It’s a wardrobe staple that is viewed the world over as a fashion classic. From Steve McQueen to Twiggy and Grace Kelly, Aran sweaters have been worn by the great and the good. But what is it that makes this specific type of jumper so compelling?
At Aran Sweater Market, we are of course totally biased! As fashion experts in all things wool, we don’t need to tell twice that Aran is the ultimate in stylish comfort. But for those who aren’t in the know, here are just some of our reasons to love the Aran sweater – our love letter to this wardrobe wonder…
1. It goes with everything
Even the most stylish have days where nothing looks right, and assembling a great outfit is just beyond them. Enter the Aran sweater. It really is a hero piece – looking fantastic with jeans on casual days, but equally great with a dress in the evening.
It has been frequently spotted on models and celebrities during fashion weeks and photoshoots, but still looks right at home with wellies on a country stomp. Throw on over your swimmers during a day at the beach, or snuggle up by the fire in the deep of winter. Aran sweaters are the most flexible of jumpers, taking you from long walks in the countryside to boho-chic in the city with ease.
2. It regulates your temperature
One of the reasons Aran is such a flexible staple, working year-round, is that the natural fibers help regulate your body temperature.
From summer beach trips to winter hikes, an Aran sweater will keep you perfectly cool or warm! You may not be a fashionista, but there’s a good reason Aran remains so popular amongst farmers and fishermen. It is such a practical and comfortable fabric to wear and has been protecting Irish people working outdoors for generations.
3. It is water repellent
Aran wool’s organic properties include the presence of lanolin. This means the fibers can repel water. So whether you are wearing your sweater on the waves or in the rain, you will stay dry and cozy.
4. It is easy to care for
There are no worries about creases and wrinkles with an Aran sweater. Stuff it into your luggage any which way, it makes a great traveling companion and will pop out looking fresh.
What is more, they don’t need regular washing, so won’t add to your laundry pile! The natural fibers repel sweat, stains, and smells, meaning simply airing them is enough to keep them clean.
5. It looks great on everyone
The nature of an Aran sweater means it is flattering on all body types. Men and women, tall and short, slim or broad – the cut and high-quality finish of an Aran sweater means it will always look fantastic.
6. It is a slice of history
There is nothing more timelessly stylish than a piece of clothing that links you strongly to history and culture. The Aran sweater is the perfect example.
Representing the hard work and beauty of rural Irish life over the centuries, the Aran sweater is part of a living culture that continues to this day.
The roots of Aran knitting are hotly debated, from links to Celtic knotwork to Guernsey jumper patterns introduced in the 19th century. What is undeniable is that Aran knitting speaks of a way of life that is the inheritance of the Irish diaspora around the world.
7. It has meaning
One of the most beautiful aspects of an Aran sweater is that the stitches are imbued with meaning and symbolism. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of the Irish landscape, each stitch represents a facet of the creator’s life and surroundings. The stitches include:
- The trellis stitch – reflects the stone-walled fields of the north-western farming communities of Aran.
- The tree of life stitch – represents the importance of clan and family ties. It is a stitch made in the hope of resilient and long-lasting families, with strong parents and healthy children creating a clan for the future.
- The blackberry stitch – gives thanks for a fruitful existence, and is an emblem of God-given life.
- The honeycomb stitch – reminds us of hard work and its sweet rewards, just as in the life of the honey bee.
- The diamond stitch – reflects the small diamond field patterns of the Aran Islands, and is made in hopes of good luck, success, and wealth.
- The cable stitch – one of the most common Aran stitches, traditionally represents the ropes of the fisherman. A cable knit sweater is worn to increase your luck out at sea.
- The zig-zag stitch – reflects the ups and downs of marriage, similar to the up-and-down cliff paths that are found on the Aran Islands.
8. It beats fast fashion
In a fast-paced modern world, many people have turned to the world of fast fashion to get their wardrobe fixes. But we believe in slower living – taking the time to appreciate high-quality items that will last for years and years.
Fast fashion is bad for the environment and relies on cheap labor and materials. These throwaway clothes go out of style very quickly and soon contribute to landfill. By contrast, an Aran sweater takes time to produce – but can then be enjoyed for many years. Many of our customers consider their Aran sweaters to be family heirlooms – and Aran can be enjoyed without any fear that it will go out of fashion.
9. There is love in every stitch!
Originally hand-knitted by the wives and mothers of Irish fishermen and farmers, at Aran Sweater Market we are proud to continue a tradition that has its roots in such love and care.
While the women of the Aran Islands sent their men off to the fields and the fishing clothed in Aran sweaters to keep them warm and dry, we send our Aran products around the world proud that they will fill our customer’s days with comfort too.
Have you fallen in love with Aran sweaters yet? Get swept away by a piece from Aran Sweater Market. These wardrobe classics will never let you down!