How to achieve pullover perfection
Skinny? Slouchy? High-necked or V? Follow these pointers and you’ll have knitwear nailed
A jumper, worn with a slouchy pair of trousers and a crisp white shirt, has become the ultimate signifier of a certain kind of modern elegance. In the ’90s Helmut Lang and Jil Sander had us drooling over slim ones. From 2008, Phoebe Philo made us hanker after the oversized knit.
So what does the perfect jumper look like now? Well, it depends on what you’re going to wear it with. If it’s a skirt, the jumper shouldn’t be too long. Unless you’re exceptionally tall, its waistband should hit the top of the skirt’s waistband. Where that happens to be depends on how much of your stomach you’re happy to reveal. A waistband that sits an inch or so below your natural one can make tummies look flatter... but it’s a question of trying it on.
Waistbands on jumpers generally look more flattering and modern when they’re cut slightly loose and away from the body, rather than the stretchy ribbed kind that bunch up round your middle.
Generally, jumpers look better when they’re slightly big: tight isn’t flattering on most bodies
Necklines? Vs make necks look longer, obvs. Boat necks are nice in theory, but annoying vis-à-vis bra straps, and somehow it’s never the right weather for one. I’m not mad on polo-necks on skinny knits, but they’re all right on an oversized jumper. Cowls are simply unacceptable – who in their right mind wants extra sag? A good turtle neck or funnel should be cut slightly higher at the back to elongate the neck.
Slits and vents are good because they help the silhouette, stop you from overheating and reveal an interesting underlayer. Shoulder seams always look better when they’re placed further back, otherwise you can appear round-shouldered. Generally, jumpers look better when they’re slightly big: tight is not flattering on most bodies.
Sleeves? Not too long, otherwise they look bulky when you inevitably push them up your arm, or faddy. Jumpers should give the impression of being timeless, even when they’re not – and effortless, even though finding the perfect one is anything but.