#1015 Fair Isle – I love thee

Images /GQ

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. I’m obsessed with Fair Isle knits. And sweaters. So Fair Isle knit sweaters are pretty much my favourite things of all time. Sadly I still don’t own any, New Zealand (while being the sheep capital of the world) isn’t a mecca for the Fair Isle arts, so right now I have to content myself with looking at pictures online. On the plus side, my Mum’s a pretty good knitter and she’s going knit-crazy right now making cardigans and what not for my new little baby niece, so I’ve convinced her to make me a woolen pom pom hat for my upcoming Europe trip. Hopefully she can get a little Fair Isle pattern in there too. While I’m bemoaning the lack of good knitwear in NZ, I’ll also bemoan the lack of a well priced menswear chain like J Crew (makers of the above sweater).

Fair Isle sweater by Burberry

J Crew has it all – tweedy collegiate blazers, worn in button down shirts, beautiful chambray/denim shirts, cashmere sweaters, khaki pants, everything you need to make up the classic male wardrobe. We are seriously lacking here in New Zealand. Hallensteins and Barkers have the occasional good piece, but it all looks too trend driven and cheap. Have you looked at the Hallensteins shirt collection recently? I mean, come on. No self respecting man with an iota of taste wants to wear a black and white bold striped shirt with an embossed floral pattern behind it.

How hard would it be for Hallensteins or Barkers to come up with a small range of well priced basics in quality cloths? Surely it can be done. A great slim white shirt for $80 without an enormous collar or ridiculous pattern. A good straight leg pair of jeans in raw denim for $150. A corduroy or herringbone blazer for $200. Any takers?


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