Fashion: 'Twas the knit before Christmas... - News - Fashion - The Independent

Fashion: 'Twas the knit before Christmas...

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Seasonal sweaters have shaken off their comedy image to become really rather stylish – and there's even a charity day devoted to wearing them. It's enough to make you jumper for joy

There can be few items of clothing as fashion-backward as the Christmas jumper, the knitted equivalent of "Jingle Bells" sung badly by a Scout group in a provincial shopping centre. And yet, from the daft to the designer, we can't get enough of the sort of sweaters that earned a scornful diary entry from Bridget Jones (remember Colin Firth's reindeer?).

Friday next week is Christmas Jumper Day, when Save the Children permits us to don seasonal kitsch in exchange for a donation to the charity, which also offers knitting patterns for DIY jumper fans (lock up your granny). The newsreader Jon Snow and the actress Ashley Jensen are among the campaign's celebrity recruits.

But irony or charity isn't required for those seeking to channel Cliff Huxtable, of Cosby Show fame, or George Michael in Wham!'s "Last Christmas". Sarah Lund, The Killing's toasty television detective, is credited with popularising Faroese sweaters and their Scottish Fair Isle counterparts. In the age of novelty and nostalgia, it's perhaps a natural evolution for our knits to grow snowflakes and Santas.

And so we have The Wanted, the boy band, frolicking around a tree in Esquire wearing a range of jumpers including Nathan's green wool reindeer print from Gant (£135). High-street and online stores have increased their range of festive sweaters this year at both ends of the market, and report snowballing sales as Britain freezes. At Asos, sales of novelty and Fair Isle styles have "exceeded expectations", increasing more than five times on last year, while Jeremy Langmead, editor-in-chief at Mr Porter, says the "rustic, retro charm" of sweaters there is boosting sales by similar amounts. Net-A-Porter has its own department for designer offerings including a bauble-covered red jumper by Meadham Kirchhoff for £945, a £396 white Moschino reindeer number, and a £355 top from Tibi that features a giant penguin. For a cheaper take on the trend, try Topman (£38).

An American trend for "ugly Christmas sweater parties", meanwhile, has taken off here, creating a market for presumably single-use jumpers. Matthew Lake, 21, a web entrepreneur from Shropshire, has already sold almost 1,000 sweaters since he launched the pleasingly lo-fi DaftChristmasJumpers.co.uk in October. He's struggling to meet demand for his range of almost 50 knits (top seller: a top that looks like a Santa jacket). His theory of the Christmas jumper's new popularity in times that are cold and bleak is simple: "They're just plain old good fun."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

    Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

    £26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

    Retail Business Analyst

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

    Senior C++ Developer

    £400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week