Fair Isle-Inspired Sweaters

10 Fair Isle-Inspired Knits That Won’t Be Mistaken for Ugly Christmas Sweaters

For a remote island with around 70 inhabitants, northern Scotland’s Fair Isle has had an impressively outsized impact on culture. Its eponymous sweaters are beloved for both their distinctive zigzag patterns and their practical warmth; they were reportedly worn by polar scientists on the 1902 Bruce expedition to Antarctica, and the Prince of Wales brought them into public view in the 1920s when he donned the nubby knits. Fair Isle replicas (see below) have become immensely popular thanks to their provincial, old-world charm, but the genuine article is still hard to come by—islander Hollie Shaw has a wait-list that’s three years long for one of her hand-knit sweaters.

Click through for our favourite Fair Isle-inspired knits.