It's winter time here in Michigan, and the frigid temperatures and snow fall is upon us for the next few months.
Even though we are all bundled up in our coats and frocks, underneath it all we're sporting our favorite cold weather attire.
As for me, if I must be cold and forced to layer up, I love to do it in CHUNKY KNITS.
Chunky Knits is a way of creating knitted material that is comprised of various sizes of large stitches. They are not like your standard sweater or hat that have closed knitting and small holes. They are a wider, and often thicker, type of material with purposeful strokes that create an embossed, or raised pattern. In some cases, the bigger the stitch, the more that it looks 3D. Depending on the style, chunky knit sweaters are usually handmade, and require a knowledgeable and delicate hand in their creation. Russia is well known for creating wool based designs and creations that have their origin in their country. It is a technique and skill that they have mastered by combining large, raised knitting with wool fabric that has not been spun into anything commercial. You can find several sellers, and store owners on Etsy, which is a safe way to purchase one of these items to avoid any fraud or displeasure with your purchase, considering that they are more expensive than your store-bought sweater.
THE PROS and CONS
With all attire, trends, and choices, there are pros and cons. I believe that all body types can wear CHUNKY KNITS. But no matter the trend, it is important to consider YOUR own body type, and what clothing or accessories will accentuate the positive, and not draw attention to your areas of challenge.
The CONS with chunky knits is that because they are heavier and thicker than your standard knit, they can typically add girth to your body when wearing them. If it's a scarf or a hat, it works a lot better than if it's a sweater, cardigan, or any garment that will lay on your body. When wearing an item made out of chunky knit, proportions is key. If you're going to wear a large, loose chunky knit garment, it is best paired with items that are form fitting, and not also oversized. Doing so will not only add size to your body, but take away from the garments beauty. Unless you are really petite, and rather small, adding that many oversized garments to one look can make you look much larger than you are. Another CON can be the delicacy of some of the chunky knit items. Depending on what they are made of, and how wide the stitch, the care that is required for these items is different. A snag on a chunky knit item is not the same as a snag on your everyday sweater. They require some care and preservation to keep them in their original condition.
It's okay to consider many options before finding the one that works for you. Not all of them will look great on you, or to you. But it's possible to find one that you love, and that will love you back.
The PROS of chunky knits are that most have an eye catching, unique, and custom appearance. They are a perfect way to stay warm while enjoying something different. They are also items that you can add to your closet and keep them for years. They don't really go out of style because they are very unique and often custom pieces. When you have a custom piece, it is difficult to lock it into a time or decade because they don't cater to trends or fads. Thus they can't be viewed as belonging to a certain time in fashion. As you will see below, most are stand alone pieces that are not locked into one era or time. They are timeless.
Enjoy a few looks that I put together for you to enjoy, along with the details of where I got them, and how I paired them. Some will surprise you.
LOOK #1 - Midi Length
I saw a similar wool cardigan on Etsy for over $200, and fell in love on sight. These types of sweaters are usually hand made, which is why they are so costly. I made it an eventual goal to purchase one "one day" when I didn't mind shelling out the money. But as usual, when I find something that I like but it's costly, I look on E-Bay or Poshmark where private sellers are often looking to part with items, giving you room to possibly negotiate the price. Sure enough, I looked on E-bay and found this sweater being sold by a personal seller who had gone on a European vacation, purchased this sweater, and had never had the chance to wear it. She was asking only $85 for it. I pressed my luck and offered her $55, and she gladly accepted. Good things don't always come if you wait. But they sometimes come if you look while waiting.
LOOK #2 - Cropped Sweater
Gosh. This sweater is everything and more that I love all rolled into one idea.
3D/Raised flowers + Ivory Foundation + Cropped + Chunky Knit Merino Wool = IN LOVE.
It isn't something that you can wear every day. It really is a conversation piece, and has delicate elements to it. Created by the seller "HeyAysStore" on Etsy, it is from a collection of several 3D sweaters that incorporate appliques. It is a hand made item, made of genuine merino wool. With it's makeup of wool and the flowers, it's heavy and has some weight to it. It's oversized, and runs large. As a custom, hand made item, the price tag is $205.00. But again, it's a custom item that you will have for years to come.
The creator of the "HeyAysStore" is the original creator of this sweater. I say this because you will see many mock-up's and remakes being sold on websites in India and China. Typically these remakes cost considerably less, but are also made with cheaper materials, and low quality craftsmanship. Be aware if deciding to order from another source other than the original creators.
LOOK #3 - Bolero
I love a bolero. Bolero's are one of the easiest ways to either accentuate a waist, or create one. They also are a good way to create proportions. Because of the weight of chunky knits and how they can add to your frame, a bolero is a good way to wear them because it's contained within one section of your frame. I purchased this one from a store based in Russia on Etsy called: "MoroshkaByVingil". It is also a merino wool handmade item, and available in several other beautiful colors and designs.
Their prices vary, but are competitive with handmade items constructed of wool.
Side Note: I paired this bolero with a denim top that I purchased second-hand at Plato's Closet for $12, and a pair of men's camo, utility pants that I purchased brand new at The Salvation Army for $11. My shoes are by Schutz, and cost me $60.00, but retail for $130.00. As you can see, mixing high end and low end is a very real thing. Don't put yourself in a box. Explore your options.
LOOK #4 - Full Length Cardigan
This beautiful, full length cardigan is one of my favorite pieces to wear. Purchased this year from the online retailer Boohoo.com, it is probably one of the most wearable, practical, and commercial versions of chunky knits available to us by retailers. Made of a tighter knit, and a cotton blend fabric, it's more lightweight, and reasonable in cost and upkeep. With a coupon, I paid a little under $50 for it. This type of cardigan is so versatile in options for wear, and can easily be dressed up or down according to occasion and preference.
LOOK #5- Poncho
Though visually the most mute of all of my looks, it is my favorite.
Because it's a handmade item by my very own Mother.
My mom has been crocheting since she was a little girl. She actually tried to teach me when I was my daughter's age. But I quickly lost interest in the art. My daughter Haven, however, has fallen in love with the craft.
My mom can make just about anything from blankets to coats. I saw a photo sometime ago of a lady in a similar scarf poncho, and I fell in love. I sent the photo to my mom, picked out a color from her scarf bin, and VOILA. Her creation turned out better than the photo.
She is currently building a portfolio of her work for you to view and submit custom orders and requests.
LOOK#6 - Accessories
Typically I'm not a heavy on the accessories type of girl. Accessories are not the first thing that I look for. But when I saw this scarf years ago on Free People's website, it was truly a "love at first sight" moment. However, when I clicked on the photo, and saw that it costs $300, I knew I'd never have it unless I could find someone to do a great remake of it. Honestly, I could not fathom spending $300 on a scarf. Well, time went on, and one day I stumbled across a listing on E-Bay for this very scarf. It literally was a miracle moment. Who in their right mind would part with a scarf like this? After some negotiating, I got the scarf for $100, brand new, with tags attached. You may think that $100 is still too much to pay for a scarf. But the minute that you hold it, and drape it around your neck, you instantly understand why. Made of alpaca blend wool, it is absolutely exquisite to the touch, and feels like you're wrapped in clouds. It's worth every penny of it's $300 retail price, whether you want to pay it or not.
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