How to Style Multi-Coloured Knitwear

Men’s clothing tends to be designed conservatively to suit men’s lifestyles that generally necessitate a more muted dress code. We very much have this need in mind when designing our clothes, and that is why by and large, you can feel confident that anything from our knitwear range will suit most men’s lifestyles, however conservative their wardrobe needs to be.

However, this runs the danger of stifling creativity which is the very thing that as a designer brand we seek to pursue. As such, where there is historical or cultural reference points that we feel sufficiently move us to compel a design, we would incorporate such elements, resulting at times in a piece of knitwear with more than one colour on it.

This is only done if there is a genuine historical design detail that we wish to pay homage to (stripes on the cricket jumper and club cardigan, and the stripes on the French navy inspired breton stripe), and the colours enhance the overall look of the sweater in a tasteful way, not done simply for the sake of “adding some colour” no matter its aesthetic. Besides, we always use dark, muted colours that do not contrast too starkly against each other, making it more versatile and more easily paired with other things.

The benefit of wearing multi-coloured knitwear is that it helps to create some interest to an outfit that would otherwise be plain with no point of differentiation, made out simply of block colours.
Have a look at the outfit below for example. It could have easily been a navy cardigan, with a white t-shirt and dark denim jeans - perfectly respectable, but perhaps lacking a bit of interest.

By substituting a plain white t-shirt with our breton stripe, you are adding some interest to the outfit, but the colours of the breton stripe are congruent with the rest of the outfit so it works seamlessly, rather than “stick out”, something that many might fear (the ecru stripe works with blue, the navy stripes obviously work with the navy cardigan and dark blue of the denim).

As such, we’d like to encourage you to consider knitwear with multiple colours. For a lot of people, the immediate reaction may simply be to avoid, perhaps because it is too much effort to think about how it can be worn.

To help guide you, we thought it’d be helpful to set out four practical tips on how to easily style multi-coloured knitwear.

Tip 1 - avoid other items of clothing with busy colours/patterns.

Don’t match with other items of clothing with busy pattern or colours - choose plain block colours. For example, if you are wearing a multi-coloured cricket sweater, wear plain blue jeans and a plain jacket instead. By doing so, you ensure that the overall outfit will not be too busy, and the multi-coloured knitwear is “balanced out” by the plain block colours elsewhere in the outfit.

Some more examples below.

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in ecru/navy (multi-coloured), with chambray shirt (plain), navy jacket (plain) and white trousers (plain):

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in dark olive/navy (multi-coloured), with superfine lambswool tennis cardigan in navy (plain) and dark jeans (plain):
Cashmere cotton breton stripe in ecru/navy (multi-coloured), with white denim jacket (plain), navy shorts (plain) or white trousers (plain):
Merino club cardigan in cream, purple and green (multi-coloured), with cashmere silk tennis polo in olive (plain) and navy shorts (plain):

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in dark olive/navy (multi-coloured), with black leather jacket (plain), grey trousers (plain):

Superfine lambswool cricket sweater in cream (multi-coloured), with denim jacket (plain), trench coat (plain), white shorts (plain):

Superfine lambswool cricket sweater in navy (multi- coloured), with chambray shirt (plain) and black leather biker jacket (plain):

In all the examples above, you can see how the multi-coloured knitwear simply adds interest but still blends in seamlessly with the rest of the outfit as the other items of clothing are all plain block colours, offsetting the busyness of the knitwear.

Tip 2 - find dominant colour of the piece of knitwear, and style it with other clothes as if the piece was just in that colour.

This method helps to simplify your thought process when its first thing in the morning and you haven’t had your first cuppa yet - simply treat the knitwear as if it is entirely in the dominant colour and pair it with other clothing that goes with that colour. For example, you might look at the navy cricket jumper with burgundy and olive on the trim - the dominant colour is navy, so treat it as though it is only a navy jumper and wear other items of clothing that go with a navy jumper.

