Monday 20 May 2019

How to wear...the festive jumper

Whether you’re an elf or a Scrooge, celebrate Christmas Jumper Day tomorrow in style with our pick of the best seasonal knits, writes Meadhbh McGrath

Model Karen Elson
Model Karen Elson
Margot Robbie
Sequinned dog, €12.99 from Aldi
Arctic scene, €89.95 from Joules
Red slogan, €40 from M&S;
Jacquard sparkle, €20 from Penneys
Embellished rollneck, €47 from River Island
Argyle, €40 from Topshop
Rhinestone slogan, €64 from Warehouse
Jewelled pumps, €100 from Carvela at Arnotts
Denim skirt, €250 from Helmut Lang at Brown Thomas
Ankle boots, €107 from Office
Stud earrings, €2 from Penneys

Meadhbh McGrath

The Christmas jumper can be divisive. For some, only a screechingly over-the-top knit will do, complete with all the trimmings. While undeniably festive, all that gaudy cheer can be a little off-putting, but there's no excuse for being a Grinch - there are plenty of more muted, stylish options for the fashion-conscious.

The definition of what constitutes a Christmas jumper has relaxed over the years. There's no need for the full bells and whistles with LED lights, clamorous slogans and singing reindeer - or any reindeer at all, in fact. In some fashionistas books, you can throw on a simple Fair Isle jumper and call it a day.

We tend to think you need a little bit of sparkle or a sprightly dash of red to really qualify, but there aren't many rules beyond that. You can dress yours up or down as you please and there are knits to suit all budgets.

If you're willing to splash out, Bella Freud's glittering metallic crew neck with 'Baby It's Cold Outside' scrawled across the front (€369, is a celebrity favourite.

Argyle, €40 from Topshop
Argyle, €40 from Topshop

But for most of us, a Christmas jumper doesn't warrant spending more than €100. The good news is that some of these will last you far beyond December: Topshop's argyle jumper or River Island's embellished rollneck can be worn well into the bitter February cold.

On a budget, look to Aldi's Premium range. Our pick is the sequinned sausage dog knit, but there are some classic festive patterned jumpers too, and all for less than €13. Penneys' range is typically affordable, with most priced between €15 and €20, and along with the usual shameless novelty ones, there are classy jacquard and rhinestone-embellished pieces in subdued charcoal and navy.

Margot Robbie showcases the smart-casual way to style your festive knit. She balances out the merry glitz and glitter with a measure of grit, teaming her knitwear with leather trousers and loafers.

For a more overtly Christmassy style, look to Marks & Spencer, where the classic Fair Isle has been updated with a festive slogan. Tone down the rest of your outfit by styling with a leather-look pleated midi skirt and square-toed ankle boots for a low-key style with an edge.

Sequinned dog, €12.99 from Aldi
Sequinned dog, €12.99 from Aldi

Or try a cosier approach and lean into the snugness: a dark denim skirt, knitted tights and a pair of boots will do the job nicely. It's an easy, laid-back and cheerful combination that will serve you just as well on a last-minute shopping trip or while visiting family over the break.

Alternatively, embrace the sparkle with an added dose of shimmer. Model Karen Elson pairs her Christmas jumper with a metallic skirt to inject some extra winter glamour. The sharp courts and bold red lip elevate the outfit for evening drinks or one of the season's many parties.

The statement jumper is a great option for nights out ­- you get to stay comfortable and covered-up while still looking like you've made an effort. Go for a lightweight option so you're not melting on the dance floor - we love Warehouse's diamente jumper with a sequinned midi skirt or tailored trousers and heels.

Tomorrow marks Christmas Jumper Day, and charities including Focus Ireland and Cystic Fibrosis Ireland are urging people across the country to step out in their festive finery for a good cause.

Rhinestone slogan, €64 from Warehouse
Rhinestone slogan, €64 from Warehouse

So whether you go chic or cheesy, wear your jumper with pride.

Irish Independent

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