Some of you remember the crochet trends of the 1970s: thick acrylic yarns in strange color combinations, granny squares galore, hippie gals in stitched hotpants and chunky ponchos. I, myself, grew up surrounded by ghastly-colored afghans from the era.
But crochet wasn’t always a garish craft; earlier in the 20th century it was lacey, elegant, and refined, the work of highly skilled craftswomen. Fortunately, the older style of crochet is coming back into vogue and combining with our current craze for lace and a retro-modern aesthetic to create fashions that are at once both sweet and playful.
Let’s take a look.
By far, the most popular crochet garments you’ll see out there are cardigans and tops. These are perfect for layering and can help your wardrobe transition through the seasons.
Tops can be worn as-is or over a tank or long-sleeved shirt depending on the weather, and under a jacket for a day at the office. This top from Hinge could go from the workday to the weekend with ease.
A cardi is the perfect way to cover up bare shoulders when the nights start to turn chilly and can also dress your outfit up or down depending on the style. A gorgeous example is this hairpin lace shrug from Roper. There’s also a button-down cardigan from PB&J Boutique that I fancy, and a more delicate number from Antonio Melani.
While knit garments can be made with machines, true crochet must always be made by hand. Many of the “crocheted” garments advertised in clothing boutiques are actually machine-made lace designed to mimic vintage Irish crochet motifs. This faux crochet is less costly to produce and can be more easily sewn and shaped. I adore the above boho cardigan from Ralph Lauren.
If you’re feeling daring, slip into a flirty crocheted dress or skirt. Pair with a contrasting-colored slip and a belt for a pulled-together, eye-catching look.
This skirt from PB&J Boutique is a perfect example of fun and colorful, yet professional, crochet.
Your entire garment doesn’t need to be crocheted to cash in on this trend. Look for crochet or machine lace trims on tops, cardigans, and skirts.
If you’re still feeling a bit crochet shy, you can always start with accessories. Scarves and jewelry are a great way to dip your toes in while adding texture and interest to your outfit.
Mini crochet motifs make for fun and interesting earrings…
…and also look lovely buttoned onto your wrist.
Make a statement with a colorful crocheted shawl.
Or give your outfit an extra pop of color. Your best bet for something unique is to troll an online marketplace like Etsy for a handmade piece that stands out from the crowd.
Don’t forget your feet! Be current in these stylish and comfortable flats from TOMS, which come in a variety for neutral and eye-popping colors. If you need some fancier footwear, check out these heeled booties from GoJane and slingback platforms from Bottega Veneta.
Photo credits: Nordstrom, Zappos, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, PB&J, author, author, author, author, author, author, and TOMS.