60-Second Guide

Fair Isle

Once identified with skiing and Scandinavia, these colorful, geometric and folksy knits from Fair Isle—a small island just north of Scotland— lost their way for a few decades but have since manned up and trimmed down. The hearty highland pieces add just the right amount of rugged charm to make your weekday kit a bit more interesting.

How to Wear It

A little goes a long way. Layer a sweater or vest under a jacket and over an equally sturdy shirt (like an oxford cloth or chambray). Or stick to accessories like a woolen tie or socks to add some color and texture to an outfit.

Wool vest, $185 by Polo Ralph Lauren


The Duke of Windsor was known for his sartorial influence and it was he who inadvertently brought fame to Fair Isle knits in the 1920s. He made them something of a signature golfing outfit and before long, the sweaters and vests were synonymous with the sporting good life.

  • Since 1982, nearly all of Fair Isle's power has been supplied by wind turbines.
Where to Find It

Clockwise: Fingerless gloves, $18 by River Island; Watchman's cap, $58 by J.Crew; Wool socks, $14 by Lands' End Canvas; Knit tie, $79 by Brooks Brothers




Fair Isle








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