How To Wear Knitwear Like A Style Icon
Mr Anthony Perkins, Los Angeles, 1961. Photograph by Mr Ernest Reshovsky/mptvimages.com
In the right hands, the humblest-seeming bit of knitwear can be dashing, daring, and even just a little bit subversive. See, for example, Mr Anthony Perkins’ perky, preppy way with a simple navy crewneck (above), which, if not exactly Psycho, is far from pipe-and-slippers. Scroll down to find five other men who found various invigorating ways to style out the cold, and we guarantee you’ll be positively welcoming in sweater weather.
Sir Mick Jagger
Sir Mick Jagger, London, 1964. Photograph by Mirrorpix via Getty Images
As Sir Mick himself almost sang: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get the jumper you need.” The jumper in question being the Platonic ideal of the casual-but-fitted wool crewneck, draped loosely enough to accommodate the unbuttoned shirt beneath, but shapely enough to accentuate the Dionysian demeanour of Sir Mick in his 1960s pomp, aided by the ingestion of caffeine, nicotine and sundry other stimulants (not pictured). In terms of The Rolling Stones’ oeuvre, Mr Jagger’s taste in knitwear is clearly less Jumper Jack Flash and more It’s All (Pull)Over Now.
Mr Robert Redford
Mr Robert Redford and Ms Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were, 1973. Photograph by Mr Steve Schapiro/Getty Images
Forget wave power – the star wattage in this picture is enough to light up a small European principality. It’s not just Mr Redford and Ms Barbra Streisand, in all their burnished, tousled, untucked glory, taking a beachy-barefoot stroll in the 1973 movie The Way We Were; it’s also Mr Redford’s way with his waffle-knit ivory rollneck, which only enhances his sensitive-man-of-action status when paired with rolled indigo jeans and offset by Ms Streisand’s complementary oversized beanie. Never mind that the film’s supposedly set in the 1940s and 1950s while its stars seem to take their sartorial cue from the mid-1970s; style this strong is always contemporary.
Mr Paul Michael Glaser
Mr Paul Michael Glaser in Starsky & Hutch, 1976. Photograph by mptvimages.com
You think the whole oversized thing was kick-started by a Vetements hoodie? Let us spirit you back to the mid-1970s, when maverick TV cops David Michael Starsky and Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson were cleaning up the mean streets of, um, Southern California. We know they were mavericks, because: a) they roared around in a red Ford Gran Torino with a white go-faster stripe; and b) they cocked a snook at the SoCal sun in their statement knitwear. Kudos to Mr David Soul’s Hutch for his of-the-moment rollneck/varsity jacket combo, but it was Mr Glaser’s Starsky, and his generously-appointed shawl cardigan, who stole the show in every sense. Grab a contemporary equivalent (from RRL, Fendi, Drake’s, etc), team with rough-hewn denim and chambray, and work on that XXL swagger.
Mr Al Pacino
Mr Al Pacino in Serpico, 1973. Photograph by Paramount Pictures/Photofest
Is it a Brooklyn barista giving his craft beard some air between servings of single-origin purely-brewed pour-overs? Is it an indie troubadour gaining rooftop inspiration for his latest New York City song-cycle? Neither – it’s Mr Pacino, in deep cover as a cop investigating corruption in the NYPD in 1973’s neo-noir thriller Serpico. Here, he boasts more of the noir and less of the neo in a classic collared-and-zippered cable-knit wool cardigan, which, if teamed with a stalwart beanie and some valiantly worn-in jeans, will face down anything thrown at it, from the biting winds off the Hudson to the collective opprobrium of his vice-steeped, kickback-pocketing, racket-running peers.
Mr Truman Capote
Mr Truman Capote, New York City, 1965. Photograph by by Mr Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images
If Mr Capote resembles the proverbial feline in the creamery, he has his reasons: it’s 1965, and he’s already published the bestselling Breakfast At Tiffany’s, thus introducing Holly Golightly to the world. He’s also just finished In Cold Blood, thus inventing the true-crime genre. And he’s rocking a varsity-cum-cricketing cardigan like no one before or since (and, with those stripes, possibly giving Mr Thom Browne some early food for thought). Always a snappy dresser, Mr Capote outdoes himself on the accessories front; we love the red baseball cap, the Wayfarers, and the just-hit-a-six-and-a-home-run-combined expression.