First things first, what is Fair Isle? Most assume it's a specific pattern on sweaters, hats, scarves, and anything else you can create with a skein of yarn and knitting needles. More than any one pattern, Fair Isle is a knitting technique that uses alternating colors in one row to create a repeating pattern that is dense, reminiscent of Scandinavian motifs and usually comprised of white, black, or an otherwise primary color. It just so happens this type of knit is associated with Fair Isle, one of Scotland's islands, for its origin. What's that got to do with you? It's been a major trend on the runways over the last couple of years, it's a celeb favorite during fall and winter, and depending on how you put it together, it's oh so chic.
Don one of these knits and think of rustic getaways, Swiss chalets, and a vacation that includes a B&B located in the Swedish countryside. It'll help you deal with your morning train commute, trust us.
J.Crew went a little nuts with their love for Fair Isle this year, which works out well for the rest of us looking to add this trend to our wardrobe. A good rule of thumb for styling: choose one color in the sweater and "pull" it out by incorporating it into your bottom.
$495 at J.Crew.
Tie One On
If you need to go slow when you try a new trend, a scarf could be just the thing to get you going. This one is particularly gorgeous, with a simple pattern and color scheme. The touch of angora means it's going to be super soft too. Double bonus. We'd love to see it paired with a worn in denim jacket or blazer, as well as a winter topper.
$130 at White and Warren.
Warm Your Legs
Try Fair Isle in an unexpected way with a pair of leg warmers. We're thinking loose fit tunic top, leggings, warmers, and ballet flats for brunch. Maybe topped off with a leather jacket and scarf.
$69 at Rugby.
The shape and cut of this sweater is to die. From the feminine bell sleeves to the side-split hem, something like this will become and instant go-to for how comfortable it feels and effortless it looks. Plus, you know you haven't worn those red jeans as often as you thought you would. Pick up a Fair Isle sweater with a touch of red in it and put them together!
$198 at BCBG.
Black tights and ankle boots add a toughened-up edge to the sweetness of Fair Isle design. It doesn't get much easier than a sweater dress on cold winter mornings when you couldn't manage to get out of bed until the last minute, sacrificing outfit decision time.
$67.99 at Macys.
One way to take advantage of Fair Isle and guarantee it'll fit into your wardrobe: buy it in simple neutral colors as seen here. Add layers of varying colors to your heart's content.
$364 at Saks.
White Nose Cropped
The abstract, seemingly random, pattern of this look feels a touch more modern than a zig-zag or snowflake design. The cropped fit is sexy, and we think would look amazing over your simple black maxi dress and under your motorcycle jacket.
$178 at Bloomingdales.
Most Fair Isle sweaters' have a white/blue or white/black mix pattern with the potential for other colors being mixed in. The grey "background" color on this sweater makes it unique. The banded hem gives the torso a bit of extra room for a relaxed feel that's still feminine yet fitted.
$544 at Farfetch.
For the days when you just want to lounge or take a casual trip to the outdoor market, you've got to have an oversized cardi you can sink into. This version from Gap is affordable, will go with anything and has that slightly slouchy fit we've come to appreciate over the last few seasons.
$55.99 at Gap.