The Controversial Knickers Trend That's Suddenly Everywhere

With warmth and comfort serving as our main sartorial priority right now, it's little wonder that all of the season's key buys have come in the form of knitwear. From cardigans and trousers to dresses and tops, if you throw open your wardrobe doors and everything happens to be woolly, rest assured you're not alone. But knitted textures haven't just taken over your rails. Turns out, they've also infiltrated your underwear drawer

We've already discussed the return of the knitted bra top at length, the credit to which can be equally shared between Katie Holmes and It brand, Khaite. And now, piggybacking on its success comes another trend that's proving quite controversial amongst the Who What Wear ranks: The knitted shorts trend. 

The word "shorts" might be somewhat of a stretch, for most interpretations of the trend resemble big knickers. Now, let it be own that we are fans of big knickers and will defend them as and when required. But knitted shorts?


(Image credit: @dawn.tan)

Dawn makes her knitted short ensemble look so expensive with gold jewellery and a cardigan twinset. 

We understand their appeal; we really do. Still, when it comes to wearing them in real life, we can't help but feel they'd look like saggy pants. Like us, you may require a bit of convincing, too. And who better to fight the knitted shorts trend's corner than the influencers who've been wearing them on repeat?

Many have taken to styling their woven shorts with yet more knitwear. Think soft triangle bralettes and cardigans. Elsewhere, they're teaming them with linen shirts, or even houndstooth outerwear and a micro bag for a dash to the shops. It goes without saying, they look great, but we have to question their actual practicality. Will they stay up or, worse yet, will they ride up? And will they actually go any lengths to keeping you warm?

Perhaps we're missing the point. Maybe the entire appeal of knitted shorts isn't in the wearing of them but, instead, how they make you feel. There's no denying that they're ten times more fun than anything else we've worn this season, and that has to count for something. Plus, after practically living in cosy joggers and leggings for almost a year, it'll do our legs some good to air them out. Scroll below to see the most stylish ways to wear the knitted shorts trend then, once you're convinced, proceed to shop our edit of the chicest pairs. 



(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Emmanuelle's knitted shorts and cropped cardigan are too cute for words. 


(Image credit: @xbibigul)

Knitted shorts? Outside? It can be done! 


(Image credit: @chloepierreldn)

Chloé makes a case for staying in your knitted shorts all day long. 


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

If your knitted shorts come with matching items, make like Grece and invest in the entire set. 


(Image credit: clairewakeman)

Ribbed knitted styles are still proving popular—just as Claire.


(Image credit: @hannahlewisstylist)

Hannah's combination of knitwear and linen is sublime. 


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Lydia ups her knitted shorts game with this pretty ruffled pair. 


(Image credit: @clairewakeman)

This knitted set with Fair Isle trim looks so cosy. 


(Image credit: @hannahlewisstylist)

Why not wear your knitted short outfits with on-trend shearling sandals


Next Up: This Is Set to Be 2021's Easiest Trend—and You Probably Already Own It

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over twelve years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories, and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, works closely with influencer talent on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media. Previously, Maxine appeared on TV in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. 

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship, she was offered a position on the Look magazine fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. She went on to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as’s fashion writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others. Maxine works remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh.