Your winter wardrobe needs these nostalgic Fair Isle jumpers

Wrap up in this season's cosiest knitwear

Woman in red and white fair isle jumper GettyImages-1746744015
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fair Isle knits are such a chic win, whether you’re looking for an easy way to update your après ski style, want to tap into a cosy countryside moment or just refresh your favourite jumper and jeans combo. 

Classic and unassuming, with a hint of romantic nostalgia, the soft geometric print elicits a comforting feeling thanks to its whimsical, rustic design. If you loved summers’ cottagecore trend, think of Fair Isle as its hard working winter cousin, who instead of sitting sipping rosé wine on a picnic blanket, would rather be found sat by the fire with a steaming cup of mulled wine - sounds pretty heavenly right?

When you take a look at its origins, it’s no surprise that the Fair Isle knit brings about such a hearty, wholesome energy. Gaining its name from a small island in the north of Scotland, the colourful design dates back to 19th century and was a style commonly worn by fishermen as they went about their trade. In more recent years however, it’s taken on a more regal status, as the go-to countryside style of royals, like Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, who both donned the timeless design alongside waxed parkas and wellington boots for more relaxed appearances, as well as during the Christmas period for a charming festive look. 

However while the Fair Isle knit’s origins may be in the past, designers are still cementing its place in our wardrobes today. For 2023 Molly Goddard re-imagined her signature maximalist style, pairing her trademark tulle pieces with heritage inspired Fair Isle knitwear. The effect was a collection that focused on the “joy of dressing” with a sense of fun wearability. And, she wasn’t alone in her use of the classic print this season, as brands like DÔEN, Khaite and Zimmerman all included multiple Fair Isle styles in their AW collections, marking it as the it-knit of the season.

One thing’s for sure, while the Fair Isle knit may be classic when it comes to style, it’s a piece that our love for shows so sign of fading. So, if you're ready to add the winter warmer to your wardrobe, here’s our edit of the best styles to shop now, from traditional jumpers to vintage inspired cardigans and chic sweater vests. 

Shop The Best Fair Isle Jumpers

Jazzria Harris
Freelance Fashion & Beauty Writer

Jazzria Harris is a freelance fashion and beauty journalist with over 8 years experience working in the industry. At just 4ft 11, she’s an expert in petite dressing and previously wrote the column Jazz’s Short Stories giving tips and advice on dressing for petite proportions. Her wardrobe staples are a great black blazer, a hardworking slip skirt and of course a great pair of heels (for the extra inches, of course). Jazz has written for publications including ELLE UK, heat magazine, Eliza, Women & Home and more.