Knitwear, Style On Trial

The Christmas Sweater gets trendy. Sort of.

Santa sleep tee

Santa sleep tee, Topshop

Once upon a time, Christmas sweaters were the kind of items that were worn just once a year (Christmas Day itself), and normally out of a sense of obligation: well, if someone had gone to the trouble of knitting one for you, the least you could do was to wear the thing for a few hours, huh?

Now, however, things have changed for the Christmas sweater. Once the inspiration behind many an “Ugly Sweater” party, Christmas sweaters have now taken their place in our stores, and in our closets, and are being worn un-ironically, and by people who generally consider themselves to be “fashionable”. It may only be the middle of November, but we’ve already seen more than one fashion blogger ask Twitter if it’s “too early” to bust out their Christmas-themed knitwear (Answer: YES.), while others are squeeing in excitement at the prospect of one day, hopefully soon, being able to pull on a sweater with a giant, smiling snowman on the front, and wear it with pride.

Having witnessed this upsurge in the popularity of holiday knits, then, we put it to you today: what do you think of them?

We have to confess: although today’s holiday sweaters tend to be a little more stylish than some of the ones we’ve featured here in the past, we still have a hard time seeing them as anything other than yet another manifestation of the Dress Like a Toddler Trend. Cartoon reindeer and grinning Santa Claus figures, after all, do have a distinctly childish feel to them and that, of course, is the whole point. Christmas sweaters aren’t supposed to be taken seriously: their point is to be fun, frivolous, and perhaps a little bit nostalgic, reminding us of the childlike excitement of Christmas past. Sophisticated they ain’t, but then again, we can’t be sophisticated ALL the time, can we?

Well, CAN WE? Take a look at our small gallery of Christmas sweaters, and tell us: do you go in for festive dressing, or do you prefer to keep your closet theme-free?

GALLERY: Christmas sweaters

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