Windsor Chic: The Fair Isle Sweater


Oh, the Duke of Windsor…Prince of Wales and WASP fashion (I suppose the two go hand in hand, but he did it best and with the greatest gravitas). Two Winsdor references fell upon me this weekend. The first in GQ’s Man of the Year issue which advises that, yes, stylish men can wear fair isle sweaters (of course!). The Duke threw one on for a quick round of golf in the ‘20s and caused a sensation. As the wonderful www.dandyism.net tells it:

It was the Prince who, when he donned a brilliantly hued Fair Isle Sweater knitted for him in the Shetlands, led the weavers of that locale out of the darkness into international limelight. Though he wore the sensational sweater for only a single hour on the links at St. Andrews, Shetland weaving trade jumped over a million dollars a year. University undergraduates at Nebraska and Illinois subscribed, without a second thought, to monastic diets to corral funds enabling the purchase of these rather gaudy pullovers.

The second popped up on CBS Sunday Morning’s feature on Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle’s new homage to check: Tartan: Romancing the Plaid. The Duke, a true tartan fan, also caused a splash with his check trunks one summer.

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