6 Ways to Style Our Sweaters and Knits
October 14, 2016 | Filed in: Your Closet
“I’m not a fussy person, and I’ve always wanted to dress women in clothes that truly function,” says Annie Lim, who joined MM as our resident knitwear designer last March. “I think you should be able to wear clothes you love every day, not just on special occasions.”
Annie became interested in the technical aspects of clothing at a young age—in second grade, to be exact, when her family was living in Hawaii. “My mom took sewing classes, and she would bring me and let me sew next to her,” she says. “So, I started early.” She went on to study fashion at Parsons in New York, where she took a machine knitting class and was immediately hooked (sorry). “It blended a lot of the nerdy things I love, like the science behind fibers and textiles, along with craftsmanship and design,” she says. “I’ve been almost entirely knitwear-focused for about 10 years now. The technology behind yarns and the way they function has become incredibly advanced, and I love incorporating that into beautiful designs that can problem-solve.”
Thanks to Annie’s brilliance, MM’s latest collection features our first comprehensive suite of knits—including stretchy pants, all-season merino wool, and overwhelmingly luxurious cashmere—and no one wears them better than the designer herself. Below, Annie describes her brainchildren.
1. Pigalle pant + Cady top + Lucretia jacket
The Pigalle pant is my favorite. I see it as a knitwear trouser—they’re not super-tailored, but they can be appropriate for the office. I love them so much that I had a pair custom-made for me, because I’m extremely petite—just shy of five feet. I probably over-wear them, but I can’t help it. They have pockets, a cool zipper at the cuff, and beautiful seam details.
The Cady top is 100% merino wool, and in my book, it’s an essential. We plaited the hem with Lycra to keep the shape from stretching out, and the result is really clean and seamless.
The Lucretia jacket was designed to match the Pigalle pants so that they can be worn together like a cool, non-traditional pantsuit. The jacket has a loose, easy fit, and is meant to be layered. The bracelet-length sleeve looks chic on someone with longer limbs, but also fits well on petites (and you can roll it up).
The Delancey skirt is also made from merino wool, in a beautiful Milano stitch that’s super thick and compact—it’s often used in jackets. The result is thick, sturdy, and structured, but also soft and breathable. If you’re looking for a classic skirt that has a lot of stretch and won’t pinch, this is the one. The waistband is constructed with very few seams, so it lies smoothly without causing a muffin top. On someone petite, the length works well as a midi, and it’s easy to walk in. I wore it with the Austen tunic tied in front.
I created the Fonda sweater because I wanted a layering piece to throw on anytime, over a dress or a blouse. I also wanted something easier fitting that could bring you into the weekend. It has the same Lycra-finished hem as the Cady top, so it’s polished and durable.
The Ono cardigan is super-flattering on any height, and you can take it anywhere—dress it up, dress it down, bring it on the plane. Its longer length has a cool, breezy effect, and whenever I wear it, people tell me I look elegant and effortless. I designed it with a slight V at the back of the neck that helps the front lay flat—for women with larger chests, this helps prevent gapping at the bust.
The Arbus sweater combines a modern, boxy shape with a classic turtleneck in 100% cashmere. It’s great for layering over dresses—I’m wearing it with the Stevie—and the cropped shape is nice for petites. The cashmere is ultra-high-grade and low-pilling, and the color (“wolfling”) is incredible—it’s like a cross between lilac and heather gray. It can be hard to find a neutral that won’t wash out certain skin tones, and this one is very unusual. You can have a million cashmere sweaters, but you’ll never have one in a color like this.
The Bryant duster is made from a brushed cashmere that’s heavy-gauge but still feels light. It’s one of the most luxurious pieces we’ve ever made. The structural finishes make it more than a sweater—the toggle button is plated in white gold, the side vents create a slightly formal cocoon shape, and the notched lapels give it the look of a polished, classic outerwear piece. You can wear it at work during the day, but you can also bring it to your weekend cabin or a holiday party. It’s unexpected and incredibly cozy. You have to touch it to really understand.
Photos by Frances F. Denny.