Fashion-Mommy reviews: A Fair Isle Cardigan from Woolovers

When it comes to clothing, I love style classics. Pieces like the little black dress, a beige trench coat, wide leg trousers and pure indigo jeans are all pieces that can be worn time and time again, always in style by virtue of not being in fashion. And another item that can be added to the mix is the Fair Isle knit, whether it be a cardigan or jumper.

Fair Isle knits are a traditional craft that has been around for hundreds of years, with the knits being used as currency when trading with passing ships. In recent years, the traditional designs have taken on a fashionable edge, notoriously when they became the knitwear of choice for Sarah Lund in ‘The Killing’. One of my favourite fashion films, ‘The Edge of Love’ was another showcase for the Fair Isle style, showing just how great it looks teamed with retro tea dresses. Celebrities love a little bit of the knit too, with Victoria Beckham, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez just some of the ladies who have succumbed to the pretty pattern.

Sarah Lund

Sarah Lund in The Killing

Sienna rocks the style in The Edge of Love

Sienna rocks the style in The Edge of Love

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Poppy Delavingne

Poppy Delevingne

Knitwear experts Woolovers have an amazing collection of knitwear that incorporates Cashmere, Merino Wool and Lambswool designs. The company asked if I would like to choose something from their current range to review, and I decided that the perfect design for wearing right now, that would also be a transitional piece come Spring, was the Lambswool Fair Isle cardigan. This is a knit that comes in a range of really beautiful colour options, including red and grey, but I chose the classic navy option.

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/Lambswool Fair Isle Cardigan now £30 click to visit Woolovers

This cardigan is a great mixture of modern styling and Fair Isle nostalgia. The boxy shape makes this great for casual wear, like teamed with jeans in the photograph above, but it can also be worn over a dress or, as I styled it, teamed with a skirt for a more formal look. The knit has a jacket styled shape, which makes this a great choice in Spring when it can be worn instead of a coat or jacket. It is 100% Lambswool so feels very warm and substantial when you are wearing it, even in our current cold weather.

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DSCN1307[1]I styled my cardigan with a tulip style skirt from Betty Jackson at Debenhams, and vintage style t-bar Mary Janes from Clarks in navy. With navy tights, this picked up the navy of the cardigan. I added a set of 1930s original pearls to play up the nostalgia element of Fair Isle knits, and was really pleased with the look.

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I am wearing this in a size large, which was plenty big enough for me (size 16-18) and meant I could wear this with all the buttons fastened without any puckering. I turned the waistband under slightly to make it sit on the band of the skirt, but would wear this loose and open with jeans.

You can currently get up to 50% off sale at Woolovers, and there are also deals offering two knits for £55, so now is a good time to check out the range for yourself.

*I was sent this cardigan in return for an honest review.

Family Fever

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Style Classic – Hunter Wellies

There are some things in your wardrobe that can be classified as ‘style classics’. The crisp white shirt, a beige trenchcoat, the little black dress, you can probably name a few others. And when it comes to Wellington boots, only one brand really deserves to be labelled as classic, and that has got to be Hunter.

I’m not sure why Hunter Wellies have this cachet rather than other brands. British made and sturdy, these boots are the epitome of cool, being loved by everyone, from the festival going crowds wading through the mud at Glastonbury, to the country set who wear them on long, rambling walks through the English Countryside, accessorising with Barbour jackets and headscarves. My favourite way of styling Hunter’s has long been the sort of Land Girl/The Edge of Love style with chintzy dresses and chunky cardigans worn with the wellies. Think Kiera Knightley, Sienna Miller and Anna Friel, all channeling Debo, Duchess of Devonshire.

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I totally love this look.

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Kiera Knightley and Sienna Miller in ‘The Edge of Love’

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Anna Friel and Rachel Weisz in The Land Girls

Earlier this year I was approached by Cloggs to see if I would be interested in reviewing one of their shoe products. Cloggs is a one stop shop for shoes and boots, with many premium brands available including Joules, Clarks, Converse and Barbour. But I was drawn to the great variety of Hunter boots, coming in a range of colours and lengths.

