198083_in_xlEW’s Cherith ponders the pros and cons of this season’s love affair with knitwear

Burberry, I have a bone to pick with you. Two little words – novelty knitwear. The creation of the Burberry Owl sweater has thrown me into one serious fashion dilemma. I want to hate it, I want to mock it, but a very large part of me is secretly rather enjoying it.

As soon as I clocked the jumper I was thrown straight back into 1988, experiencing serious déjà vu of being forced into the obligatory Christmas jumper. Mohair, itchy and adorned with a kitsch animal – even at the age of four, I knew that this was not OK, and gathered that it must have been some form of punishment reserved for me. With so many things clearly wrong with it I knew it had to go and it just so happened to come into contact with my very naughty and always hungry puppy.

Fast-forward to my future self and I’m suddenly back to that dark place. The high street has taken the lead from Burberry and is awash with sweaters flaunting bunnies, badgers and generally all things barmy. Avoiding the novelty knit is becoming more difficult, especially with the weather cooling to a point where it might actually be acceptable to wear wool. In an office where air conditioning wars take place on a daily basis, I have found myself thinking how welcome a wool sweater would be as I lose all sensation in my nose.

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But then there is the issue of actually pulling off a jumper with a large animal on it. The problem in my case is I just don’t think I fall into the quirky bracket where I can pull off novelty with panache. In the comfort of my own home perhaps, but the thought of stepping out in public in garb that could easily have been borrowed from Bridget Jones’ Mr Darcy fills me with dread. It would make a statement, but is it the right statement?

While mulling over the pros and cons with my sister (who incidentally can pull off quirky with ease) she came up with a compromise. Keep the knitwear for my brief trips back to the UK – I spend approximately two weeks of the year there and it is usually timed over the festive break when the high spirits and excitement of the holidays mean that my friends and family will most likely be more inclined to embrace my novelty knit. As soon as that two week window is over, it gets placed firmly at the back of the wardrobe where it will lie until the following year.


Photo: standard.co.uk, net-a-porter