(Style)

How to Pull Off The Crochet Trend Without Feeling Naked

Nor like you raided your grandmother’s closet.

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - AUGUST 11:  Sophia Roe is seen outside Helmstedt on August 11, 2021 in Copenha...

With the continued surge of nostalgic fashion, “naked” trends are part of the equation, from skin-baring cutouts to flesh-toned body-skimming silhouettes. And, of course, up-to-there hemlines and ultra-low-rise waists á la Miu Miu’s viral miniskirt. Crochet outfits are up next for spring and summer with a decidedly delicate and handcrafted feel. But despite the revealing nature of the knitted look, there are genuinely wearable ways to pull it off without feeling too bare.

“This season is all about embracing a sense of escape through bold, confident fashion,” Lisa Aiken, fashion and lifestyle director of Neiman Marcus, tells TZR. She says customers are eager to embrace statement-making prints, colors, and luxury fabrications, noting a desire for pieces that feel handcrafted, with a precious but everyday appeal. “That’s where crochet comes into focus,” she says. “We’ve seen this emerging for a few seasons. Think back to the ubiquitous raffia woven Prada logo bags of last spring or Bottega Veneta’s vibrant open weave heels. Now designers are embracing the trend with a more literal, even nostalgic lens.”

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Beyond nostalgia, Stacy Smallwood, the owner of the Charleston boutique Hampden, links crochet to arts-and-crafts styles hand-knitted by grandmothers with a less than modern aesthetic. But for 2022, she says, “Many designers have adapted it to be thin, soft, and way more wearable,” like Amy Smilovic of Tibi, who created a crochet dress and top with the perfect blend of quirky girl and fashion-forward elements. And Kitri, a small London-based brand newly sold at Hampden that combines three of Smallwood’s favorite fashion elements: color, stripes, and now crochet.

For Spring/Summer 2022, Aiken points to Gabriela Hearst’s designs for Chloé as a collection leading the crochet way. “[She’s] championing the trend through supporting heritage, artisanal craft [pieces] produced by non-profit organizations globally,” says the Neiman Marcus director. The result is a capsule of “Chloe Craft” pieces focused on crochet knitwear, shell embroideries, and handwoven handbags. Ulla Johnson, Altuzarra, Jonathan Simkhai, and Andersson Bell are among Aiken’s top collections for seasonal crochet, too, as is Bottega Veneta’s Point Small Crochet Top-Handle Bag and Valentino’s Multicolor Crochet Bucket Hat for finishing touches.

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While nostalgia plays a huge role in 2022 crochet, Aiken says the look is enduring and worthy of investment while being plenty wearable for every day, not solely on vacation. She suggests layering crochet pieces with tailoring, like a linen blazer or trousers, or when skewing more casual, teaming knitted separated with relaxed denim and sandals. “I love nostalgic trends, as they don’t feel like trends at all,” she tells TZR. “You can invest in Magali Pascal’s Ingrid V Neck Button-Front Crochet Jumpsuit, and it could just as easily be an amazing vintage piece you found in Ibiza a decade ago. You best believe that if a trend like crochet has been around since the late ‘60s, it will always continue to be a hit.”

Highlighting dresses, tops, and bags as key crochet pieces for the season, Aiken says the trend can be as bold as you want to make it. Such as a knitted trim lining a floral print dress or a matching crop top and mini skirt for a head-to-toe look. “One of the easiest ways to make crochet feel the freshest this season is a little crochet top back to denim or a crochet maxi dress with flats for a bohemian summer-in-the-city look,” the Neiman Marcus director tells TZR.

Aiken also says crochet mania is only just beginning, particularly speaking to social media displays. “Wait until it’s festival season and summer vacation — it’s time to shop now before the best pieces disappear,” she advises. So ahead, discover nine crochet outfits you can wear throughout the season, most importantly, without the too-revealing stress. Of course, with an edit to shop.

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A Crochet Maxi Dress

Whether you go for a bright color or versatile neutral, Aiken says, “Trust a crochet maxi dress to do all hard work.” To keep things easy when accessorizing, she says, “Add flat sandals, a shoulder bag or basket, and a touch of gold jewelry for an effortlessly chic I-didn’t-even-try look.”

Summer Office Style

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You might not expect crochet to feel office appropriate. But for summer, when dress codes allow for more breathing room, Smallwood suggests a tightly woven crochet vest with Tibi’s knit pencil skirt. Or, consider a loosely pleated trouser as another polished option. Finish with heeled sandals, mules, or loafers; in any case, this formula will effortlessly transition to the evening.

With Tailored Linen & Denim

While crochet is perfect for vacationing, it’s a great transition look with denim and tailored linen pieces as spring heats up, whether you go the separates route with a top or skirt or lean into woven accessories. “Opt for a crochet crop top under a tailored short suit for office-appropriate summer style, and on the weekends, switch the tailoring for relaxed denim,” Aiken suggests.

Serious Saturation

Douse yourself in colorful crochet for a summery take on dopamine dressing. Smallwood suggests Kitri’s striped midi dress styled with blue heels for head-to-toe saturation. “You even could throw on an oversized blazer and a nude heel to dress it up further,” says the Hampden boutique owner.

A Peek Of Crochet

Aiken suggests styling a crochet bra or crop top under a white shirt or open blazer for just a touch of the trend. Then, to steer the look in a polished direction with accessories, choose a trendy pair of Mary-Jane flats or slides and finish with a leather mini bag.

Unexpectedly Sexy

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Smallwood points to Jonathan Simkhai’s white crochet shirt and pants set for an unexpectedly sexy summer look if you’re comfortable baring a bit of skin. Take this outfit in a graphic direction by finishing with black accessories and two-tone silver and yellow gold jewelry.

Woven Accessories

Nonchalance is one of crochet’s greatest appeals. To master the vibe, Aiken says, “Pair a slip dress and crochet bag for a very easy approach to day-to-night dressing.” Playful charm and beaded jewelry is a great way to elevate the look further while maintaining a summery aesthetic, whether you choose a bold necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings.

Quirky Cool

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Go the quirky-cool route with a whimsical crochet top — like JW Anderson’s strawberry tank, which Hailey Bieber has worn — paired with tailored shorts or trousers. Smallwood says a knitted bag will keep things summery while strappy sandals and stud earrings ensure an elevated finish.

Just A Trim

Crochet accents, like trim, are another subtler take on the 2022 trend. Smallwood says it allows you to get in on the look without going overboard. For example, choosing a pair of crochet-lined shorts as your focal point lets you keep things easy with impact by styling with a slouchy tee, woven bag, and sandals.