Autumn is on it’s way, and there are whisperings of it’s arrival everywhere. The first few curled yellow leaves have started to fall, the morning arrives with a new chill to the air, and my summer dresses have been packed away to make room for cosy knitwear to fill my wardrobe. I love dressing for this time of year, jumpers and jeans are my jam, so I tend to go hard on the knitwear during September and October, before the knitwear get’s buried under layers of coats! I love knitwear, but I know that it isn’t the easiest thing to shop or care for, so I wanted to share some of my tips in preparation for your autumn wardrobes!
Good knitwear doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it certainly should last you more than one season. There seems to be a fear that if you buy cheap with knitwear, it’ll fall apart on the first wash, or never make it past December, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Whilst I do like to invest in the odd piece of knitwear here and there (I’ve got a few pieces from Whistles, All Saints, Phase Eight, Ted Baker and Scotch and Soda), a lot of my everyday knitwear pieces are from the high street, and are on their third or fourth Autumn Winter still looking great!
I’ve got affordable knitwear from Zara, ASOS, Reserved, even Sainsbury’s, that looks great even after countless washes, and the trick is being fussy with what you purchase, and looking after it!
- Check your materials and know your fabrics. Whilst I’m not saying that you should only buy cashmere knits, there’s a lot to be said for the materials used. I never buy anything that’s 100% cashmere or wool, because I know it’s impractical to wash (and if it can’t be chucked in my washing machine I’ll never wear it), but I won’t buy anything that’s 100% synthetic because it won’t be as cosy, and they often wear quicker over time. Look at the label to see what a piece is made from before you jump into buying it.
- Try not to buy knitwear online. With jumpers, sweaters, thin knits, it’s all in the feel. A jumper doesn’t have to be 100% cashmere to be soft, but often feeling a jumper will tell you anything to know. Steer clear of anything too soft and thin, as it’s likely to catch on handbags, jewellery and door handles, and end up pulling or snagging. If you do choose to buy online, make sure you are prepared to send it back if it arrives and is a lower quality than expected.
- Be mindful of the cut you choose. Sometimes a good cut can make a jumper look more expensive than it is. Longer sleeves and higher necklines can make more affordable knitwear appear more luxurious.
- If you’re shopping cheaper, look for thicker knits. Thicker knits tend to stand the test of time better than thinner jumpers, which can catch, pull and just wear to look even thinner over time. A chunkier knit or thicker fabric will be more resistant to this, and is much more likely to last you longer!
- Check the washing instructions before you buy. If, like me, you know you’re about as likely to hand wash a jumper as you are to leave the house nude, there’s no point buying knitwear that’s hand wash only. Check the washing instructions in the label before you buy to avoid disappointment when you get home.
- Choose classic cuts, styles and colours you know you’ll wear again and again. If you’re looking for knitwear that lasts, try and stick to pieces that are timeless, rather than trend led pieces. Trend knitwear is fantastic, but you’re unlikely to pull it out time and time again.
- Fold, don’t hang. I need to take my own advice on this one, but I just so prefer to have my clothes hanging! Knitwear is likely to lose it’s shape if hung up, it’s own weight will pull it down, so try to store your knits folded on shelves or in drawers. If you must hang them, choose thicker hangers with padding and a bit more shape to help protect them!
- Keep a razor on hand for bobbles! Knitwear naturally forms little bobbles on the surface in areas where it rubs, you might find they often appear under your arms or where your handbag sits. These can be easily fixed by using a razor to remove them! For cashmere pick up a bobble comb, and make sure to remove them before washing.
- Dry flat. It goes without saying to keep your knitwear looking like new you should avoid the washing machine, but it’s often forgotten that it’s best to dry your knitwear flat. Instead of hanging on a line or over a radiator, use a clothes horse to lie your knitwear flat, to help it regain it’s natural shape.
- Make your own lavender spray. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to water, and spritz it onto your knitwear after washing. Not only will it smell delicious, it’ll help keep moths away!
And there you have it, my top tips for buying knitwear that doesn’t cost the earth, and how to keep it looking like new!
Are you a knitwear junkie like me? Let me know in the comments if you have any other top tips I’ve missed out here!