Bring Modern: Christmas jumpers

Robert Epstein
Sunday 16 December 2012 01:00

Red and green should never be seen. That's the rule, folks. That's the rule. Don't blame me, I didn't make it up. Them's the fashion fundamentals. Only, someone should probably have a word with the people who make Chrimbo sweaters, cos they're not listening. It's red (mainly) and green everywhere, because they are Jesus's favourite colours. Not really; we've got swathes of red because of Coca-Cola and the great Santa swindle, and we've a dash of green here and there because it's nice to have a reminder of a snog under the mistletoe.

Also, they look horrific together, like a 3-D nightmare, so they're perfectly kitsch for the office end-of-year party.

The hideous holiday jumper became a big trend in the 1980s, influenced as we were by the TV-am gang, Gordon the Gopher and memories of Andy Williams singing to girls as they walked by on his Christmas specials. (Can't blame 'em, given he was wearing one of his knitted monstrosities.)

But in the past decade, they have become an essential part of the festive season – to the extent that this year, Save the Children ran its inaugural Christmas Jumper Day ("Make the world better with a sweater") last Friday. The charity encouraged people to wear their cheesiest sweater all day long at work and donate £1 for the privilege.

The only thing is, it seems a little late to the, um, party. The reason being that Christmas sweaters, ironic throughout the 1990s and Noughties, have become awesomely cool suddenly. (Again, because, really, who didn't want to be Andy Williams, cosying up to a model while he crooned away? Or Perry Como? Or Max Bygraves? Or Val Doonican?)

Patterned jumpers, as you will note from the exceptional examples sourced by our fashion editor on page 27, are a joy; a warm top – especially with the weather we've had lately – is essential; and anything bearing a reindeer on it – bobbly nose sticking out or not – is clearly a winner. So stop thinking yourself ironic while getting into your Xmas get-up, and just accept that Christmas jumpers these days are a treat.

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