THINK BIG

Rady to wear

Knitwear has been quite staid in recent years. We had the boiled- in-the-bag shrunken sweater and variations on fluffy stuff but that was about it. Now along come huge cardigans that are worn as jackets and even coats (and Missoni zig-zaggy prints are also making a reappearance, but that's another story). This is all good news for those adept with knitting needles but actually designer versions aren't as expensive as you'd think. The Nicole Farhi deep plum long cardigan featured here is the buy of the season. For those with lots of money, Calvin Klein has done some of the best "coat- cardigans" - long and lean and beautiful. One quick tip: knitwear tends to stretch so if you go for the coat length bear this in mind when you buy. If it's a touch too long in the shop it will be trip length after the first week of wear.

Main picture: brown Aran knit ankle-length cardigan, pounds 461; brown and orange zig-zag sweater, pounds 175 and brown velvet button-through skirt, pounds 162, all by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, from a selection at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1, (tel: 0171 584 8984)

Above: beige chunky rib button-through cardigan, pounds 74.99, Joseph for La Redoute catalogue (0500 777 777 for a free catalogue). Deep plum fine-knit ankle-length cardigan, pounds 149, Nicole Farhi, 158 New Bond St, London W1 (tel: 0171 499 8368)

Right: grey checked cardigan with matching tie belt, pounds 199, Diversion by Nicole Farhi, 158 New Bond St, London W1 (tel: 0171 499 8368). Green print dress, pounds 69, Jigsaw branches nationwide (tel: 0171 491 4484)

Left: aqua shetland wool chunky knit cardigan with tie belt, pounds 148, Jigsaw branches nationwide (tel: 0171 491 4484). Plum velour V-neck long sleeved top, pounds 30, and matching long skirt, pounds 40, both Nougat from selected House of Fraser stores nationwide (tel: 0171 208 4300)

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