On the surface, one-piece knits appear as basic get-up-and-go wardrobe essentials. But as Kate Bosworth and Rihanna demonstrate, complementary pieces and high-impact accessories can elevate a knit sweater from elemental to en vogue. For example, Bosworth (top row, left), an expert in the school of nonchalant layering, wore a semi-sheer jumper over a printed Mulberry dress from the Pre-Fall 11 collection. Her easy-breezy outfit, perfect for touching down at LAX last September, is accented with a JewelMint Empress Necklace ($30), Mulberry Harriet Clutch Wallet ($550) in Black Glossy Buffalo, and Mulberry Leopard Print Clipper ($775) in Black & Birds Nest Printed Scotchgrain. Though Rihanna (top row, center) also opted for a dark knit, her look exuded an edgier vibe. Leaving Japanese restaurant Nozomi in London last spring, Rihanna injected her Alexander Wang Contrasting Wool Knit Turtle Neck ($425) with her own personal brand of swagger: slightly baggy, distressed jeans; a twisted bandanna serving as a headband; a pop of bright led lipstick; and Salvatore Ferragamo's Houndstooth Printed Genuine Python Pumps ($950). We love how even a basic item, in this case a black sleeveless knit, looks fashion-forward after undergoing the Rihanna treatment! We spotted another standout sweater snapped on blogger Peony Lim at Paris Fashion Week S/S 12; Lim paired a cropped Bamford turtleneck over a longer Zara shirt and Zara mini skirt, all in similar shades of cream, white, and beige (bottom row, right). While her chunky cable-knit jumper would make a fine outfit paired with simple jeans, Lim's creative play on hem lengths and her artful mix of colors and textures offer an innovative way to wear one-piece knits.
However lovely pullover knits may be, they're not the only way to go. Both Dree Hemingway and Olivia Palermo recently shrugged on knit cardigans with stylish flair. At Chanel's Numeros Prives opening night party in Las Vegas last weekend, Hemingway (top row, right) wore an unbuttoned burnt orange cardigan over the label's Yellow Crepe Dress ($2735, 800.550.0005) from Resort 12. The stunning model's vibrant ensemble, grounded with solid brown accessories like a narrow leather belt and pumps, is an ideal day-to-night look. Meanwhile, Palermo (bottom row, center) effused polished elegance at the Ermenegildo Zegna show at Milan Fashion Week F/W 12 in early January. Her Agnona beige cardigan, featuring generous fox fur trim and oversized buttons, along with the label's silk blouse, houndstooth trousers, and brown leather belt from F/W 12 are jazzed up with a splash of animal print, thanks to Mulberry's Signature Pumps ($625) in Camel Leopard Haircalf.
If you've got the style chutzpah to tackle a head-to-toe knit look, then Giovanna Battaglia's subtly shimmery floor-length number will surely resonate with you. Last November, the editor/stylist (bottom row, left) sported a belted Jo No Fui Long Knit Lurex Dress ($535) and Sara Battaglia Autari bag ($1410) at the Barneys New York celebration of Gaga's Workshop in New York. The glimmering metallic threads woven throughout the ribbed fabric lend the dress a spark of glamour, making it an exceptionally interesting and chic eveningwear choice.
Should you have the urge to outfit yourself in all things knitted after reading today's story, we selected a range of high-to-low picks, including semi-sheer pullovers like Duffy's Cable-Knit Wool and Cashmere-Blend Sweater ($475), Zoa's Cable Detailed Basic Sweater Top ($141), or Urban Outfitters' Staring at Stars Cotton Slub Cable Tunic ($59). For thick, chunky turtlenecks, we adore Donna Karan's Stretch Knitted Top ($450), Alexander Wang's Sleeveless Turtleneck Tunic ($261), Type Z's Wattan Pullover Sweater ($49), and Tibi's Long Sleeve Cropped Sweater ($79), which come in a range of must-have black and cream shades. Your sartorial sensibilities may lean towards knit cardigans, in which case these vivid orange options, Forever 21's Knit Epaulet Cardigan ($25) and Urban Outfitters' BDG Marled Cable Fisherman Cardigan ($49), will serve you well. To steal Palermo's luxuriant fur-trimmed version, check out Forever 21's Cardigan With Fur Trim ($23) and Minnie Rose's Fur Collar Cardigan ($429). Finally, bold trendsetters who wish to don a knit maxi dress in the spirit of Battaglia will appreciate ALC's Variegated Knit Maxi Dress ($209), Chloe's Open-Knit Maxi Dress ($1955), and Halston Heritage's Lurex Knit Dress ($249), all long-sleeved numbers possessing a lurex-infused gleam. But you don't have to get too knit-picky-all of these selections are definitely winners in our book!-Tiffany Tse
Photo of Kate Bosworth, courtesy of Bauer Griffin; Photo of Rihanna, courtesy of WENN; Street style photo, courtesy of Vanessa Jackman; Photos of Olivia Palermo and Giovanna Battaglia, courtesy of Getty.