POST TIME: 16 December, 2018 12:31:55 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 December, 2018 04:38:54 PM
How to wear: a Christmas jumper
It’s time to break the curse of the festive sweater
Independent Online Desk/ The Guardian

How to wear: a Christmas jumper

This is a jamper that is too good to be a mere novelty.’ Photograph: David Newby for the Guardian

Apart from flash floods and the subtle threat of nuclear war, nothing in the past 11 months has truly prepared you for the one month where the world is high as a kite on the scent of Christmas. Within this period of madness lies the Sweater Curse, which means that any patterned jumper you wear will be met with the question: “Hey, is that a kerrrazeeeee Christmas jumper?!” To which you will reply, “Um, no, I bought this last spring…”, then feel the awkward silence melt like a freshly fallen snowflake.

Still, some of us will be wearing a Christmas jumper because we, too, will have gone A Little Bit Noddy Holder. This look is the clothing equivalent of the musical guilty pleasure, a 100% cotton version of Boney M’s Ra Ra Rasputin; for cinematic evidence, see Colin Firth looking awkward in Bridget Jones’s Diary in a reindeer pullover. Scenes on a Christmas jumper may include the classic (hi, Colin) or the postmodern (one supermarket’s 2018 selection includes a jumper embroidered with images of several Christmas jumpers. It’s what the late Umberto Eco, king of postmodernism, would have wanted).

On some weird scale of Noddydom, wearing a “jaunty”, Yuletide-themed sweater of the kind inspired by Gyles Brandreth is hilarious – but only in an end‑of‑the-pier kind of way. Instead, it’s time for a new approach, something to break the curse.

So here it is – and what do you think? Preferable to a mise en woolly scène of a penguin cavorting with a snowman, right? This is a jumper that is too good to be a mere novelty. It pops with colour and, paired with a suit and my own white trainers, is good enough for a party at any time of year.

December is the one month when, sartorially, you’re allowed to go a bit crackers. Your key style icons are Father Christmas (wears only red, white and fur), The Grinch (only green) and Will Ferrell’s Elf (Peter Pan collar, teeny-tiny hat). So bust out the patterns, the bolds, the brights – anything you’d normally avoid; turn those brogues gold, zhush up your boring trousers with a fancy belt and allow that pocket square to make a statement.

Today’s look is not really a Christmas jumper at all. So you’ll have to bid adieu to that awkward moment (raised eyebrows, Robbie Williams grin) when Max from accounting wants to bond over novelty knitwear at the office party.

And what better Christmas present could anyone wish for than that?