Kate Middleton’s Guide To Christmas Jumpers That You’ll Actually Want To Wear

Because a great knit shouldn't just be for Christmas.

Kate Middleton wearing a Christmas jumper

by Natalie Hammond |

This year, instead of panicking and buying something polyester, why not buy a jumper that isn't just for Christmas, a jumper that does have festive edge but doesn't have a reindeer face? Kate Middleton also knows what we're talking about. Appearing in the trailer for Royal Carols - Together At Christmas, a show airing on Christmas Eve, Middleton wore a crimson cardigan with crystal-embellished buttons from Miu Miu. And we think it's ideal for this Christmas (or something like it, of course, hers costs £1,350).

Kate Middleton wearing a cardigan from Miu Miu

Because we know what you’re thinking. Mark Darcy? Definitely not your style icon. A jumper festooned with a pudding, holly berries or clusters of baubles? Those days are over. So instead, meet the not-so-novelty knit – statement jumpers that are light on tinsel while still managing to be big on joy. It also means they're more sustainable, too. (And speaking of more sustainable, Depop has just reported that searches for 'Christmas jumpers' have spiked by +350% in the last month. Why not look through your favourite sellers to see if they have a retro knit with your name on it?)

Think Fair Isle jumpers, Argyle sweaters or cosy cable-knits with a fashion twist. Argyle knits have actually been around since the 17th century but have recently struck a chord with the fashion set thanks to Molly Goddard, whose reimagining of the print on a modern-day twinset has been a serious hit since it debuted last year. Not to be confused with your dad’s old golfing attire, the trick to making it ‘fashion’ is in the pairing – try slip skirts, straight-leg jeans or layered over a crisp white shirt (à la David).

It’s all part of a bigger shift away from wear-it-one-month-only Christmas jumpers. According to research by environmental charity Hubbub, as many as 12 million of them could have been bought in 2020, with only two in five being worn again after the festive period. Sarah Divall, project coordinator at Hubbub, said at the time, ‘We don’t want to stop people dressing up and having a great time at Christmas, but there are so many ways to do this without buying new. Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic,’ she says.

Street style sweater vest

In a bid to reduce your impact if you do want to go full-on Christmas, look to buy second-hand from places like Rokit and Beyond Retro, as well as the aforementioned Depop, or try a swap-shop with your housemates and friends. Otherwise, your best bet is to stick to classic patterns to wear all season.

The good news is that the mood is set to be bright, bold and upbeat for spring/summer, which chimes with the not-so-novelty knit. It’s the perfect remedy for dull British weather and can be worn long after Santa’s been and gone.

The goal, says Buffy Reid, founder of Scottish knitwear label & Daughter is to get years of wear out of your knit, rather than mere weeks (Winter Market, the brand's latest drop, gives 20% of all proceeds to Refuge). ‘There’s something so special about that treasured knit that everyone has in their wardrobe. It’s about a forever piece, made in the best way, from the finest natural raw materials that, looked after, should last a lifetime.'


SHOP: The Best Non-Naff Christmas Jumpers

& Daughter, Winter Market Hand Knit Intarsia Jumper, £450
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ALEXACHUNG, Cosy Town Jumper, £140
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Rixo, Lula Round-Neck Jumper, £225
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5th Season Vintage, Handmade Vintage '90s Knitted Jumper, £37
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Christopher Kane, Cut-Out Cupchain Knitted Sweater, £1,045
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Leith x Madeleine Thompson, Marianne Cardigan, £511
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Ganni, Cable Oversized Tie Turtleneck Pullover, £345
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& Other Stories, Jacquard Knit Heart Cardigan, £120
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Zara, Jacquard Knit Sweater, £49.99
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Kitri, Elliott Fairisle Sweater, £125
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Polo Ralph Lauren, Fair Isle Roll Neck Jumper, £439
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Essentiel Antwerp, Black And White Inside-Out Sweater, WAS £240 NOW £192
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Molly Goddard, John Jumper Multi-Stripe, £420
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Toast, Jacquard Wool Easy Sweater, £165
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Stine Goya, Adonis Sweater, £260
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Joseph, Intarsia Wool-Blend Cardigan, £995
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Shrimps, Bennett Cardigan, £350
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SEA, Ziggy Striped Crochet Sweater, £495
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Bershka, Fuzzy round neck sweater vest, £17.99
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Pull & Bear, Colour Stripe Sweater, £25.99
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Warehouse, Wave Flower Knit Cardigan, £32.24
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Nobody's Child, Heart Jacquard Cable Cardigan, £59
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Blake LDN, The Ava Crew Neck, £165
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KITRI, Elliott Fairisle Sweater, £125
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River Island, Front Bow Embellished Cardigan, £22
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Nobody's Child, Pearl Funnel Neck Jumper, £25
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River Island, Chunky Knit Cardigan, £45
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READ MORE: Aldi's Christmas Jumpers Are Flying Off The Shelves, But Here's How To Get Your Hands On One

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