How to Wear a Chunky Knit Sweater – Tricky Trends



how to wear chunky knits

Perusing the latest Lucky Magazine to see the Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter 2012 trends I noticed that there is a lot of chunk. Not only chunky but also pretty boxy too.

The reality with any texture, if you’d describe it as chunky, it will make you look chunky. This is why over the years I’ve removed from many clients closets chunky cardigans and chunky jumpers (that’s the Australian word for sweater), as my clients never feel great in them. Sure they’re warm, but not particularly flattering.

So if this is a trend that you want to play with, how do you do it in the most flattering way?

1. Wear chunky with slim – this is otherwise called the principle of volume – if you’re wearing a voluminious or chunky top, wear a slim fitting bottom – such as a straight skirt or skinny jean.

2. Get the proportions right – proportions are all about balance, and so look to cut up your body into 1/3s rather than 1/2 with your top and bottom. We find this so much more visually pleasing.

3. Consider your body shape – this look is easier to pull off if you’re an I or V shape, much much harder for the 8s, Os, Xs, Hs and As of the world.

4. Buy cheap – as this trend is harder to wear, you may get sick of it more quickly as it’s not as flattering, so don’t spend too much on your chunky knit as I’ve noticed that people find it much harder to donate or dispose of garments that they’ve spent more money on, even when they are unflattering. ¬†Fads like this are where you spend less, and move them out of your wardrobe more quickly.

5. Cheat – look for a garment that is chunky where you are not – such as a chunky sleeve, rather than the body.


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  • Love the “Cheat” :)! I like pairing a super chunky knitted short cardigan/shrug, that buttons right at my waist….and it balances my hips/thighs, or at least makes me look really slim relatively!

    Thank you for the proportion tips Imogen! I’ll remember to match the fabric adjectives to my proportion-ing attempts. Haha, no chunky tummy or hips for me!

  • WOW and I thought it was just me! Thank you for solving my problem. I’m busty on top so my chunky sweaters make me look more square (and fat) than anyone else.

  • I feel that on the contrary it’s As and Xs who can wear those chunky sweaters. They can get away with the chunkiness as they’re slim on top. Hs and Vs surely do not look good with the extra bulk on top, right? But really I think it doesn’t look good on anyone but men.
    Thank you for identifying this trend as hard to wear. I thought i was the only one who felt like embracing it wouldn’t be a good idea.

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