Why *that* Iconic Toteme Knit Didn’t Work for Me

For the best part of the year, I’m certain my Instagram feed was stuck in some weird ‘Toteme striped knit’ algorithm where every second photo on my feed was of a drop dead gorgeous influencer wearing this iconic knit.  There’s no denying it’s a gorgeous piece – a modern take on the classic striped knit with its billowy sleeves and side slits. While I was initially staggered by the price tag, I somehow reached a state where I thought ‘yeah, y’know… $740 on a knit is pretty reasonable…’ as I was wearing one of my much-loved $80 jumpers. (I’m sure I can think of other things in my wardrobe where I also reached similar conclusions, but let’s not talk about that right now 🤪). 

Toteme striped knit (sz XS – available at Matches Fashion, MyTheresa, Net-A-Porter), Dr Denim jeans*, Gucci loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses

I bit the bullet about a month ago after umming and ahhing for the longest time. The Toteme striped knit wasn’t on sale, and it’s not like my wardrobe was calling out for another striped knit when I’ve already got three hanging in there happily, at that moment I just decided the time was right to dump a heap of hard-earned clams on the MyTheresa website. My curiosity was starting to kill me, so I took necessary steps 😅 (and shopped in the safety of free returns… yiew!)

Toteme striped knit (sz XS – available at Matches Fashion, MyTheresa, Net-A-Porter), Dr Denim jeans*, Gucci loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses

When the knit finally arrived a week later, beautifully packed in the signature MyTheresa packaging I should add, it was all pretty exciting. I was expecting the knit to be quite heavy, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t weighty, given the heavyweight wool/cotton fabric blend. 

But the shine came off as soon as I tried it on. I just wasn’t blown away. The proportions didn’t seem right on my petite frame (I ordered a size XS by the way).  The length was fine, the arms were a tad long (and you could still see the tips of the fingers), but the neck was just a bit too tight. In hindsight, I probably should have gone with the size S, but I’m pretty sure my arms would have been completely lost in the sleeves if I sized up. The knit doesn’t look bad, as you can see from the pictures I’ve included (where I even forced my husband to whip out the DSLR camera to get a ‘proper photo!’), but for the price tag, I was expecting fireworks. And they never came.

Toteme striped knit (sz XS – available at Matches Fashion, MyTheresa, Net-A-Porter), Dr Denim jeans*, Gucci loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses

After wanting something for so long, and reaching a point of allowing myself to spend not an insignificant amount of money, it was a bit of a let down. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this experience. Being petite means a lot of popular items that look great on taller folk don’t always flatter my frame. I figured it was worthwhile sharing in case you’ve experienced something similar too.

And while I’m disappointed, my bank account (and my clothing budget!) is a bit relieved that the knit hasn’t quite worked out. I ended up using that cash (and put in a bit extra) and bought a Dyson Airwrap after being blown away from an in-store demo a few weeks before that, another spendy purchase where, thankfully, there are fireworks and freaking bonfires every time I use it… but more on that later 😉

If anything, this ‘Toteme striped knit’ experience has endorsed my approach when I go about making spendy purchases – leaving aside my complex pro/con lists, they simply have to blow me away to stick around for the long haul.

Have you bought something that didn’t knock your socks off after wanting it for so long? Drop me a comment! I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Here’s a selection of some other striped knits (featuring a mix of ones I own as well as ones that I’ve added to my wish list!)



  1. Michelle
    August 13, 2022 / 2:07 pm

    Hi Vee, I have tried on this knit in a blue colour, also from Mytheresa. I returned it as it was very unflattering on me, almost like a tent with a turtleneck. It also didn’t look good on my fuller bust. Live and learn! Keep up the good work with your blog, YouTube and Instagram. I really enjoy your posts. Michelle

    • August 14, 2022 / 10:04 pm

      Ha! A tent with a turtleneck is an excellent way to describe the style! I really thought it would be a home run and was disappointed it didn’t work, but I’m glad I was able to try it and satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for your lovely feedback xx

      • Michelle
        August 15, 2022 / 10:07 pm

        Exactly – you won’t die wondering! On another note – I had a bit of envy when I saw your post on that fab Joseph blazer you bought in yellow. It looks soooo good on you and it was in my NAP wishlist for ages but I never bought it when it went on sale. Regrets I’ve had a few…….

  2. Michelle
    September 28, 2022 / 3:45 am

    Based on the online reviews, it seems like a lot of actual customers (not influencers who get gifts) are disappointed in the quality and service of this brand.

    • October 1, 2022 / 5:35 pm

      that’s so interesting to hear. I’ve never shopped directly from the brand before to know about their service but quality hasn’t ever been a concern for me. It all came down to the fit of this particular knit that just didn’t work. That said, I think their wool/cashmere blend coats are pretty great quality, considering I bought them all myself 🙂

  3. April 21, 2023 / 9:42 am

    Such a helpful video Vee! I have been lusting after the Toteme sweater and umming and ahhing whether I do it but I’m the same as you – petite, 159cm tall and I also think this sweater won’t look as amazing on me as I would like it to! Loving the sezanne ones you have though! I’m sold on those!!

    • April 28, 2023 / 10:34 am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! The Sezane knits are definitely a safer bet!

  4. Alessandra
    January 30, 2024 / 6:57 am

    Hey gorgeous! I just came across this post and like you im petite (1,52). Bought this sweater in size XXS. Im quite thin (39 kg) so on my looked pretty good and the xxs size is not THAT big but like you the neck is very tight. Luckily i bought it at 50% off and i like the quality, craftsmanship and colour (is the fir green color).
    I love also their coats such as the signature coat in cashmere colour black and the signature trench.
    I’m considering buying as well the crop seam twist jeans.
    Overall this sweater is a good purchase but unfortunately not everyone body frame goes well with it. I do believe their models are for super tall ladies with androgynous form. I’m petite but not curvy but rather straight.

    Keep posting this type of articles as you are the best!
    Kisses from Milan, Italy 🇮🇹

    • February 20, 2024 / 9:40 am

      that’s so exciting that you bought the sweater for 50% off! the fit of the neck was just too uncomfortable for me, and I haven’t managed to find it on sale! thanks so much for sharing xx

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