All hail the chunky knit. Perfect for hiding a multitude of sins as well as propping up the very important basic bitch checklist for autumn (chunky knit, pumpkin spiced latte, a blanket and a ‘good book’, if you didn’t know), if you don’t have at least five primed and prepped in your wardrobe waiting for the first hint of miserable weather, have you even fashioned though?
Here’s the deal. I wanted to pull together a autumm/winter knitwear edit as a) I haven’t uploaded any old-fashioned, to-the-core, through-and-through fashion content in a long time, and b) because you guys shopping makes me feel 1000 times less guilty about my own over-indulgence when it comes to the high streets New In sections.
But here’s the extra deal. I also don’t really enjoy writing purely fashion based content. Some people can masterfully navigate the detailing of a grey ribbed jumper, unearthing seventeen different reasons you never knew you needed one and seventeen variations of the same thing that are all just that little bit different. Other people - myself included - tend to fall at the first hurdle, coming up against a brick wall after ‘so this is my new grey jumper - uhhhh…’. And that's not because I don't love clothes - my recent PayPal transactions will back me up here - but it's just because I view the whole thing as a little tongue in cheek. I could probably write up 1000+ words about a simple ribbed knit, but half of it would be garbage and the rest would be less useful than just looking at the pictures.
So, instead, I'm going to do what I normally do, and dip into the recesses of my mind to pull out some slightly related attempts at humour, and hope you'll stay with me along the way. Today's topic? Three scenarios in which a chunky jumper can save your A$$, plus an edit of my favourite high-street knits of the moment.
Photography: Michaela Tornaritis
"Sorry, I'm just not interested."
Let's play a game. You tell me how many times you've said this in response to an unsolicited drink, phone number or dick pic, and I'll guess how many times it was accepted with grace, rather than met with a "you're ugly anyway", high-school type rebuttal.
Unfortunately, the idea that you might not be attracted to some guys is mortally offending for them, and so being politely upfront and honest is either met with a temper tantrum or it falls on deaf ears. Not interested? Well Madam, please regard this Jägerbomb and unwelcome ass squeeze as a formal acceptance of your challenge. I will now continue to pursue you and seek medical assistance at the same time, as you are clearly not within your right mind.
It's sad, but it's true. We've all been there. And you roll your eyes, you try to stay polite and you avoid them like crazy, but still, this kind of guy returns. Still, he tries. Still, he makes inappropriate comments and still he follows you around New Look, even though you couldn't be less interested in you tried.
But this guy is not unbeatable. No, he has one kryptonite, and that kryptonite is your fake boyfriend.
For some reason, this kind of guy's only weakness is knowing that you're already spoken for. He can't accept that you don't want to jump on the back of his 'ped simply because you're not attracted to his goatee or because he looks like the only action he's seen is subscribing to 33 different PornHub categories - it must be because you already have a 'fella stopping you. And to prove it? "Yeah, sorry, I have a boyfriend. I'm even wearing his jumper. Yeah, he's a policeman too. Wait, I think that's him now-"
And poof, Gareth disappears.
The year is 2037. Trump has done a Trumping good job of Trumping the whole world, and we've been plunged into a post-apocalyptic underground existence. Conventional money no longer holds any value, and a little part of you is glad that you bought that ridiculously expensive Gucci bag when you did instead of 'saving it for a rainy day' like your Nan told you to. You're also secretly glad that you never wasted any time learning what a Premium Bond is, although the co-specimen you once referred to as your father (oh, FYI, everybody is referred to as a specimen now) still laments the loss of those he accrued over the years.
Since you were a fashion blogger in your previous life, you have little to no useful, practical skills. But hey, if somebody from one of the warring government sects wants to reinstate the internet, you'll be right there with your top ten tips on how to smash a social campaign.
Instead, you've joined forces with some of the other digio-specimens (that's digital people, to you and I) to ensure your own survival, and to draw pictures of the memes you once loved. You share stories about that one time you gave somebody Reddit gold for a cute pupper pic, and you wonder if those seedy emails you once exchanged with your boss are still floating around the ether somewhere. Heh, wonder what Keith is up to these days.
But you do have one thing. Thanks to splashing out on the new Topshop Unique collection circa 2016, your wardrobe was full to the brim with mohair and wool, two fabrics of which - thanks to the sub-ground temperatures - are now highly, highly sought after. By selling these off in dribs and drabs, you're able to survive off of artificially grown avocados and almond milk, safe in the knowledge that you won't be forced into the Taylor Games (a vicious battle to the death whereby two participants must listen to 'Look What You Made Me Do' on repeat until one caves, and the other bags the jackpot) any time soon. Nailed it.
Proving your Mum wrong is what can only be described as the ultimate success.
Mums know everything. Not even about politics, or worldly matters, or why hippos look the way they do - Mums remember everything that YOU DO, and they are certified experts in you (I can already tell that I'll be a great mother one day). Left a half-empty mug of tea somewhere you shouldn't? Oh, you bet she's seen it, and she's also set up 3 different spy cameras to track your every movement, waiting specifically for you NOT to pick it up, so she can store this footage in her 'well-remember-that-time-that' library for a rainy day.
Mums also like to keep track of your spending, and, especially if you're into fashion, of what stuff you have. But this is where chunky knitwear proves the winner; year in, year out, all chunky knitwear looks the same. Every year I buy a grey, fluffy, ribbed knit, and every spring I throw it out, and every winter, I buy another one. Every year I pick up a camel roll-neck and then bin it because my neck looks like a salami. Every year I buy fourteen different variations of a simple black jumper, never being able to rest on THE ONE.
But to a Mum, you've been wearing the same neutral knits year in, year out. Unbeknownst to most, Mums are scientifically blind to chunky knits, and their eyes simply cannot pick out the finer details of a subtle dual-toned wool or a 2cm shorter/longer collar. Mums are only able to see the basic outline of a jumper, and everything in between is blank. That's why, when a Mum tries her luck with 'another new top?! You only just bought something yesterday!', you can reply with, 'no, Mum, I've been wearing this for ages. I've just pulled it from my winter wardrobe'. Confused by the blur and with no evidence in her locker to back her up, the Mum is proven wrong and must retreat to her warnings that using your phone so much will make your eyes go square.