling idol, Polly Allen Mellen in Unzipped, ‘Fussy, finished‘. Indeed. I like Peter Pan collars, some jolly stripage, loveheart-shaped buttons, red, even a jaunty pompom or two, just not all on the same jumper.

The perfect evening jumper needs to be warm and dressy. And crucially for me, mustn’t have a low neckline as I will be wearing about 3 layers of long-sleeve thermal top underneath. My go-to label for getting evening jumpers just right is Sonia Rykiel. Rykiel’s knits are consistently jazzy without being clownish. Bella Freud and Erotokritos do a nice line in them too and to show some skin, I just push the sleeves up and add my Hermes Medor watch or a Cartier-like jewelled bangle. Also – news just in – menswear knit label Sibling is about to launch its first womenswear line. Famed for its primary-coloured leopard-print cardigans and twisted twinsets, it launches at Topshop on September 9th. See, the evening jumper is catching on already…

Blue cashmere-mix sweater, £605, Sonia Rykiel at

Pompom jumper, £216, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel at

Je T’aime Jane merino wool sweater, £200, Bella Freud

Ginsberg is God merino wool sweater, £200, Bella Freud

Black merino wool jumper, £200, Bella Freud at

[Catwalk image: Harper’s Bazaar]


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4 Responses to In search of…evening jumpers

  1. WendyB says:

    I have a few good evening sweaters and am desperately wanting more. But I am looking for low necklines and a tight fit. I feel like everything shown is so loose and drape-y these days! I guess I have to hit the stores rather than trying to judge just from online.

  2. Miss Peelpants says:

    This is where vintage can help. The likes of Biba, Ossie Clark and Bus Stop were producing exactly the kind of thing you need. I sold a great Biba jumper with gigantic sequins a while ago, and own a very sexy Ossie jumper with bare shoulders and some weird criss-crossing things going on, and a Bus Stop jumper with strawberries on the front.

    Cardigans with novelty buttons are also a weakness of mine 😉

  3. Dreams That Glitter says:

    Betsey Johnson :)


  4. FASHION ICE says:

    i love this! come follow xxo

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