When the forecast is fickle, grab a jumper – and wear it any way you want | Fashion

As we enter the third week of fashion month (ciao Milano!), a trend has quickly emerged as a clear frontrunner on and off the catwalks. Wearing a jumper not as it was originally intended to be worn is being championed by everyone from Michael Kors to the street-style set.

At 16Arlington – the London brand best known for its glitzy evening wear and loved by Hailey Bieber and Olivia Rodrigo – fuzzy mohair jumpers were tied around models’ necks, engulfing them as if they were wearing giant scarves. Some models wore nothing else but a gargantuan jumper covering their torso; others wore tailored coats, one half covered by a jumper; others wore a second mohair jumper in a contrasting colour in the traditional way.

At Proenza Schouler in New York, models looked as if they were in the process of getting dressed as they walked down the catwalk with their arms hanging out of funnel-neck jumpers that had been turned on their sides.

Elsewhere, the Irish designer Robyn Lynch popped double-knotted cable knits over the shoulders of sporty technical jackets, while Jonathan Anderson (the designer behind those Wellipets frog boots) showed jumpers with in-built matching colour crew necks that gave the illusion of being sloppily tied around the waist.

Wrappers delight … Off-kilter knitwear at the Michael Kors show in New York last week. Photograph: Pixelformula/SIPA/Rex/Shutterstock

It’s rare for a new season trend to be so accessible. All you need is a woolly jumper and some wrapping skills. On social media you’ll find tutorials on how to create the perfect knot. Similar to the chunky cable knits at Michael Kors, turning the jumper so it’s slightly off-kilter is “key”, according to influencers. There are myriad styling options, from the classic knot over shoulders to “seatbelting” – where the jumper is knotted over one shoulder to lie diagonally across the body.

Similar to how streetwear brands such as Aimé Leon Dore have democratised varsity staples such as rugby shirts and collegiate-inspired suiting, the trend also subverts its traditional Wasp-y connotations. Gen Z have put their own spin on the classic knotted-over-shoulders look, moving it on from the preppy elite with their perma-tans and moorings on the French Riviera. Instead of signifying a certain type of class, it now nods to particular fashion subcultures on TikTok, including “academia-core”.

This amount of attention on jumpers might sound a bit bonkers but it’s surprisingly practical. Similar to the erratic weather that “sprautumn” throws up, as winter slowly merges with spring, a spare jumper that you can turn into a scarf on demand is ideal when the forecast is fickle – rather than, say, schlepping around with an actual giant blanket scarf. It’s a trend that clearly has legs. On Wednesday, Fendi kicked off Milan fashion week with several looks featuring twisty tied jumpers. Swaddle season here we come.

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