The Best Fair Isle Sweater Outfits to Wear All Winter Long

Not just for holiday parties

Despite the recent wildly mild weather, I feel obliged to remind you that it is indeed still winter. So in honor of Blinders Month, I thought I’d take a sweater usually received for December and show you how to wear it through all the cold weather months. Sure, the Fair Isle sweater may be a favorite at holiday parties, but it can hold its own just as well past the holly jolly season. The patterns feel cheery in a “great against a backdrop of snow” way that transcends the holiday spirit.

The bottom line? Don’t be afraid to wear yours all winter long.

About Fair Isle Sweaters

Technically, a sweater can only be classified as Fair Isle if it hails from the remote island of (you guessed it) Fair Isle. That said, we see iterations of this multicolor knitwear every season by most brands. Sure – knitting purists probably have a bigger bone to pick, but style-wise we love the variety of this seasonal sweater. You can always find snowflakes and cheekier designs, of course. Just remember, they’re not the only option. So, if you’re not completely sold on this pattern, try more geometric design first.

The iconic style has been worn by everyone from Kanye to Macca (maybe that’s what brought them together?). And really, what’s not to love? The nubby material in endlessly interesting patterns adds some fun to any outfit in need of additional layers.

Five ways to wear a Fair Isle sweater this winter


Wear it well: Pair your patterned piece with a textured suit and lush leather accessories to make it feel sophisticated.


Wear it well: Wear a plaid blazer with your fair isle for a seriously sartorial look – just make sure your prints are different scales.


Wear it well: Layer on the black to give a fair isle sweater a cool, casual spin.


Wear it well: Swap out your standard white work shirt for a striped version that pulls out one of the colors in the pattern.


Wear it well: Adding a cozy hat and sweater to your casual classics makes for an easy but stylish errand running look.

When to wear Fair Isle Sweaters

Festive-natured fellas rejoice: bold winter prints no longer need to be reserved for your yearly holiday party. You can wear a great Fair Isle sweater as soon as temperatures float downward, and all the way through January and February.

The simplest way to avoid looking too holiday theme-y? Choose a Fair Isle color scheme that’s more muted. Think: neutrals like grey and subtle earth tones.

Case in point? This Fair Isle sweater outfit Chance the Raper wore on SNL:

photo: Billboard

He looks cool, right? Yes, it was a holiday show, but we’d argue you can wear that same look well into February (and even March, if it’s still snowing there where you live).

In this case, the novelty print of a Fair Isle sweater is softened with a monochrome palette, making it easy to seamlessly weave into your wardrobe well after you’ve taken the Christmas tree down. Paired with dark pants and his signature baseball cap, he looks super cozy and super-stylish.

Similarly, you can take a patterned risk without worrying you look like you’re headed to your office holiday party two months late.

Below, outfit ideas to emulate Chance the Rapper’s cozy winter style


Wear it well: Wear your Fair Isle sweater under a suit for the holiday party for a look that says “I’m down with the snow,” and not “SANTA! I KNOW HIM!”


Wear it well: Get cozy in Fair Isle and outdoorsy cold weather wear like a puffer and lace-up winter boots – whether you’re actually spending some time outdoors or just running weekend errands around town.


Wear it well: Headed straight to a date from work? Pair your monochrome Fair Isle sweater with colorful tailored pants for a look that is sure to impress.


Wear it well: Bright outerwear and accessories make bad weather days a little more fun. Loafers are the perfect shoe to pack in your bag if you don’t want to wear your outdoor shoes inside.


Wear it well: Layer a colorful and cozy plaid shirt under your sweater for a little bit of pattern play (learn more about mixing prints and patterns here).


Shop #SGapproved Fair Isle sweaters

Finding the best Fair Isle sweaters for you

If you’re ready to invest in some winter clothes but dread the thought of shopping for them…consider letting Team SG shop for you! We’re biased, but we think it’s pretty great.

Let us rescue you from shopping fatigue and sartorial apathy. We can promise the kind of personal attention and care that will make you feel like the best version of the awesome guy you already are! If you’re ready for a daily lewk that’ll change your life, give us a shout.

> See more ways to wear your favorites like a chambray shirt, crewneck sweater and lace-up boots 5 ways