Brow Beat

A Closer Look at the Knitwear in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out

Michael Shannon in Knives Out.
Whether or not Michael Shannon is a murderer in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, you can’t fault a man in a classic fisherman-knit sweater.
Lionsgate

The trailer for director Rian Johnson’s first venture post–Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally out, and the whodunit features a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Michael Shannon, and Christopher Plummer.* But the real star of the film appears to be a whole lot of knitwear. Judging from the trailer, Knives Out builds on the mystery elements Johnson explored in his 2006 debut feature Brick while channeling the vibe of Hitchcock classics, Murder on the Orient Express, Jonathan Lynn’s Clue, and maybe a dash of Murder, She Wrote for good measure.

Here’s all we know so far of the film’s plot:

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.

From the looks of it, Knives Out checks all the boxes for a successful murder mystery: an old Victorian manor, crackling fireplaces, a charismatic yet fumbling detective who combines ineptitude and genius in equal parts, and a cast of callous but sympathetic bluebloods, all decked out in—and we can’t stress this enough—their finest knitwear! There is so much knitwear in this trailer that it could pass as an advertisement for J.Crew’s 2019 fall line. I can’t make much sense from the trailer as to why there is a giant disc made of knives hanging in the background of Thrombey’s estate, but I can make out that the Thrombeys certainly know how to dress for chilly weather. But are they dressed to kill? Here are the best knitwear looks from the Knives Out trailer along with how likely they seem, based on their choice of clothing alone, to have dunnit.

Michael Shannon in Knives Out.
Michael Shannon wearing argyle.
Lionsgate

Here, Michael Shannon faces interrogation while showing off his fall colors, sporting a classic blue-and-brown argyle sweater. The look is completed with a long goatee that, I’ll be honest, makes me suspicious that Michael Shannon is the murderer. Or maybe he isn’t. Hmm.

Chris Evans in a sweater in Knives Out.
Chris Evans, getting comfy in a traditional honeycomb-stitch merino.
Lionsgate

Chris Evans, fresh out of his Captain America gear, smirks impishly in a traditional honeycomb-stitch merino peeking out beneath a fancy little scarf and brown overcoat. He is clearly the “black-sheep brother” character of the film and even goes as far as to say some naughty words in the trailer. Excellent fashion sense, and while I am not suspicious of this character, Captain America would still be ashamed of him.

Ron Johnson in a chair wearing a sweater in Knives Out.
Don Johnson, all snug as a bug in a sea-foam double-knit half-zip pullover.
Lionsgate

Heartbeat” singer and Miami Vice star Don Johnson gets cozy in a masculine sea-foam double-knit half-zip pullover. This is a classic “grandpa” look complete with a classy gold watch. One wonders if Johnson feels at home with the popped collar look that was so epitomized by shows like Miami Vice. This is not the look of a murderer.

Ana de Armas in a purple sweater.
Ana de Armas, bold and homey in a lavender cable-knit cardigan.
Screenshot/Lionsgate

Contrary to popular belief, murderers are perfectly capable of looking good in cardigans. Ana de Armas looks particularly bold in this lavender cable-knit cardigan. Lavender is generally thought of as a more submissive color, but here I find it suspicious. She just wants us to think she’s innocent.

Jaeden Martell in a fancy sweater in Knives Out.
Jaeden Martell gets serious about comfort and style in a varsity cable-knit V-neck with pink details and matching pink collar.
Lionsgate

Winner: Not that it was really a contest but Jaeden Martell absolutely steals the show with his varsity cable-knit V-neck with pink detail and matching Oxford shirt. I don’t think he’s the killer (maybe a witness at most), but I think he’s officially got the mystery of fall fashion solved.

Check back for a full fashion recap of Knives Out when the film releases on Nov. 27, in the heart of sweater weather.

Correction, July 2, 2019: This post originally misspelled Katherine Langford’s first name.