January 7, 2022
I recently received a plea for some ideas about how to wear a really nice sweater…
They’re currently calling this type of pattern “space-dyed;” I would have described it as variegated. Back in my youth, you could buy yarn or embroidery thread that was like this, in all sorts of color combinations…
But the young people must have their own terms, right?
Right off the bat, I was sure that this would be lovely with rust, blue or green because those colors are very easily seen in this sweater, even from a distance.
But just for fun, let’s look closely!
I have to warn you – just because a color is present within a garment doesn’t automatically mean that wearing that color WITH said garment will be successful. You just have to try, and see if you like the way it all looks…
That said – let’s look!
At a distance, I’m not sold on the pink, although I could easily be tempted to grab the matching turtleneck and socks to wear with just about anything!
Rust, on the other hand, is a winner!
And – a note to those of you who live in warm climates and wear polo shirts in warm weather: don’t forget that you can wear those shirts UNDER other things in cooler weather… Why let them languish?
Yellow is iffy – it really might depend on the exact sweater that you own, and how much yellow you can see in it. That said, this sweater with the camel skirt is perfect – boots or ballet slippers and some cream or camel tights are all you really need!
If you don’t like to wear things under your sweaters, always remember the significant impact the right necklace can have. This multi-strand necklace, with 1 strand in olive, really caught my eye…
I think that this blue might look great in person – in an image that’s smaller than your hand, it’s hard to judge. Certain worth a try! And I admit that I’m smitten with socks these days – maybe because it’s so very cold in Chicago…
So far, I’ve only shown this sweater with beige/ivory/tan bottoms, but this would of course look great with jeans! And my current favorite color is this lavender, which Santa kindly put under my tree…
So if you’re among the readers who have been attracted to this sweater, it gets a resounding YES vote from me – let us know how you plan to wear it!
p.s. Today’s not random question – have you noticed that A LOT of shoes have really big, thick lugged soles, on otherwise normal-looking shoes? I think it would make many of us look like either Minnie Mouse or Olive Oyl… Of course, if you like them, wear them, but I’m curious how you feel…
p.p.s. Not quite five years ago, we assembled a serious office wardrobe in navy, emerald, amethyst and white for a VERY lucky reader…
It’s called space-dyed because it describes how it’s dyed, if you were to dye the yarn for this sweater. You’d start with the plain cream yarn, wound in a ball, and you’d use a syringe to inject smallish bursts of dye in there randomly. But not running the colors together, so there is still a good amount of this plain open space between the colors. Then make a hank to fix the color and dry it, back into the final ball to knit, mostly cream yarn with occasional short bursts of color. The varigated colorway from the last time you looked at yarn would have dye all over the yarn, every bit being covered by something. Very different dyeing technique, and results.
Good to know. Thanks for this knowledge. As a knitter, I should know about this! ???????
Thanks for this! Such a well-educated and bright bunch we are!
Rust is the run away winner here for me, but probably because it is one of my favourite colours and I never wear pastels.
As to the shoes, yes how ugly are some of them. And worn with floaty dresses?? I am very short and am always on the look out for shoes that will make me a little taller but these are a step too far, and as you say Minnie Mouse and Olive Oyl spring to mind!
I think the rust, olive and lavender go best with this sweater.
I don’t actually mind the lug sole trend. I think they look funky and comfortable. My style tends to run very utilitarian though, so they fit right in.
Lesley C says
My former brunette self would have loved the olive green look. Now that I’ve transitioned to salt and pepper hair, I will give the sweater a miss.
I last wore that style of boot with heels in the mid 90s. I’m keen to get a new pair of Chelsea boots – without the thick soles
Rust for me. I don’t mind the lug soles as long as they’re not TOO huge. My issue is the weight of them. I have a pair of boots I bought a couple of years ago that are fairly lightweight, but that’s not always the case, some of them are really heavy. I like the look of them with dresses – I think it’s the contrast.
Jackie Katz says
I love the sweater with rust and olive. Maybe warmer shades of blue and yellow would work better with it.
I dislike wearing short sleeves or 3/4 sleeves under sweaters because the shirt sleeves bunch up and also can create a visible horizontal line under the sweater.
I don’t have any regular shoes with lug soles because they make me look even heavier. It’s a trend that someone thinner and younger than me can pull off!
Diane Smith says
Rust, especially, and the olive…both due to the background color of the sweater.
Don’t care for lug soles. I think they add a “dumpy” quality to the the foot.
Thank you for your kind consideration of ANY question, Janice!!
