Mohair: The Fluffy, Tyler, the Creator-Approved Knit That Will Up Your Layering Game
In 'Everyone's Wearing', our new, semi-regular series (we don’t decide when trends become trends, OK?) we’re going to deep-dive into how and why one specific garment or accessory or whatever is especially cool right now.
It could be a colour, a shape, a specific piece of clothing or even a haircut; it’s the inside track on a thing before it even knows it’s a thing. First up: mohair knitwear. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then get to know. It's almost everywhere, but not quite yet…
What is mohair?
Well, we’re sure you’re aware of the concept of knitwear, but the word ‘mohair’ might be a head-scratcher. Mohair is a fluffy, flyaway yarn made from Angora goat hair (not to be confused with Angora wool, which comes from a rabbit). It has a shiny quality and holds dyes exceptionally well, which is why mohair tends to be used in garments of varied, often bold colours. The knits in question are the perfect example, because lurid colour, animal print, stripes, checks and strange geometric creations abound. Loudness is the name of the game.
Is it new?
Mohair? Absolutely not. Wikipedia has it down as one of the oldest fabrics ever—dating back to 17th-century Tibet - although not it may never have looked better than it does now. So called 'statement' knitwear isn't new either, but this trend serves as the latest conflation of streetwear and classic prep.
Who's actually wearing it?
Tyler, the Creator is a master of modern mohair, which gives you an idea as to the kind of guy that’s into it right now. There’s a bookishness to mohair knitwear, and a feel of mid-Century Americana (golfers, barbecuers, tele-evangelists etc.), which is perhaps why the coolest Japanese streetwear brands seem to be the main thrust behind the trend.
The wider trend also encompasses a kind of old English romanticism, too, as demonstrated by the likes of SS Daley and Erdem - the latter has put mohair at the centre of his first ever collection of menswear.
What brands are doing it best?
Which one do we recommend?
Depends what vibe you’re going for. If it’s more about layering and an overall streetwear-y vibe, then Japanese brand Wacko Maria is your best bet. But if you want something a little more refined—something to be the statement piece of the fit, then Marni would be a good choice.
Can I afford it?
The short answer is ‘yes’. Mohair knitwear isn’t like cashmere, so it’s not guaranteed to be crazy expensive, but like everything, you get the quality you pay for. A good mohair cardigan will start at around £150, but it’s a proper statement piece to have on the backburner for a few years.
How do I wear mohair?
The likes of Beams Plus and Needles have used mohair in boxy cardigans with semi-ironic patterns. (They flirt with kitsch and bad taste without going into it, which only the coolest brands can do.) Wear yours a little oversized over a white tee with track pants or cargo trousers. Alternatively, you can go all Brideshead and wear an (almost) cropped mohair knit by Gucci or SS Daley over a pointed-collar shirt, with high waisted trousers and heeled loafers.
Will it still be cool in a few months?
Probably. The great thing about knitwear like this is that it’s perfect for layering, so if the trend for statement knitwear fades, then you can use the mohair as a mid-layer, offering a little soupçon of texture and colour. As with any trend, you should probably find the thing you like in it and double-down on that, then it will be more 'yours', anyway.
How do I look after mohair?
Much like wool, you’ll need to hand wash or take it to a professional cleaner. DO NOT TUMBLE DRY IT, and if you do wash at home, dry it flat so it doesn’t stretch.
From: Esquire UK