The Christmas jumper movement is slowly gathering pace around various parts of the world, and the bulky, knitted creations are testing the limits of shoppers everywhere with their various logos depicting everything from delicate snowflakes to slightly terrifying santas. The jumpers have now become so popular that anyone claiming to dislike them is immediately labelled a Grinch and excluded from the Christmas festivities. What began as an unwanted gift from grandmothers all over the world has now become the ultimate style must-have, and designers are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand. Amazon has reported a 600% increase in sales of festive jumpers compared to last year, and almost every high street store offers some version of the winter warmers. In direct contrast to most popular fashions, the Christmas jumper is not intended to make the wearer look cool, but is supposed to look intentionally ridiculous. Their huge surge in popularity can be attributed to many different factors, and this article looks at the rise of the Christmas jumpers.
[Image courtesy of mwitt1337/pixabay.com]
A Proud Tradition
There is some disagreement about the exact origin of the Christmas jumper, and both the UK and the United States claim to have started the trend. In the UK, Christmas jumpers were all the rage back in the 80s, and most children have been traumatised by photographs of their parents wearing their own versions. Americans trace the Christmas jumper back to Bill Cosby who seemed to own an endless supply of ugly sweaters and often mixed it up with a festive version for the Christmas period. What began as a nation’s secret shame has slowly evolved into an ultra-trendy style that everyone from rappers to housewives are proud to wear.
Making a Comeback
The Christmas jumper began its slow journey back into the limelight when it appeared on Colin Firth’s character Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary. His bright red creation complete with knitted Christmas pudding was achingly retro, and a few designers began creating a small range of styles as more of a gimmick than an actual attempt at starting a trend. Then the hipsters got their hands on them, and overnight Christmas jumpers went from being something that most people would drop and run screaming from to the latest fashion must-have. As their popularity continues to rise, designers have been forced to come up with new and inspiring designs, and this has led to an entire range of 3D jumpers, musical versions, and even a few adorned with LED lights for those who want to look like a travelling disco.
Christmas jumpers are now so popular in the United States that they have given birth to a growing phenomenon known as the ‘ugly sweater party’. Guests are invited to wear their most hideous knitted possessions, and the trend is believed to have originated with a group of students from Canada. Many people are cashing in on the trend, and one website is even selling a book known as the ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On’. A number of online stores have sprung up specialising in ugly jumpers to supply the public’s demand, and charity shop workers everywhere have become used to the sight of tattooed young people rifling through their shelves in search of Christmas sweaters.
The British Christmas has never really been thought of as a trendy affair, and Christmas sweaters were the perfect accompaniment to paper hats and flashing Christmas tree earrings. Creepy uncles everywhere are rejoicing at the news that their chosen Christmas attire for the last 30 years has elevated them to the status of cool, and a genuine vintage jumper from the 80s is pretty much the Holy Grail for hipsters everywhere. The recent economic doom and gloom, and the added stress of the holidays, has led to many of us turning to Christmas jumpers to provide a little comic relief during the festive period. They provide a great way to lift your spirits and are also extremely practical in Britain during the freezing winter months. Despite their hideous exterior, Christmas jumpers have quickly become another well-loved Christmas tradition such as family sing-alongs and dozing off to the Queen’s speech, and their ugly charm has made them irresistible to thousands of people across the globe.
About the author:
Sophie West has a passion for fashion. She loves blogging about fun trends and great styles.