Rust wins! And yes, I like a chunkier shoe with the new looser-fitting bottoms. A slim shoe looks unbalanced with a wide or baggy leg
A rust or olive turtleneck wins for me.
I love the look back to the elegant office wardrobe. It’s just beautiful. It ALMOST makes me wish I had such a job to dress for.
I love the waterproof moccasins and would buy them in a heartbeat. Sadly Macy’s don’t ship to the U.K. Off to google.
I think the lug sole shoe is a trend that won’t have legs:) When I invest 200.00+ for shoes I don’t want to see them out of mode next year. It’s like the white boot trend, if you can find a nice pair at a decent price and can wear the heck out of them for the next season then yes, go for it. I am all ready seeing thickly soled shoes on discount. At 5’1” size 9 shoes that style gives me a Mad Magazine’s Don Martin character vibe. Maybe they work for the tall or daintier of foot but they are not for me.
As an aside I had a patient break her ankle wearing a pair of very thick soled boots. She tripped on the terrazzo marble in a shopping mall. Her age? 29!
This sweater seems made for olives, tans, rust and beige. Yet it’s not overwhelmingly autumnal. Those sweatpants looked so warm and cozy. I went and looked at the plethora of sweatpants styles Bean has, and, alas, have fallen off of the Nothing New in 22 wagon, lol. When it’s cold and dark out, sweatpants are like chicken soup, to me. Comforting.
To be clear, the idea for Nothing New came from Sandi. I just tried to borrow it. I hope she has better luck and last longer than a week. ?
The heavy soles have kept me from buying new loafers this year. My ankles are narrow, and the thick luggsoles look like concrete blocks on me.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and Everyone! Great to hear from ‘rust’ fans in the audience?
The only thing that would prevent me from buying this sweater is that it is cream and I would worry about spilling something on it. I know many of you out there can confidently wear white (all year, even) but I have the worst luck getting stains out of clothes. If any of you have laundry secrets to pass on my closet would be most appreciative.
Try gently rubbing a bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid into the stain before washing.
I swear by Oxiclean, especially the stick you dab on, which has been hard to find. The sooner you pretreat the better, but it has gotten out some serious stains. Also, don’t put an item in the dryer until you are sure the stain is gone. Hope this helps.
Zout! I learned about this stain remover from a wardrobe book by a TV/Movie stylist. I can only find it on Amazon. I always keep a bottle handy now. It even gets grease stains out of polyester (which seems to me to grab onto grease like a long-lost child).
I like the sweater with rust but would probably prefer it in the form of a scarf, maybe with touches of the blue and cream from the sweater.
The lug shoe soles are a bit too funky for my personal style. Also, my feet are large so chunky footwear isn’t attractive.
I really enjoyed the flashback wardrobe!
Not too sure about those soles for a 64 yr women. It might look like I’m trying hard.
Kamala Harris gets away with them and she’s 57!
NATALIE K says
To answer your question…I really love the lug soled boots and loafers but I’m afraid they will go out of style quickly. Are they here to stay?! They are very casual …I tend to be on the dressier side but in retirement I’m working on being more casual!! I’m told my style is casual elegance.
Even though I am a “blue” person, the olive is, to me, the most striking combination.
I’m digging the lugged soles. It’s a switch b/c my feet have been the same LARGE size since about 5th grade :-) But somehow (acceptance with age?) I’m enjoying them with socks and dresses/skirts?!?!? Black of course because it’s Chicago, but also the winter white lug soles are so fun.
I like the olive, blue and lavender/jean outfits the best. I noticed the heavy soles on shoes lately as well. Not a huge fan as that usually makes the shoe very heavy to walk in and not a flattering look for my frame. But if that’s your thing – now’s your chance! Happy Friday All!
Since this sweater has warm undertones, I would say that the warmer colors such as the rust and olive would work. The lavender pink is much too cool as well as the blue that is shown, although the sweater does have hints of a warmer blue in it.
Definitely not a fan of the heavy soled shoes since my style and personality are more on the softer and feminine side. :-)
Lug soled shoes are a big ugly no for me. I don’t understand the appeal, I guess. They add height, which at 5’10” I don’t need, plus they just look heavy and clunky to me.
It would probably go well with a gold better than a yellow – something between the rust and yellow that are pictured.
No on the footwear! I already have to wear a wide shoe.
I like the olive, rust, khaki and cream colors with this sweater. I think it might look great with a blue denim shirt as well.
I adore my Doc Marten boots, but the pair I have do not have heavy, thick soles. I really like my feet to feel firmly planted on the ground.
