Six ways to look a prick in… knitwear

WHAT do you get if you cross a sheep and a kangaroo? A misbegotten monstrosity begging to die, and that’s what you’ll look like in this season’s woolly jumpers!


Lighting up your local pop-up bar like Noel Edmonds on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop? In a sweater so toxically patterned it’s registered as a weapon of psychological warfare? Bearing geometries as mismatched and clashing as Saudia Arabia and Yemen? You’re causing offence at 40 paces!


Cable-knit, from a Scottish isle so remote its own crofters haven’t heard of it yet, sickeningly beige, warmer than a London flat, this look has everything but style. Only the irrepressibly angular can snuggle into this and still have a silhouette, so if you’re not all corners leave it the hell alone!


What’s this on your knit? Not staid patterns, as one would expect, but a mark of cool? The Wu-Tang Clan, Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, the Twin Towers aflame? Son, the dissonance between the granny-friendly manufacture of your jumper and its contemporary message has just blown six minds.


Is it a tank top? Is it a sweater vest? Depends on which side of the mid-Atlantic ridge you come down on, but either way you’re wearing one of the most fatuous garments around. Warm body? Cold arms? What possible benefit is there to this? It’s so wildly impractical it’s the height of fashion, especially in drab olive and utility brown!


Only M&S dads wear fresh-off-the-rack. You need your jumper to look comfortable, thrown-on, lived-in, fucked. Either spend a hard day running through hedges until you’ve got those crucial snags or buy Primark and it’ll be unravelling before you leave the tills. Follow the thread and you’re all the way back there!


Your fashion icon? Michael Douglas in a LA club in the early 90s being shut out of restroom stalls by hot blonde bisexuals. Your corresponding choice of knit? The classic green V-neck worn with nothing underneath. Those who know? They’ll know.

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Ask Sir Ian: Should I start a doomsday cult where I get to shag all the women?

EVERY week, you write in to ask a national treasure for help with a conundrum in your life. This week, Sir Ian McKellen helps you think about your cult options: 

Dear Sir Ian,

Hope this finds you well. Huge fan. So glad the bloke who played Dumbledore who died recently wasn’t you.

I’m a sociable guy with a girlfriend, a good job and a small group of close friends who mean the world to me. But I can’t help think life would be better if I had a legion of devoted followers, a harem and everyone gave me all their money.

The easy way to do this is a cult of some sort, setting myself up as their saviour from imminent apocalypse. I could be a new messiah, maybe from a distant star system, and they need to fork over the cash and have sex with me.

Problem is, I don’t really know how to get started. I can’t just turn up down the pub in robes, and I feel like if I suggested to my girlfriend that she recruit her mates to shag me I’d get dumped. How do the cult boys do it, and should I even try?


Roy Hobbs

Dear Roy,

Thanks ever so much for writing in. You’ll be relieved to hear that as I played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, I am still alive and keen to help.

It’s easy to see why you’re keen to get into cult-leading and I admire your ambition, if not your motives. But I’m wondering if you’ve thought this through.

First, where will your devotees eat, sleep and hear your pronouncements when you only have a two-bed apartment? It’s hard to maintain an aura of mystery when everyone can hear you through the walls of the en suite. Do you have the seed capital for a bigger compound?

Second, your ideas are a bit vague. Consider the greats of literature, like The Hobbit or Chris Claremont’s X-Men; they’re full of characters and stories you want to believe in. Take inspiration from their fictional worlds and give us heroes and villains. Who will instigate this apocalypse? A giant octopus? An alien wizard? Let your imagination fly.

Whoever you choose, you need to sow paranoia that everyone – whether parents, friends or employers – are his agents to keep your cult members giving their cash and bodies to you.

Third, what’s your exit plan? Fun as a cult seems now, you may tire of the extortion and orgies but you don’t want to get boxed in with a mass ritual suicide just because your followers expect it. I’d recommend transcending our mortal plane and coming back dressed in white. It worked for me.

Answer those questions and cult leadership is your next stop, like Charles Manson, Heaven’s Gate and the Innocent smoothie team. Good luck,

Sir Ian McKellen