Patterned knitwear: the kitsch trend Princess Diana has reinstated this season

Princess Diana’s penchant for a kitsch knit has been revived thanks to Netflix’s The Crown’s brilliant wardrobe. From that iconic sheep jumper to easy takes on the trend, we’ve rounded up the best (and kitschest) knits out there. 

At this point in time, saying Princess Diana is a style icon is like affirming that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. It is an undisputed truth that Diana was, and will continue to be, one of the most important and influential figures in the world of fashion (as well as many other ‘worlds’). Her red-carpet moments and public appearances are still referenced as frequently now as much as they were then. The velvet, the flounce, the shoulders, the prints and the jewellery all made for fantastic fashion moments, but it was the princess’s off-duty style that cemented her status as an enduring style icon.

It was fashion we hadn’t seen someone so fiercely under a royal spotlight display before: cycling shorts with sweatshirts (a much-revisited lockdown look), loose-fitting button-down shirts with high-waisted jeans, bold shouldered blazers worn with a cap. Diana even made tracksuit bottoms tucked into boots covetable. 

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However, it was her collection of conspicuous if not entirely kitsch knitwear where Diana’s genius was readily displayed. Patterned cardigans, frill collared jumpers, a white dress layered under an oversized knit with polo players were just the tip of the knitwear iceberg. Few can forget Diana’s infamous Rowing Blazers jumper that read ‘I’m a luxury’ on the front and ‘few can afford on the back’. 

It was the return of one jumper in particular – sported by Emma Corrin in Netflix’s season four of The Crown – that reignited our flame for kitsch knits: the sheep jumper. Red with a number of white sheep – and one noticeable black sheep – patterned across the jumper epitomised Diana’s infamous style. The subversive messaging ringing out loud and clear reminding of her playful (yet powerful) wit.

And so, as jumper season is well and truly upon us, we are taking our inspiration from Diana, as one rightly should.  

  • Rowing Blazers

    Kitsch knits: Rowing Blazers

    If it’s OG kitsch you seek, then look no further than this iconic piece of fashion. 

    Shop Warm & Wonderful x Rowing Blazers women’s sheep sweater at Rowing Blazer, £250


  • Kitri

    Kitsch knits: Kitri

    Colour clash with Kitri’s pink and red zip-up jumper. The cute pearl detail on the zip adds an elevated touch to this stand-out piece. 

    Shop Lorna Pink Alpaca Blend Zip Collar Sweater at Kitri, £95


  • &Daughter

    Kitsch knits: &Daughter

    &Daughter brings a kitsch edge to its classic cardigan via these embroidered flowers. Wear yours with vintage washed jeans for the full Diana effect. 

    Shop Constance Hand Embroidered Crewneck Cardigan at &Daughter, £425


  • Skinny Dip

    Kitsch knits: Skinny Dip

    If it’s kitsch you want it’s kitsch you will get with Skinny Dip’s cloudy cardigan and vest combination. Just add blue sweatpants and you’re good to go. 

    Shop cloud cardigan and vest set at Skinny Dip, £40


  • Ganni

    Kitsch knits: Ganni

    A 70s kind of kitsch is what Ganni is bringing to the table for this trend. Try yours with leather trousers and stomper boots. 

    Shop fine Alpaca knit oversized jumper at Ganni, £325


  • H&M

    Kitsch knits: H&M

    For those just wanting to dip a toe into the kitsch knits pool, we have the piece for you. An easy-to-wear black cardigan with rhinestone buttons. If you want to take it a step further, wears yours with a big collared blouse. 

    Shop rhinestone buttoned cardigan at H&M, £24.99


  • Kate Spade

    Kitsch knits: Kate Spade

    Give your Kate Spade another kitsch dimension by teaming it with a chiffon blouse underneath. 

    Shop cherry jumper at Kate Spade, £114 


  • Zara

    Kitsch knits: Zara

    Give this sugary pink cardigan a tough edge by pairing it with leather trousers and trainers. 

    Shop knit cardigan with gem buttons at Zara, £29.99


  • Blake LDN

    Kitsch knits: Blake Ldn

    Blake LDN have teamed up with Parisian artist Laetitia Rouget of Shoop Studio fame for a serious festive collection of bright and beautiful knits. 

    Shop La Vie en Rose jumper at Blake LDN, £335 


  • Simply Be

    Kitsch knits: Simply Be

    Animal print lovers, we didn’t forget about you. The bold colourway of this zebra print jumper and frilled shoulders make for a festive kitsch feel. 

    Shop ruffled jumper in zebra at Simply Be, £28 


Images: Getty / courtesy of brands 

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