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The Irish Knit

sweater and hat: The Sweater Shop (it's an Aran knit sweater, similar linked) // turtleneck: J.Crew x  Saint James (old, similar linked) // jacket: J.Crew // watch: Fossil // bracelet: KJP // necklace: KJP // claddagh ring: The Irish Jewelers // jeans: GAP (old, current season style linked) // shoes: J.Crew x New Balance // bag: Cambridge Satchel Company // pearls: vintage 

I didn't buy much in Ireland (shocking, I know!), but one thing I did buy that has quickly turned into one of my favorite things ever is this Aran knit sweater.

I knew from day one of our trip that I was looking for some Irish knitwear to bring home. In general, I like to buy things that are the "specialty" of countries I visit when abroad (olive oil in Italy, knitwear in Ireland, Delft pottery in the Netherlands, etc.) as a souvenir rather than kitschy things. There's absolutely nothing wrong with those, of course, but I always find myself never really appreciate them as much as I do a memento that I'll be able to use every day, and maybe doesn't say "Ireland" right on it but will remind me of my trip. Anyways, I digress!

On our third day in Dublin, my mom and I happened to walk past a shop called "The Sweater Shop" and decided to pop in. I found the hat I was initially looking for, but then fell in love with the Aran knit sweaters they had on display. These are the original "fisherman sweaters" (read: the sweaters with a special knit that are sold at the likes of  L.L. Bean), and they're hand-made on the Aran islands off the coast of Ireland. The quality is incredible, and I was expecting the price to be high -- but I was so surprised to see that even with the conversion from euros to dollars, they were still only half the price of the typical L.L. Bean fisherman sweater. That essentially sealed my decision, and I settled on this oatmeal color. I'm so happy I bought it! These pictures are from the day I purchased the sweater; I wore it over a turtleneck, as the wool can get a little itchy, but I loved how warm it was.

You'll also notice that I'm wearing the same J.Crew x New Balance sneakers I featured last year! These took me through Amsterdam and London; while I don't wear athletic shoes on a regular basis I can't deny that they are essential for any sort of traveling. They're my go-to pair for the plane ride and walking around the city. Plus, the gold and white suede fits in much better with my style, so they don't look sloppy either!

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