Trend Watch: Christmas in Sweaters

Well, finally we can’t but say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which also applies to fashion. Whether it is cold outside or cozy by the fire, the trend that certainly has gotten a following is that of holiday sweaters. Yes, we are talking about knitted tops s adorned with a Christmas or winter design print. Be it a candy cane, reindeers or snowflakes, these ridiculous sweaters could be found during the holiday season since the 1950s, while their peaked in popularity in the 1990s. Often used in movies to portray a person’s “dorky side” – as Mark Darcy in the cult classic Bridget Jones’ Diary – the sweaters have recently returned to become a street style darling.

Wearing a piece of clothing previously categorized as lower class within the fashion social system, can be viewed as a direct result of the growing stand of individualism, reaffirming the rule that shows it does not matter what you wear, but how you wear it. Connecting the apparent superficiality of the fashion world to a global contexts, we could also speculate that a growing political insecurity calls for a reflection on better times such as our childhood, thus explaining why children of the 1980s/90s – now grown fashionistas – are trending these bulky sweaters. The trend seems fuse several other trends – such as retro and geek chic in combination with the love of the 1990s and folklore – which, over the past seasons, loosened up restrictions on the once dreaded “ugly Christmas sweaters”. Within fashion circles the sweater has been recognized as a key seasonal piece, re-made with less ostentatious color palates and less ‘themed’, by brands like Sonia Rykiel, Chanel and Dior Pre-fall 2015. Finally we can see designers updating the classic horror garment to high fashion standards, allowing us to proudly wear holiday sweaters both by the Christmas tree and on the runway.

Victoria Edman