Fair Isle Sweater (Jumper) Vest

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by BigLittleTim, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    This is an article of clothing I've been searching for, either new or vintage, for a long time.

    The classic, British men's sweater-vest in heathery/brown tones. It seems that EVERY Englishman in the 30's and 40's was wearing one, so there should be a lot of them floating around, no?

    Picture what the office runners were wearing at the Ministry Of Information (M.O.I.) in the movie "Brazil". I think the Pevensie kids in "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe" wore them too (WWII).

    Another thing; I've got a 52" chest so vintage ANYTHING is hard to come by for me.

    Any leads would be greatly appreciated! :)

    -BigLittleTim
     
  2. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Needn't be vintage - they still do these. Jos.A.Bank has one on clearance. Not very brown (they call it "camel"), but handsome and well priced ($39.98 in lambswool). I just bought one and like it.
    [​IMG]
    And yes, they have XXL.
     
  3. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    Brilliant!!! :)
     
  4. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Hey, I like to help.

    Also check out Polo. Put polo vest into eBay and you'll likely find some good ones now and again.
     
  5. Hemingway Jones

    Hemingway Jones I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    6,098
    Location:
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    J Crew has one on sale right now for $40, but I don't know what sizes they have. Good luck.
     
  6. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

  7. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    Just purchased!

    Many thanks. :)
     
  8. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    Now you must join the Gumbys.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. imoldfashioned

    imoldfashioned Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,980
    Location:
    USA
    (Superimposed caption: 'FLOWER ARRANGEMENT'
    Pull back to show Gumby in studio with piles of flowers on a table.
    Superimposed caption: 'INTRODUCED BY D. P. GUMBY')

    Gumby: Good evening. First take a bunch of flowers. (he grabs the flowers from the table) Pretty begonias, irises, freesias and chrysanthemums, then arrange them nicely in a vase. (he thrusts the flowers head downwards into the vase and stuffs them in wildly; he even bangs them with a mallet in an attempt to get them all in) Get in! Get int Get in!

    Love the Gumbies.
     
  10. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Call Me a Cab

    Brooks Brothers has one, too, though it's a bit more expensive than the others previously mentioned.
     
  11. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    Thanks for the Brooks Bros. lead.

    That one's going on the Christmas list. :)

    Cheers,

    BigLittleTim
     
  12. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    I should have thought about the "Gumbies"! PERFECT example of what I have in mind... minus the head-bandages.

    -BLTim
     
  13. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    "Fair Isle Sweater"

    So that's what they're called! I've always referred to tham as "All Creatures Great and Small" sweaters, because everyone on that show wore one. I've looked everywhere to find a really authentic looking one. I suppose they really should be hand knit by someone near and dear to you. Is there a shop in the UK that might specialize in them? I suppose that an authentic one will set be back $200 or $300, as opposed to the $20 to $80 a machine made one would cost.
    Are these sweaters also referred to as jerkins in Britain?
     
  14. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Call Me a Cab

    Louise Irvine produces hand-knit to order Fair Isle sweaters that are mostly in the 100-175 GBP range.

    (link via Will's blog, A Suitable Wardrobe.)
     
  15. BigLittleTim

    BigLittleTim Familiar Face

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Boston
    Fair Isle Sweaters

    I got the real name of the "Fair Isle" sweater (jumper) from Bobby of Boston, the vintage clothing seller. According to him, these vintage sweaters have increased in popularity in recent years. He used to find dozens of old Fair Isle jumpers on buying-trips to the U.K., but they've all but disappeared lately.

    Unfortunately, modern manufacturers seem to regard the Fair Isle pattern as more appropriate for women than men. You'll find many examples in bright pinks, yellows, and blues, but few in the dark heathery colors popular in Great Britain back in the 30's and 40's.

    The hand-knit "Prince of Wales" jumper, by Louise Irvine, is spot-on what I want. Unfortunately, the English Pound is just too strong, compared to the U.S. Dollar, for it to be a viable option right now.

    -BigLittleTim
     
  16. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

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  17. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
  18. Sans Souci

    Sans Souci New in Town

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Scotland
    Authentic hand knit Fair Trade Fair Isle jumpers and sweater

    Lots of options in terms of colours, patterns and styles all authentically hand knit by women in Shetland - but here's the HUGE difference Thistle & Broom actually pays the women 66% of the retail price directly and up front. What's more their efforts are entirely bespoke with four required measurements the end result is heirloom quality and exactly what you want. Colour variations are not a problem. That their efforts positively impact the Shetland economy in a way that J. Crew, Old Navy and Ralph Lauren is a huge bonus for these pensioners. http://www.thistleandbroom.com/scotland/fair-isle-knitwear.htm
     
  19. Alan Eardley

    Alan Eardley One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,500
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    I second this. If it ain't Fair Isle it ain't...er...FairIsle.

    I know which I go for - and I'm not talking about the ladies...

    Alan
     
  20. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
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    Location:
    METROPOLIS OF EUROPA
    Ralph Lauren (Edward VIII jumper) - PIX

    Just bought this yesterday. Still not sure if it's going to stay, but I'll live with it for a while.

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