The festive jumper as we know it, consigned to the novelty tag and earmarked as a sign of questionable taste, is no more. In spite of a reputation for poorly judged style, the seasonal knit has managed a meteoric rise to fame over the past couple of years. Now a genuine Yuletide staple, certain incarnations stretch beyond the Christmas period, making great wardrobe warmers throughout the winter period.
Before we really begin, banish all beliefs that the style is limited to grandma’s hand-knitted novelty originals. In fact, the word ‘novelty’ should be dispensed with in its entirety. Over sized, over characterised, in-your-festive-face knitwear is not what you’re aiming for here.
We recently ran an article outlining the merits of tweed and, in particular, the tweed blazer. Combine a well cut jacket with your festive knitwear for a seasonally appropriate and heritage inspired look. Layer your jumper over a fitted white shirt and a textured tie, with the blazer then worn over the top.
Corresponding tweed suit trousers dress the look up, although a pair of chinos, cords or even jeans would be suitable additions to produce a more smart-casual edge.
Pick your footwear depending on your trouser choice. Brogues are a safe call for all occasions, while a pair of desert boots work for a more casual, dress-down approach. Loafers are another great choice, although should not be attempted without socks when the frost bites.
Accessorise with a pocket square to take the look up a notch and maybe even a lapel pin for a real individual element:
The festive jumper is a superb day-to-day piece and, alongside a pair of casual trousers and complementary shoes, you really can’t go too far wrong. Neutral coloured cords in a slim fit are a superb alternative to your usual chinos and jeans; especially in the winter months as the heavier fabric is well suited to the colder climate.
Boot up and maybe throw in a hem turn up to finish the look. When venturing outside, adopt a wool coat over the top. A grey, single-breasted, shawl collar coat an excellent choice, as the neutral colour is in keeping with the rest of the items and doesn’t threaten to clash or overshadow the jumper, which remains the central piece:
Roll necks have become a major talking point across menswear this autumn/winter. A bright, yet seasonally appropriate palette up top works well alongside deeper colours down below to create a stylish, festive inspired look.
Great for attending Christmas eve drinks or boxing day trips to relatives, considering your colour combinations is enough to take any casual outfit such as this to the next level (so make sure you learn your colour wheel basics).
Add a pair of practical, leather desert boots to the outfit and layer a pea coat over the top to help you brave the elements.
When selecting your festive knit this holiday season, think well proportioned patterns, variations of Fair Isle and the odd reindeer, snowman, tree or snowflake in proportion rather than detailed or overbearing. A dash of whimsicality is great and all part of the appeal; resemblances to a poorly dressed man-child, however, are not.
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