Christmas Day- to dress or not to dress up?


The Croft Magazine// By Milan Perera, Second Year, English Literature

The big question our style team are debating this Christmas- do you dress up on Christmas day? Milan Perera gives his opinion on dressing up for Christmas and the origins of the Christmas jumper!

It is that time of year again where flashes of Christmas jumpers are as commonplace on television as the extensive advertising of the likes of John Lewis PLC.  Do you dress up for Christmas? Or do you think it is anachronistic nonsense that needs to be ignored at all costs and obstinately stay in your PJs?  

Well, either way, you are not alone. The garish Christmas jumpers have a curious origin. The theory goes that in the 1890s a group of Scandinavian fishermen wore these gaudy hand-knitted wool jumpers. They looked so warm and cosy that the ‘fashion fad’ caught on. Not just the village folks but also sophisticated movers and shakers of big cities took a keen interest. The humble fisherman’s jumper quickly came to be seen as a symbol of luxury as affluent travellers came to Europe for skiing and were photographed wearing them. Hollywood stars, including Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman did their fair share of promotion for these wool knitted jumpers. And the rest is history...  

When you walk along the promenade there is one person whose ubiquitous presence you cannot avoid. Yes, that’s him; the man with the long white beard and a rotund figure donned in a red jacket. Santa Claus may have his origin in Smyrna, Turkey, but the Santa we know is a creation of Haddon Sundblom for the Coca-Cola company in the early 1900s. Why not dress up in a vibrant red Christmas jumper and be the ‘Spirit of Christmas’?  

Jenny Gallagher, Style Editor, picked out this patterned Christmas jumper for her recommendation for a fun, festive outfit to wear this holiday!

M&S, Fair Isle Funnel Neck Jumper with wool, £29.50

Christmas jumpers and other Christmas-related attire provide a brief respite from the mundane reality of everyday life: work, school runs, cooking, cleaning, and doctor’s appointments. Dressing up provides a light-hearted moment to spend time with family and friends without being under constant scrutiny where every action and appearance is judged and commented upon. Nobody is going to judge you Strictly Come Dancing-style if you wear an outrageous costume. Much like the cheery red and blue designs from the 2019 Christmas Special!

It is a time to keep the phone on the sideboard and connect more deeply with our loved ones. Dressing up certainly helps to tear that veil of formality and familiarity. Remember that phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’? Dressing up is certainly not something we do every day, so why not make the effort? Go bold. Go brilliant. There are plenty of variations one can try out with the traditional colours associated with Christmas: red, green, and white. It is always a pleasant sight to catch a glimpse of verdant green during those bleak, colourless days of the year. It reminds us of the importance of hope, the shape of the things to come, the return of spring and the new year!

Featured Image: Epigram/Ania Townsin