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The Cutest Fair Isle Christmas Sweater To Buy This Year

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One of my favorite winter wardrobe staples, especially around the holidays, is a Fair Isle sweater (well, that or a Tartan style dress, which I have a separate post dedicated to!). You know the ones– crewneck, the classic, tastefully “tacky” knitted sweaters that look like they came straight out of an L.L. Bean catalogue. The ones that remind you of Great Britain.

I’ve always loved them. They’re classic, cozy, festive, without feeling like a full-on Christmas sweater. I love that you can wear them all winter, long after the holidays. This year, I have a few affordable Fair Isle sweaters on rotation, and I thought it would be fun to share them on the blog, along with a few other affordable Fair Isle finds.

Whether you’re looking for a festive, classic holiday sweater, or if you need something easy (but not ugly) for a tacky Christmas sweater party, I’ve got you covered with the finds in this post.

The Cutest Fair Isle Christmas Sweater I’ve Found

Loft Pink and Blue Fair Isle Sweater

THIS Loft Fair Isle Sweater is the cutest one I’ve found this year! Not only is this sweater a super fun and feminine color combination (I LOVE me some hot pink), it’s also made with an incredibly soft knit fabric that isn’t itchy at all.

The length is also perfect. Not too long, but not truly cropped so it still works with my bump. I am wearing a Medium in this with my bump, but would have worn an XS and gone for the petite sizing if I wasn’t pregnant, so get your true size.

Oh, and this sweater is under $50 right now and ships free! We have a LOFT in Winston-Salem, so I ordered this online and did free in-store pickup so I could snag it on the same day!

Boden Edie Fair Isle Sweater

Well, I may have found a close second to the LOFT sweater. Nothing says merry Christmas like this cute, playful take on a Fair Isle sweater by Boden. Fa-la-la-la-la…love it.

My only qualm is that you can’t wear it after Christmas, so it’s a little pricey at $140 for a short season. However, I think its 100% cute enough to make it an fun splurge this year if you have a Christmas party to attend where you could wear it. And of course, Boden’s quality is great so you’ll be able to wear it for years to come.

J.Crew Fair Isle Sweater

J.Crew has 14 womens options when you search Fair Isle sweaters on their website (they also have a handful for men), but my favorite is the Fair Isle Turtleneck Sweater in the Supersoft Yarn. Some of their options were wool, which are practical (and shield you from the bitter cold), but way too itchy for me to actually wear, which is why I picked this supersoft option.

I love the mock neck, the three color options, the length (longer than the LOFT one!), and the fact that J.Crew has SO many sales, so you never have to buy their sweaters at full price. This style is one you can wear all winter long, not just at the holidays.

Amazon Essentials Soft-Touch Crewneck Novelty Sweater

Like the look of the J.Crew sweater but want something even more affordable? What about this Amazon Fair Isle sweater? The colors are similar and the price is significantly cheaper. If you’re just venturing into Fair Isle sweaters this season, this is a great option!

Gap Fair Isle Sweater

Next up is this creamy white Fair Isle sweater from GAP. I’ve recently started to shop at GAP and have been so impressed by the styles they carry at such good prices. This sweater comes in three fits: petite, regular, and tall. The reviews say it’s soft and warm, which are musts for me.

I think I’d style this sweater with white or off white jeans for a monochromatic look.

Maurices Grey and Rainbow Fair Isle Sweater

I actually found a TON of cute fair isle sweaters from Maurices last year and the prices were insane! I’m going to link a few others in this post, but if I had to pick just one, I’d go for this colorful Fair Isle option since I could easily wear it post-holidays throughout the winter. It’s under $30 at the time I’m posting this too.

Stripe Holiday Fair Isle Sweater

This striped Christmas tree sweater is also from Maurices and a good option for a cute “ugly” Christmas sweater. I love the little trees and the neutral tones throughout. It’s not flashy at all, but still super fun.

Black and White Fair Isle Sweater

Another GAP find that I absolutely love. Something about the monochromatic options from GAP are really speaking to me this year, and this black and white Fair Isle sweater is also on my list. I would style it with black jeans and black booties for a chic, but still understated, look.

Ralph Lauren Fair Isle Sweater

If you’re willing to splurge a bit, there’s nothing more classic than a Fair Isle sweater from Ralph Lauren. There’s nothing more classic than anything from Ralph Lauren for that matter. I love that this option is a little slouchy because it feels a little easier to style than a traditional fitted sweater. The wool-blend is great for cold weather, and the snowflake pattern is easy to wear after the holidays.

Tuckernuck Neutral Color Block Sweater

I can’t get over how cute this Fair Isle inspired sweater is from Tuckernuck. It’s by the brand Hyacinth House, which makes slightly more affordable clothing than some of the other brands carried on Tuckernuck. There were a few colorways available earlier in the year, but currently the cream and brown is all that’s in stock. The bell sleeves are such a fun detail.

Alpaca-Wool Fair Isle Sweater

Brooks Brothers makes a great non-traditional style Fair Isle inspired sweater with an oversized collar. (Yes, Brooks Brothers carries clothes for women too!) I really appreciate that the cut is different than a traditional crewneck sweater because I already have so many of those!

Fair Isle Sweater Dress

What’s better than a Fair Isle sweater? A Fair Isle inspired dress! Boden has my favorite version this year in a fun navy colorway. Again, another option that you can easily wear past the holidays into the late winter. You could style this with knee high boots or shorter booties. Either would be perfect!

An in case you’re curious, here are a few FAQs when it comes to Fair Isle sweaters.

What is a Fair Isle Sweater?

Fair Isle sweaters that we see today come from the traditional knitting technique named after Fair Isle, one of the Shetland Islands. They became super popular when the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII, wore them around the 1920s.  The term Fair Isle has become pretty generic since then, and typically refers to any multicolored, geometric knitwear. It’s common to see the royals wearing them in the winter! Most of the time, when you see a festive, Christmas-y feeling sweater, it’s actually a Fair Isle inspired sweater.

What are the Different Types of Fair Isle Sweaters?

Fair isle sweaters come in many patterns and colors, but I’m not certain if there are truly different types of Fair Isle knitwear with distinct names (please comment and share if you know!)  Most traditional Fair Isle patterns have been passed down through generations, so a specific knitter may have a style that would have been easy to identify in some cultures, and I think that’s pretty cool. Some common patterns that are popular right now are eight-pointed stars, Nordic snowflakes, diamonds, and Christmas-themed (e.g. reindeer, trucks, stockings, etc.).

Where to buy a Fair Isle Sweaters

You can still buy Fair Isle sweaters directly from Fair Isle, if you’re looking for a truly authentic Fair Isle sweater, but most retailers make similar styles around the holidays. My favorite this year is the Fair Isle Wide Sleeve Mock Neck Sweater from LOFT because the price is great, the fabric is soft, not itchy, and the colors are happy and feminine! I found a few great options from Amazon, Old Navy, Gap, and Nordstrom too, which I’ve linked below too.

How to style Fair Isle Sweaters for the Winter Season

My favorite way to wear my Fair Isle sweaters is with denim. Depending on the length of the sweater, I’ll tuck it into my jeans or give the front a small tuck, however right now I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy, so I’m wearing my sweaters untucked. I wear them casually, but I’ve seen Kate Middleton pair hers with a blazer which looked so cute.

Alright, let’s get into my finds for the year.

I hope you find a fun sweater for the holiday season and winter months!

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