The Christmas jumper, once a tacky point of mockery, has become a staple for the remarkably edgy, much like the Hawaiian shirt and the beard. It is also true that the garment has gone upmarket, and well-respected designers and brands are producing Yuletide sweaters that ticks both the festive and the quality boxes. Here is a list of the best options available for the sartorially inclined…
We start at the soberer end of the scale. Italian behemoth Ermenegildo Zegna has been re-establishing itself as an innovator in technical fabrics, much to the chagrin of other Italian fashion houses who have been getting away with low grade, cheap materials and relying on their brand name to see them through. This number from their Z Zegna (the sportier arm of the brand) collection doesn’t have a particularly Christmassy palette, but the motif is unmistakably seasonal and the quality of the merino wool and cashmere mix, unmatched.
Onto something more archetypical, plus it is made by Cordings, outfitter to moleskin wearers everywhere. The Piccadilly store seems a bit isolated, surrounded by nightclubs and low-rent patisserie chains, but to be fair to them, they have been around for 180 years and their reliability in producing great quality clothing is the reason for that. The description of the colouring is ‘mushroom and brick’, which kills the mood a bit. That being said it is a Fair Isle weave, and combined with a crisp white shirt and red corduroys, makes for a fine Christmas outfit.
Say what you like about America, it does tackle the ‘holiday season’ with aplomb. Ralph Lauren are of course the flagship outfitters of the United States, and this debonair bear jumper from Polo Ralph Lauren may seem at the lower end of the eccentricity scale, being navy and crew neck, but that bear is the best animal motif I have seen this Christmas. The halls of the new Polo Ralph Lauren store on Regent Street are decked and very much worth a visit, if only to pick up this particular number, which would be a wise choice.
Saint Laurent is a perfect example to illustrate how Christmas jumpers are being taken more seriously. There is a problem with the price tag though, this isn’t a casual purchase by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, the criterion for this list is to be festive, and festive is what it most certainly is. The red on black is striking and broken up by white snowflakes and grey, stuck all about with sequin embellishments to accentuate all the yuletide attitude it can.
Layering is a big word in men’s styling at the moment. So this list should probably include something that lends itself to layering. This Moncler sweater vest, whilst potentially quite ‘trendy Dad’, is probably the most practical garment of the lineup. The motif is clean but clearly of the season, and Moncler are masters of keeping you warm so the quality of the weave is fantastic and slotted between a shirt and a blazer is on point practically and aesthetically.