Fashion & Accessories

By Allison Warenik-Queenan

This autumn, chunky oversized knits are taking center stage as the cool weather staple of choice. Usually confined to the Scandinavian North and the streets of Seattle, big knits have been making a comeback these past few seasons on both runways around the world and the streets of New York and Paris. When worn layered, bit chunky knit sweaters and shrugs provide all the warmth of a jacket, without forcing you to cover up your underlying style. They simply add an additional element of cool, whether worn casually with jeans (as seen with this gray version by Ever, available at or over a dress. Throw on a contrasting chunky scarf and a pair of knee-high (or over) boots and you’re ready to brave the winds, without looking like a ski bunny.

I love the effortless glamour of these two oversized shrugs. Yes, I did just refer to a knit shrug as being glamorous. They have a high fashion vibe about them that takes the overall look up a notch. The cashmere one on the left by Donna Karan (available at can be worn in the office over a dress for a cozy extra layer of warmth that still keeps you looking on top of your game. I personally have never worked in a setting where I didn’t have issues with the temperature. And I’ve worn some fairly dumpy sweaters in my time just to keep warm. This shrug provides function and fashion. Julien McDonald’s gray super-chunky knit (available at oozes pure cutting edge street style. It could easily be paired with leather and hardware. And it definitely belongs with your highest pair of stiletto booties.

And what about the cardi-coat? Absolutely every wardrobe needs one. Wear this piece in place of your trench coat or longer autumn jacket. In fact, I would even recommend grabbing more than one, in a variety of colors, to pair with different looks. My favorites for fall are McQ’s black chunky long wool cardigan coat and Preen’s oversized beige, slightly shorter version, both tying at the waist (and both available at I also love Stella McCartney’s long camo green button-down version, which adds an element of military chic, another major fall trend (also available at

Remember to pair your chunky knit with an oversized knit scarf and slouchy knit hat for ultimate urban style. And don’t be matchy matchy here with your knits. Play with different textures and colors for a fashionable look that appears as if you just threw it together before you stepped out the door. Very French-girl chic and New York City sleek. And, most importantly, very warm.

Originally published November 2010
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