WIW: Fair Isle cardigan

Angie's post about the Fair Isle Trend prompted me to pull out and wear a sweater my mother knit for me in the 80s. It is medium-gray heather, with the pattern in white and pale yellow with a touch of the heather gray. It's in great condition because I  haven't worn it that much in the last 20 years or so, I take good care of it, and it's knit from acrylic yarn, which seems quite hardy. I cherish the sweaters my mother knit for me, even though I may not wear them much, if at all, any more. They reflect her love for me, as well as my taste in earlier eras of my life! 

Today I'm wearing the Fair Isle sweater (photo 1) with skinny dark wash jeans (Mother, the Looker high rise, in Coffee Tea or Me wash); white long sleeved t-shirt (Eddie Bauer); cognac boots (Born) and tan belt.

And, here's another outfit (photo 2) with the boots, inspired by Smittie's post considering a pair of mid-calf rust boots, in which there was some discussion of wearing this style of boot with skirts. This is a work outfit that I have worn fairly often: Slate gray ponte midi skirt, plaid wool blouse, and dark brown boiled wool vest (all OSKA); navy tights and cognac boots (Born). I guess this is not a conventionally flattering look, wearing the wide-shaft mid-calf boots with a midi skirt, but I enjoy wearing it. I like the way the boots casualize the outfit. What do you think?

Thanks for looking! I welcome your thoughts!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Suz replied 2 years ago

    Amazing that all these mom-knits are coming out of the closet this week! So amazing to see. This one is quite.a sophisticated take on the look, no? Really neat that you still have it. 

    Also, I LOVE your skirt/ boot outfit. Arty, streamlined, very Rodin-esque!

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Thank you, Suz! I like your description--a "sophisticated take." I hadn't thought of that, but I guess it is, with the understated colors. Glad to hear you're still seeing some LR in my style, too! I don't think of her as much these days, though I still love her style.

  • Alicewonderland replied 2 years ago

    Both outfits look nice. I’m a fan of mid calf boots with skirts too.

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    thank you, Alice!

  • replied 2 years ago

    Oh I like what you’ve done in the last outfit, Firecracker.
    The length of those boots looks good to my eye. They hit a little under the widest part of your calf. Beautiful colours in the outfit. I also like the vest—I have a sugar eye for anything asymmetrical :-)

    I went back to try on the chunky mid calf boots and they hit at a bad spot for me (right at the widest part of my calf) so I didn’t get them.

    I’ll keep looking for chunky winter boots though.

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Smittie, good points. I think the ones you showed were taller than mine. I agree, where they hit has to be right. I've tried on mid-calf boots that I did not like on my legs with skirts, or even with pants, for that matter.

  • JAileen replied 2 years ago

    I feel the same about my mother’s sweater. Yours is pretty colors. I like those boots with your second outfit. It reminds me a little of Dr Zhivago, in a good way.

  • Joy replied 2 years ago

    You wear that sweater that your mother knitted very well but my favorite is the second outfit. It just seems more your style.

  • kellygirl replied 2 years ago

    You are stunning as always, Sharan! Love the fair isle--your mom does beautiful work. You look just as natural in that as you do in the second modern arty look. Both are so you! Great to see you. 

  • rachylou replied 2 years ago

    Super duper!

  • Katerina replied 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous sweater! The colours and the placement of the pattern are so beautiful. You wear it in such a chic way with the skinny jeans, belt and boots.
    The second outfit is also perfect. Love the skirt with the boots. You look very modern and very elegant.

  • Cardiff girl replied 2 years ago

    I love the sweater.How nice that you’ve kept it all these years and can now wear it again and be the height of fashion.The second outfit is very chic.l love the way you ve layered and used a longer skirt rather than trousers.

  • Dreika replied 2 years ago

    Live the skirt and boots look! It’s so modern with a touch of arty& though. It inspires me to wear my own midcalf boots in a new way. I don’t have similar midi skirt but if I find one that I like will know what to wear it with.

  • kkards replied 2 years ago

    how wonderful to have sweaters that your mom made for you! as a fair isle lover i love this outfit....and i love how it contrasts with your 2nd look which is so sophisticated, for me this outfit is quiet and understated, that it takes a minute to see how fashion foward it is.

  • karen13 replied 2 years ago

    Gorgeous sweater - lucky you!! I love the way you styled it with the belt belt peeking out. And two if quite flattering to my eye - the long dark column is great. I like the rich warmth of the boots with the cooler tones.

  • unfrumped replied 2 years ago

    Very fab! That is a great way to style the sweater for updating. Love things from mom.
    The second outfit works very well for you also— super work look.

  • Jane replied 2 years ago

    Beautiful jumper, lovely to have the knits to cherish, and I like your Oska outfit. Colours, textures and proportions are flattering and chic.

  • taylor replied 2 years ago

    The sweater your mother knit for you is absolutely priceless...what a great and loving gift !
    Really love your work outfit ...you have layering and proportions down !

  • Style Fan replied 2 years ago

    That sweater is gorgeous!  I love how you have styled it with the Mother jeans.  So talented.  I also like the second outfit.  I find longer skirts with boots so elegant.  I wore those when I worked.

  • shevia replied 2 years ago

    Both outfits are fantastic - I see where you get your clothes making talent!

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    You all are so kind! Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments!

  • Inge replied 2 years ago

    Sharan, the cardigan looks fantastic! Great with your jeans and the calf-length boots. And I totally love the boots with the midi skirt too. Very modern and fun to my eye.

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Jaime, yes, it's my mother who taught me how to sew!
    Thanks, Inge!

  • lyn67 replied 2 years ago

    Wow, a great fair isle cardi-didn't think it counts, but I do have not one, but 2!:-)

  • Firecracker replied 2 years ago

    Ha, Lyn! I think the cardigans count!

  • Angie replied 2 years ago

    Looking fabulous as always, Sharan. 

    FABULOUS sentimental vintage cardi. You styled it with spunk too - and of course you did!

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