The Ugly Christmas Jumper Tradition; where did it all start?
Frank Sinatra once crooned ‘the weather outside is frightful’ in his 1950 take on festive standard ‘Let it snow’, and he was right. But have you seen the festive sweaters around these days? They beat the weather hands down in terms of sheer awfulness. But it’s a guilty pleasure everyone seems to love. I have my eye on a cute penguin jumper I saw recently, it’s very festive. How did this seemingly unexplainable phenomenon come about?
In the same way the 80s fashion revival went from strength to strength for seemingly a decade (young trendies seemed to have moved onto rubbish 90s trends now; Aztec, bum bags, awful trainers etc. etc.) these naff knitwear pieces seem to grow in popularity each year. Is your office having a ‘wear a bad sweater to work day’ this year? Have you got your jumper ready already?
If you were ‘lucky’ enough to have a gran who was into knitting, you’d often find yourself forced to wear one over the Christmas period. Other than that, the only other people over the age of 8 that wore them were the kind of old women that wear those awful jumpers with dogs and cats embroidered into them, they still exist now – you know the type right?
Mark Darcy’s sweater looked like this one from Fancy Dress Ball, but not quite..
Many have cited 2001 box office smash ‘Bridget jones Diary’ as being responsible for the revival as ladies favourite Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) was introduced to Bridget (Renee Zellweger) wearing a roll neck sweater featuring a reindeer. It wasn’t a very nice sweater, but incredibly tame by today’s standards where the more garish, the better. If it has bobbles, glitter or anything awful hanging off it, the better it is and the more it sells.
Nowadays, it’s common place to see celebs such as Cheryl Cole, Justin Bieber and even Snoop Dog rocking the look, so it’s become a big money spinner for high street fashion chains, most of whom release an annual collection. So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on the vilest piece of knitwear you can possibly find, and embrace this festive activity which is fast becoming as synonymous with Christmas as cold turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day. I’ll be sporting my penguin jumper as I don’t want to look out of place!