5 knitwear essentials you need this winter

Staying warm – and stylish – in a cold climate can be a struggle. Fashion stylists share the knitwear essentials you need in your winter wardrobe.

Braving the cold may be a daunting thought, but having your wardrobes curated for the winter means you get to stay warm while looking stylish.

Fashion experts share why knits are the ultimate all-rounder and the knitwear essentials you need in your winter wardrobe.

Knitwear is the perfect all-rounder

Without fail, knitwear is a category that hits the runways year in and year out.

And the versatility and reliability of fabulous knits means they are around for the long haul.

Chadstone Fashion official stylist Simone Farrugia says the timeless nature of knitwear makes it a fashion favourite year-round.

“In an Australian climate, even in the summer, we are needing layers,” she says.

Brisbane fashion stylist Sarah Strozkiy agrees that the trans-seasonal nature of knits makes them pieces worth investing in.

“You can easily switch up knitwear from one season to the next, giving you tons of looks to try,” she says.

“It’s versatile, cosy and stylish – the perfect combo of comfort and fashion.”

Which knitwear should you invest in?

The old adage “buy it nice or buy it twice” rings true when it comes to knits.

Knitwear is often considered an investment piece, as good-quality articles can be expensive.

Identifying quality fabric composition is essential when choosing your knits – is the price tag due to quality materials, or are you paying for the brand?

Cheaper knits are often made of synthetic fibres such as acrylic, nylon, and polyester, making these clothing pieces both environmentally unsustainable and low in quality.

This means they are prone to stretching and pilling, and may be less likely to withstand years of wear and tear.

Synthetic fibres are also primarily made of plastic, making them unbreathable and often uncomfortable.

Higher-quality fabrics such as cotton and cashmere are made from natural fibres, making them durable and breathable.

Five essential winter knits (and how to style them)

Sarah says the beauty of knitwear is the endless array of pieces you can find and, ultimately, the range of looks you can create with only a few items.

Chunky-knit sweaters

Balance the bulk of the sweater with fitted bottoms such as leggings, or a fitted skirt and stockings. Add a long necklace or scarf to elongate the look.

Knit dresses

Accessorising this trendy knit to add depth and interest, such as a waist belt, helps to create shape. Sarah also loves adding a knee-high boot or a leather jacket.

Matching knit sets

Layer with a long-line coat or trench for an elevated look. Add sneakers for a casual vibe, or dress it up with some heeled ankle boots and a structured bag.

Texture knits

These include cable knits, ribbed patterns and popcorn texture. Pair with a smooth fabric, such as silk or leather to create contrast.

Knit vests

Layer over a long-sleeve button-down shirt or turtle neck for a chic look, paired with tailored trousers or jeans.

How to choose the right fit

Selecting the perfect knits depends on the look you’re going for, which Sarah says can be a process of trial and error.

“You have to try a few on and see what works for your body shape,” she says.

“You want a knit that lets you move easily – check that it doesn’t feel tight when you lift your arms. Think about how you plan to layer your knitwear as well.

“Have fun and choose whatever makes you feel confident.’’

Simone loves light-weight knitwear as a go-to when styling her clients, as it is generally universally flattering.

“Never be afraid to size right up. Purchasing a cashmere crew neck in an XL when you’re small might feel unnatural, but it might be the trick to get a nice drapey look,” she says.

How to take care of knitwear

Having your dream winter wardrobe is all fun and games until you put a wool sweater into the wash and end up with a knit for a fluffy puppy.

Simone suggests buying quality fabric such as hand-washable cotton and cashmere reduces stretching and pilling.

“Always hand wash in cold water and lay flat on a towel to dry,” she recommends. “Also, never hang your knitwear.”

Sarah says folding knits to store them prevents stretching, and using a fabric shaver helps keeps your pieces looking their best.

Read more on staying warm this winter:

Written by Ravisha Rajapaksha.