Hunter Wellies - Original Short - Red £69.99 click to visit Cloggs

Hunter Wellies – Original Short – Red £69.99 click to visit Cloggs

I opted for the original short boot in red. There was a clear, and rather embaressing reason for opting for the shorter boot. I have rather thick calves and had once managed to get myself stuck in a pretty pair of pink tall Hunters in a shoe shop in Taunton. I actually thought I was going to have to buy them, until my husband managed to pull really hard and released my leg. Cue utter red faces all around and a rather sheepish exit from the shop. I hoped that by choosing the shorter option I could avoid the boots being too tight, or getting stuck.

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Dress Pearl Lowe Peacocks (similar here)
Boots Cloggs

DSCN6665[1]Thankfully, these boots are a great fit, they are neither tight around the calves, nor too loose around the foot. I always find cheap wellies to be loose fitting on the feet, and this in turn makes them uncomfortable, and too cold and draughty to wear for any length of time. The Hunter boots fit snuggly and this makes them feel like they are both protecting and comforting the foot. They are heavier than the wellies I normally wear, but because they have a cushioned insole, they are so much more comfortable, and hence, easier to wear.  I went for a size 5, although I normally like a 5.5, but the 5 is the right size, anything bigger would be too big.

DSCN6668[1] DSCN6670[1]I decided to wear my wellies ‘Edge of Love’ style with a Pearl Lowe tea dress that I have had for a while but really love. But I am also planning on taking my wellies to Wales at Easter so they get some real experience of mud, and will then wear them with jeans and leggings for a more outdoosey look.

The Hunter Wellies at Cloggs come in a range of styles and colours and are available for next day delivery.

Many thanks to Cloggs for the wellies – I love them!

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English Heritage inspiration from Joules

One of my favourite fashion trends of all time is the English heritage trend. Role models as diverse as The Queen and Debo, Duchess of Devonshire  have been at the forefront of this particular trend since their youth, and the mantle has been passed on to Stella Tennant, Luella Bartley and Kate Moss. Films like The Edge of Love have also made English Heritage part of their charm. And this season, it is Joules that has created the perfect English Heritage collection.

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The Mitfords

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The English Heritage look is a design classic. It taps into the slightly disheveled look of the aristocracy off duty. Pretty printed tea dresses teamed with chunky Arran style knits are one of my absolute favourite looks, and tweed jackets, acres of tartan and check prints, and equestrian style touches in terms of buttons and prints are all integral to this look.

The Joules Autumn/Winter collection has all the key prints, fabrics and styles that you would expect from a company that started out selling equestrian gear at Country fairs. No one does the English Country look as well as Joules, and this season there are some real standout pieces. I’m obsessed with the Lowry chunky jumper in one of my fave shades, mustard. I’d love to see it worn nonchalantly with Phoebe striped skirt and a pair of wellies for a look that would totally channel Kiera and Sienna. I also adore the Larkworth Fur Tweed Jacket. This is the sort of piece that you might find in a vintage shop if you were very lucky, the fur collar is just so heritage, a real 1930s vintage piece. And there are so many other pieces to savor. Here are some I would like to find in my wardrobe some time soon.

English Heritage at Joules

 LARKWORTH FUR Womens Tweed Coat - Fur Collar £199.00 click to visit Joules

LARKWORTH FUR Womens Tweed Coat – Fur Collar

 CRAWFORD Womens Cotton Blend Skirt £49.95 Click to visit Joules

CRAWFORD Womens Cotton Blend Skirt

 PHOEBE Womens Knee Length Skirt £59.95 click to visit Joules

PHOEBE Womens Knee Length Skirt

 LOWRY Womens Chunky Jumper £69.95 click to visit Joules

LOWRY Womens Chunky Jumper

 LYNDEN Womens Checked Trousers £79.95 click to visit Joules

LYNDEN Womens Checked Trousers

 LETICIA Womens Woven Blouse £59.95 click to visit Joules

LETICIA Womens Woven Blouse

 ABINGTON Womens Tunic £69.95 click to visit Joules

ABINGTON Womens Tunic

 

 LEILA Womens Woven Dress £69.95 click to visit Joules

LEILA Womens Woven Dress

 

To view all the Joules Autumn/Winter collection, click here.