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).
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.
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.'