I wear hiking boots a lot–I’m a Search and Rescue type–and a lot of boots have big lug soles. I’ve found that even out in the woods, these can be a problem–they make my “footprint” larger, and I can get tripped up on roots or “stuck” between rocks…I’ve had to go to less bulky soles on my boots–and so for casual wear, I tend toward solid, durable soles, but avoid the bulk for much the same reason. Besides, I prefer a more streamlined look to my shoes… ;)
It’s a bit eerie to realize I’m wearing a pair of those right now! Mine are about 5 yrs old and been washed once. They did shrink so I only wore inside for quite a while — eventually they stretched to original size. I probably would not have interjected this comment at all but as I read yours I happened to glance at my feet!
I love this sweater! But, not quite enough to break my “Nothing New in ’22” pledge on Day 7.
Regarding the lug soles, I have several pairs of Skechers crochet skimmers (“EZ Flex Flats) that look like ballet flats from the top, but have very noticeable lug soles. They stood up to days at DisneyWorld, so they are keepers.
Sally in St Paul says
Of these options, the rust-orange, olive/aloe/sage, and denim are the most appealing. This sweater seems made for a chambray/denim shirt to be layered underneath and worn with colored pants. I would also try accents of a more muted and warmer blue, mustard, and dark warm green. Neutrals of navy and brown could also work well. In general, I’d try pretty much any color with a warm undertone and see how it looks! I think there are likely colors not present in the sweater at all that would still work well as long as they have a warm and muted quality, and the “not matching but coordinating” approach can look quite modern and stylish. I also think this kind of subtle linear pattern is very well suited for print mixing…a floral scarf could be marvelous with it.
Yeah, the chunky lug soles of the late 80s and early 90s are having a moment, and they are being put not only on the Doc Marten boots etc. but all kinds of shoes. The 1988 girly ditsy floral dress + black Docs look seems to work best on girls and young women with coltish legs to drive the contrast between leg and foot, and even as a teen I had remarkably muscular legs, so I skipped this look even at its height of popularity. The chunky lug sole boots are not something I feel like trying now, though I can understand the nostalgic appeal of the Doc Martens to my generation. As other commenters have observed, they can be heavy and awkward to walk in, which I don’t need.
I just like to wear a sleeker silhouette in footwear and have for as long back as I can remember. (Perhaps my experience as a pre school-age kid in the 1970s wearing leg braces with very sturdy Buster Brown shoes had me embracing sleeker shoes as soon as those leg braces came off for good!) Of today’s shoe options, the beige loafers, tan sneakers, and especially the quilted gold Keds (heart-eyes) suit my preferences.
Definitely agree on the blue/denim front. I may not wear it myself, but my favourite combos were the bluey turtleneck and the denim bottoms (but not the lavender turtleneck – I preferred the pink one I think for being a similar light value to the oatmeal).
I’m 33 and 5’10”, so lug soles are a qualified yes for me. I bought one pair of otherwise plain, fitted mid-calf black boots with a very thick lug sole at the start of the season and I’m delighted with them. Practical for snow, easy to style with various pant legs, dresses, and skirts, and wildly comfortable with gel inserts in them. At my height I find that a bigger shoe makes my legs look proportionally thinner as well, much like a boot cut jean might. I’m not going crazy adding lug soles to my wardrobe because I do think they’re a temporary trend, but I’m certainly having fun with my one pair while they’re “in.”
I loved the sweater with the camel skirt. One could put a silky turtleneck in cream under the sweater, then accent with a rust and/or olive necklace. Or a scarf. The sweater has lots of uses and I’d jump on it if it had the light, clear and bright colors of spring!
About those lug soles. I’m old enough to remember the last time platform shoes were the rage. I had one pair. We had a very large campus (land grant university.) They were miserable to walk in. They didn’t get much wear and we’re absolutely out of style by the next year. I’m amused because my mother’s generation also had a version of these shoes. They were less extreme and some version of those has always lurked around the fashion scene. Today’s platforms are the most extreme yet (of course!) If you can afford a shoe you’ll wear a brief time as a statement and don’t plan on walking in them much, then go for it. But, they do look like part of a costume. The Great Tim Gunn used to caution young designers to avoid making their designs look like costumes.
Oh, and those gold Keds are adorable. The yellow scarf comes in several other colors in case anyone else likes that lovely, light drape.
Joanne Long says
I would probably choose a scarf with this sweater (blues, lavender, pink) and wear it with the tan cords. I don’t wear rust these days. I would choose the heavy soled shoes for stability in our currentsnow/thaw/freeze weather.