A navy jumper would work perfectly well with a pair of grey trousers and white button down, so this look works:

A navy jumper would also work with a light blue chambray shirt, so this look also works:

Another example below, the merino club cardigan in navy has burgundy and cream stripes, but simply treating it as a navy cardigan, it would go with chino trousers and a white polo, which is why this look works:

Some more examples below:

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in dark olive and navy - simply treat this as a dark olive top (dark olive being the dominant colour). Dark olive goes with dark jeans, so:

Dark olive, also works with cream and navy, so:

Couple more examples applying the same principles:

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in ecru/navy - dominant colour is ecru, so treat it as simply an ecru/white top, hence it would work with a navy cardigan and dark jeans:

Superfine lambswool cricket sweater in cream and olive - simply treat it as cream, so goes well with an all white/cream outfit:

The reason why it works is because our contrast colours are so muted (e.g. the burgundy and navy on the cricket sweater are some of the darkest shades possible for that yarn in that colour), and also minimal as compared to the dominant colour which takes up a very high percentage of the colour mix, so that those contrast colours do not do enough to pull an outfit away from its core colours.

Tip 3 - Look at the secondary colours on the knitwear, and wear other items of clothing in the same colour as that secondary colour, or which belongs to the same colour shade.

Take the cashmere cotton breton stripe sweater in ecru/navy for example. The ecru is the dominant colour, the navy stripe is the secondary colour, so pick other items of clothing to wear (trousers/shirt/blazer/scarf etc.) that is blue/navy. Here is an example, where we paired it with the navy shawl collar cardigan:

It works because the secondary colour, being the less dominant is drawn out by the dominant colour from the same shade in the other item of the clothing (in this case the shawl collar cardigan).

Here is a variation, where we paired the breton stripe with a blue chambray shirt (the blue belongs to the same colour palette as the navy on the breton stripe).

And then we completed the look with a navy blazer as well, so you have the navy stripe of the breton stripe, which ties in with the blue of the chambray, which then ties in with the navy of the blazer. The previously dominant ecru on the breton stripe is balanced out by another dominant colour now which is blue/navy:

Essentially, you still only have two dominant colour palettes, white and blue, and all items of clothing on the model fall into one or the other bucket, creating a congruent outfit colour-wise. It’s a good example of how you can use contrast colours on your knitwear which you might previously have thought to be an annoying distraction to your advantage in creating an interesting and nuanced outfit.

We do this a lot in our lookbooks, some more examples below:
The merino club cardigan in cream has cream as the dominant colour and then green and purple as secondary colours - so we paired it with our cashmere silk tennis polo in olive, to go with the secondary colour, green, on the club cardigan:

The merino club cardigan in navy has cream and burgundy as secondary colours, so, paired with cashmere silk tennis polo in cream:

If you have a bit more time to think about an outfit and want to put more effort into creating an interesting and congruent look, it is well worth trying the method above.

Tip 4 - put the colour to one side, focus on the style of the knitwear and wear it as you would that style.

Take the superfine lambswool cricket sweater - it is in essence, a cable v neck sweater, so wear it like any other v neck. We like wearing a v neck with a shirt underneath and a blazer on top; jeans with the blazer (informal on the bottom to balance out the more formal top), or trousers with denim shirt (formal bottom to balance out the informal top):

Couple more examples, this time with the navy cricket sweater. Treating it simply as a navy v neck sweater without regard to colour, the knitwear naturally goes well with either a white or pale blue shirt:

Now with the merino club cardigan - treat it like an ordinary cardigan, which would go with a shirt, polo shirt or t-shirt underneath:

Cashmere cotton breton stripe in dark olive/navy - it is essentially in the shape of a long-sleeved t-shirt, so treat it like one and wear a pair of trousers and blazer with it for a smart casual look:

Note that in each outfit above, the fact that there is a small bit of colour on the knitwear does not detract from the overall look which is still relatively conservative, becuase the dominant colour and style of the knitwear is still obvious. The nice thing is that unlike a plain v neck sweater, you are now able to add some interest to the outfit without having to accessorise!

We hope this has given you some great reasons to wear knitwear with more than one colour on it and a few easy to follow tips on how best to style it. The overall message is - there is no need to be put off or be afraid of it, as you will find that the subtlety of the colours on our knitwear range will mean you are still dressing relatively conservatively whilst looking elegant and tasteful.