Military jackets and cardigans have been a huge trend for Winter 2010-2011. I like the sweater version of a military coat because the softness of the fabric tones down the military style, making it less severe. This design of Kim Hargreaves is my favorite. With her delightful touches such as fold-over buttoned pockets and epaulettes, she makes the most of military style without going too far.
A lot of the military-style outerwear for Winter 2010-2011 has been double-breasted, like these fabulous designs by Burberry:
As much as I love that look, it can be hard to pull off unless you are really slender, as the buttoned up, double-breasted style can really emphasize any width in the chest and shoulder area. Look at how super skinny the models are in the Burberry ad! Kim Hargreaves cleverly addressed this problem in her other military-style cardigan, Isle, where she uses a wide flared peplum to balance out the bulk of the double-breasted top. The narrow waist also keeps it feminine, and makes it easy to pair with a skirt.
If I compare these two military patterns by Kim Hargreaves, Mystery and Isle, I think Mystery is easier to wear. A deep V neck is flattering for almost any body type, as it creates a vertical line, drawing the eye up and down, which has the effect of lengthening the neck and torso.
Mystery is knitted in kid classic, which is an aran-weight yarn, but plenty of waist shaping keeps it from adding much bulk to the figure. However, it does add some, so I reduced the stitches at the waist more to compensate. That wasn't necessary with Kim's other pattern, Isle, because it is knitted with fingering weight yarn, so the resulting fabric is very light and drapes beautifully.
All in all, I think Kim Hargreaves knocked it out of the park with these two inspired versions of an officer’s jacket. I’m going to be wearing them as much as I can this season, hoping the military style doesn’t go out too soon.