I think the rust and olive are the most harmonious colours in your choices, but for me I would go lighter and choose a selection of mushroom, light taupe, silver grey and pearl white to cool it right down for my colouring.
As for the new trend in shoes, I received a new pair of slippers in navy suede with a thick fleece lining and a dark lug sole. I was impressed by the sturdiness and the fact that they could be worn outside without ruining the suede and that they raise my feet well above my hard, cold floors which at the moment is much appreciated.
Beth T says
Your slippers sound amazing. I’m looking for some thicker soled slippers with fleece linings. May I ask what brand they are?
Hi Beth t,
My slippers were from M&S COLLECTION – Suede Mule Slippers in chestnut, mink, dark berry and navy. They are such good value for money too.
beth byrd says
I’m a fan of the rust and olive choices. I was never a fan of space-dyed/variegated look, but this sweater appeals to me very much. Go figure!
As for lug soles, I don’t care for them. I have wide feet and it’s my goal to find shoes that minimize the look of their width. Lug soles do anything but that!
HOWEVER, I do like the look of combat boots with a skirt. I believe it is the contrast between feminine and masculine that works for me. Again, go figure!
I’m on team combat boots as well!!! Liked the denim look BTW.
I’m loving these options. I actually have the olive green pants pictured, but wouldn’t have thought to put them with the sweater. These are gorgeous ideas!
I also loved that the sweater is cream.Cream tops are harder to find than white, but they work so much better on me.
Beth T says
I’ve enjoyed reading today’s comments. I agree that the rust, olive and anything on the brown spectrum are spot on. Dark denim works too. I would ever towards warmer pinks and blues and greens like turquoise and teal. Sally suggested coordinating colours and I would wear this with burgundy.
I like the design of this jumper and if it were light grey or ivory with shades of pink, purple, blue and teal, I would love it. Perhaps, I shall look out for some wool and make my own.
As for soles of shoes, I’m not a fan of thick soles – they look.heavy and clumpy. I wear ankle boots most of the time as I need ankle support – trouser boots, DM-style boots with cleated soles, and ankle boots with chunky heels that I wear with dresses and skirts. I don’t expose my ankles until it gets very warm or I’m indoors.
I enjoyed reading the look back particularly the second part – your thinking behind the choice of accessories.
I do agree that the very thick lug-soled shoes make for a Minnie Mouse look, especially when worn with skinny pants!
I do agree that the very thick lug-soled shoes make for a Minnie Mouse look, especially when worn with skinny pants!
Also, it’s not super new? I remember having some blouses in the 90s that were described as space-dyed.
I like it best with the olive and rust versions. It’s reminding me of some off duty clothes I wore in 75 & 76 in nursing school. I wore a lot of candy colour pastels with that deeper cream. I remember dying stuff with tea to get that deeper cream.
I like the olive pant outfit best. If it were up to me, I would wear this with light denim, and a chambray collared shirt. Or cream cords, and mid-brown (rusty) suede boots and handbag.
I love the lug-sole shoes and boots, as long as they are not too thick. I bought some ugg sandals this past summer with thick soles and love them. I guess it’s the antithesis of delicate heels and pointy toes, which I have always had troubles with.
Whenever I wear a garment that is printed or has an integral grouping of colors within it as this sweater does, I have found that I choose the darkest and the most dominant colors in the mix to wear with it , or try to match or closely harmonize the basic field background color, which is a cream color in this instance . The cooler colors such as the pink and the lavender do not seem to harmonize with the dominant warmth of the garment, nor are they prominent colors in the mix . The sweater also seems to have a somewhat muted quality to it, so I would rather choose a more toned down golden yellow scarf to wear with it, if at all . The one shown feels too intensely bright to me .
Oh and no clod hoppers for me — not with these ankles and calves !
Beth T says
I love reading your wise and thoughtful comments Shrebee. I admit to getting confused with busy prints like this and knowing what looks right. Your formula for putting it with the darkest and dominant colours makes a lot of sense. Glad that you’re back with us.
I do see wearing a muted Chambray shirt with this sweater, however, as was mentioned by someone above . I never try to mix brights with muted colors. It feels out of balance somehow and jarring .
I’m with the “do not care for big, clunky lug sole shoe team.”. When I have seen these on people, the individuals always look off -balance, but to each her own choice. While I can’t wear olive, that seems the best choice of your selections;however, the blue is a close second.
Megan M says
I know this sweater is from Loft Factory, but at the regular Loft site, they have a sweater dress of the same yarn.
Megan M says
Oops. I meant J Crew Factory for the sweater and Ann Taylor Loft for the sweater dress.