Street styling Elizabeth Zimmermann

From the moment I took up knitting, people began imploring me to read Elizabeth Zimmermann (the Julia Child of the knitting world). “You HAVE TO. You’ll LOVE her!” Not only for her trademark dry humor, but for her preference for simple-yet-brilliant construction techniques over complicated stitch patterns. Everyone was right, of course: I now read her books and patterns as if they were novels. Her infinite wisdom and wit are timeless, and given that she was more descriptive than prescriptive, so are most of her designs. So I hate to think that a single person might ever take a glance at the books and write them off as outmoded. To demonstrate just how relevant the shapes still are, I would like to direct your attention to some of the darlings of the street-style scene, whose looks are easily simulated with EZ’s help:

elisa nalin x elizabeth zimmermann

Stylist Elisa Nalin is known for her constant smile and her bright and kooky ensembles, such as this one captured by Vanessa Jackman. Who but Nalin would have reached for that boxy, blueberry-colored bowling shirt in the middle of Paris Fashion Week? And yet, she looks delightful. As will you in your own knitted version—

Nalin x Zimmermann
pattern: Open-Collared Pullover
book: “Knitter’s Almanac”
yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton in Marine

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natalie joos x elizabeth zimmermann

Blogger and casting agent Natalie Joos loves a sweater, especially where it’s least expected, such as over a red-carpet gown atop the Empire State Building. We’ve seen this outfit here once before, but let’s consider how easy it would be to recreate that covetable vintage DKNY funnel-neck. (Unfortunately, there’s no help I can offer when it comes to availing yourself of the amazing Peter Som dress.)

Joos x Zimmermann
pattern: Hurry-Up Last-Minute Sweater
book: “Knitter’s Almanac”
yarn: Purl Soho Super Soft Merino in Super Pink (held double for the full effect)

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ruby aldridge x elizabeth zimmermann

Model Ruby Aldridge (in another Vanessa Jackman catch) puts a young, punk twist on a traditional Icelandic sweater by pairing it with a biker jacket and skinny jeans. EZ may never have styled hers this way, but she did multiple versions of the seamless yoke sweater.

Aldridge x Zimmermann
pattern: Seamless Yoke Sweater
book: “Knitting Without Tears”
yarn: Un-Spun Icelandic in Spruce, Sage and Gold (imported and sold by EZ’s own company, Schoolhouse Press)

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So there you go. Which will you make first, and how will you be wearing it?

5 thoughts on “Street styling Elizabeth Zimmermann

    • Oh, interesting. That didn’t occur to me when I saw your snap. But this one is bottom-up, so replicating that handkerchief hem would be challenging.

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