When it comes to fashion, it is rare that people take pride dressing themselves in the most hideous garment they can find. That is, until December comes around and the hunt for the most naff Christmas jumper begins.
The trend can be traced back to the 1950s when companies really began to cash in on the commercial side of the season. The Christmas sweater as we know it gained notoriety through Bill Cosby’s infamous jumpers in the 1980s and just over a decade ago when Mark D’Arcy’s iconic reindeer knit graced our screens in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Now a novelty Christmas woolly is essential for silly season, and probably the only thing your mam will be happy to see you head out in.
For guys, River Island and Topman are leading in the style stakes with trendy Fair Isle knits and cosy cardigans. For girls, online retailers such as Missguided, Boohoo and Asos have plenty of options for cash strapped students. Likewise, old reliables Penneys and Dunnes Stores cannot be beaten for value for money, just be prepared that half of the people you meet on your 12 pubs of Christmas route might be rocking the same one.
Closer to home, two DCU graduates set up Funky Christmas Jumpers (60 South William St, Dublin 2) in 2007, and now supply the masses with everything from Jesus jumpers to light-up reindeer sweaters. Their creations have been worn by everyone from Rozanna Purcell and Ryan Tubridy to Harry Styles and Scott Disick.
Noticing how mainstream the novelty jumper has become, TheCostumeShop.ie has designed an option for the trend-setters who want to stay ahead of the pack; enter the Christmas Tux, a sure fire way to get you noticed under the mistletoe this year.
If you don’t want to shell out money on an item that will gather dust in your wardrobe until next year, bear in mind that you can easily create your own masterpiece for under a tenner.
Buy yourself a plain bottle green, red or navy jumper. Hot foot it to Dealz, your local Euro 2 store or delve into your family’s Christmas decoration box and get acquainted with tinsel, bells, baubles and bows. Next, arm yourself with fabric glue (a glue gun is ideal) or a needle and thread and get to work on your Frankenstein jumper. Note: for that extra pizzazz, Penneys usually sell sets of battery operated lights that will put the finishing touches to your work of art.
Happy Christmas, you filthy animals.
By Freya Drohan