Learning To Appreciate The Argyle Jumper

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argyle-smartturnoutI have to say I’m a bit of latecomer to the cause of the Argyle jumper, something I now put down to callow youth.  For years an item of clothing that appeared in declined, or rather favoured by those in decline, this was epitomised by the fall from grace of Pringle. Then in 2001 they signed David Beckham as their poster boy. Being thus imbibed with youthful vigour and some street cred –if you care what footballers’ think- the company never looked back, and the Argyle experienced a renaissance.

Now most retailers have an Argyle or two in their collection, but I spotted these versions on a favoured retailer of mine, Smart Turnout, a while ago. While I turned from sceptic to advocate sometime before, I just hadn’t found a jumper I was happy with. Having a soft spot for the Ivy/Trad look, my attention needless focused on the Black Watch Argyle, and I reckon for my Argyle plunge they are just what I’ve been looking. They’re a good price, 100 pure wool and of reliable quality.

But whether you go down this road or some other, there is much to be said for having a couple of Argyle jumpers in your armoury. Now, I’m a great fan of layering clothes, and winter is the perfect time for it. The ability to layer your look shows both a confidence and an appreciation of aesthetics. Layering enables you to add colour, texture, depth, contrast, light and shade. In fact you should think of it as creating a sartorial landscape for the eye to roll over. And like real life landscapes, what makes something breathtaking is a matter of inspiring the minds eye -for we often perceive something before we actually see it.

However, when layering there is always the danger of simply placing blocks of colour next to each other, which can sometimes look ever so slightly drab, or too safe. An Argyle jumper under a jacket, particularly when combined with a wool or knitted tie, helps break up this block effect, thereby enabling you to pull off a more sophisticated look and create your landscape.


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Andrew Williams blogs at BespokeMe and is based in London. His clothing label Bulldog & Wasp represents his philosophy that style is a frame of mind not just a state of dress.