The finer details make all the difference when it comes to men’s knitwear. The autumn/winter 2022/23 season will see customers placing more emphasis on knitwear that comes with novelty designs and statement graphics. These are the trendy stitches and patterns in men’s knitwear businesses should explore this season.
What influences the men’s knitwear market this season?
Knitwear is defined as articles of clothing made from wool or other yarns that are knitted together. The global knitwear market was valued at USD 644.29 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 1606.67 billion by 2029, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.10% between 2022 to 2029.
The surging demand for knitwear is primarily due to a growing interest in lightweight and high-performance clothing. Compared to woven fabrics, knitwear is softer and more durable, with added moisture-wicking ability, anti-wrinkle properties, and easy breathability. As customers demand more sustainable products, major players in the industry are also increasing the use of eco-friendly and natural materials in their products. Such efforts are fueling sales growth in the knitwear market, with the natural material segment expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
Men’s knitwear trends for autumn/winter 2022/23a
Brushed surface knits
Knits with brushed surfaces soften the masculinity aesthetic as men’s clothing designers explore different textures for the autumn and winter season. Brushed knits are knits that have been gently combed with fine-tooth metal brushes to raise the fibers and create an extremely gentle felted fabric that is pleasant against the skin.
Brushed surface knits can be given more depth with warm autumnal colors or patterns that blend into one another, such as bold stripes, blurred chevrons, or all-over floral jacquard. Additional dimension can be achieved with plush yarn that is combined with impermeable coatings. For customers interested in a well-worn look, faded neutral colors can give brushed surfaces a rustic appeal.
Sustainable materials such as traceable RWS, RAS, RWA, RMS, or GRS wools and recycled polyester will be options for businesses seeking lower environmental impact.
There was an abundance of floral knit in menswear runway collections as designers took inspiration from nature and explored imaginative techniques with knitwear. Floral motifs on men’s sweaters came in a variety of styles that defied the belief flower patterns are only for the women’s market.
Floral knitwear can be executed in lighter color palettes with flocked yarn that has a velvet appearance. Historical floral patterns found in art and botany books that are machine embroidered or woven through intarsia or jacquard stitching techniques give floral knits a moody garden effect. Flower prints can also be clustered together like a bouquet along the chest or sleeves, arranged in rows to form a striped pattern, or placed along the yoke to resemble classic Scandinavian ski sweaters.
The classic cable knit is updated for autumn and winter 2022/23 with new colors and patterns. Cable knitting is a type of stitch pattern that resembles twisted or braided ropes. This stitch is commonly used on men’s sweaters, cardigans, and vests.
Knitwear with patchwork panels in different cable patterns or color shades will give men a modern piece suitable for business casual work attire. Alternatively, heritage cable designs can be elevated with crisp yarns and symmetrical knitting patterns for a more timeless look. For trend-driven customers, bold and bright color will give traditional cable knit pieces a trendy spin.
Outdoor and supreme comfort themes also remain important. Uneven dyes in earthy tones can be used to create abstract camouflage prints, while heavy-gauge yarns are suitable for producing chunky knit tops or oversized slouchy sweaters with thick cables.
Bold pattern knitwear
Bold pattern knitwear dominated the catwalks this season. Fashion designers played with statement graphics to create upbeat and optimistic knit pieces.
Oversized logos designed with intarsia and jacquard stitching gives patterned knitwear a trendy edge for the youth market. When it comes to invigorating heritage patterns, such as argyles, Fair Isle, or geometric shapes, the key is to alter the patterns into original graphics. Classic prints can be reinvented by changing their scale into miniature or supersized versions, mixing two prints together into a new pattern, adding loose threads, or displaying them in bold color combinations.
Hazy stripes on chunky ombre and space-dyed yarns are another important trend for patterned knits, while knitwear with abstract prints that imitate camo graphics can also be an option for customers excited about this fun and novel direction in men’s clothing.
Fair Isle knits
For autumn/winter 2022/23, the iconic Fair Isle knit is upgraded with folklore and outdoor themes. Fair Isle is a traditional knitting technique originating from the Shetland Islands that is characterized by bands of multicolored patterns.
Fashion designers experimented with rustic details on Fair Isle knitwear, including folklore prints and patterns, floral appliques, fringed ends, reverse floats and jacquards, and mixed-up patterns. Men interested in more classic interpretations of Fair Isle knits may be drawn to sweaters with clean and simple yokes.
Yarns that are woollen and compact from felted treatments will be great for warm layering clothing items, while chunky knit stitches will be suitable for early autumn outerwear pieces. Eco-conscious customers may be particularly interested in high-quality ethical fibers, such as traceable RWS wools in merino or lambswool.
Attract customers with new knitwear stitch & patterns
There are several key stitch and pattern trends in men’s knitwear for the autumn and winter 2022/23 season. Comfort-driven styles are evolving into more decorative looks that make a loud statement. Textured brushed surface and chunky cable knit pieces are accentuated with bold patterns, different weaving techniques, and rich colors. Classic elements such as Fair Isle stitching, floral prints, and heritage patterns are upgraded through unexpected placement and scale, loose threads, and abstract mashed up designs. The core of men’s knitwear this season is an abundance of new and unexpected designs.
As customers become increasingly aware of the anti-wrinkle and high absorption benefits of natural material knits, businesses should also respond by offering sustainable and high-performance knitwear. By strengthening the sense of fashion in knitwear while simultaneously investing in traceable and ethical wool, businesses will be able to position themselves as modern and responsible players in the market.