Glittery, garish, glorious: the joy of festive fashion

Megan Lea 9 December 2016

At any other time of the year, if gaudy designs and unflattering cuts are not your glass of mulled wine, this is probably a sign of an applaudable sense of style. However, with Christmas almost upon us, this is not the moment to tell yourself that you couldn’t possibly wear a snowman jumper with a 3D carrot nose or a Santa hat complete with fairy lights. ’Tis the season to be jolly, and this means shaking off your fashion inhibitions and embracing the season of ever-so-slightly garish garments in the name of festive spirit.

Once upon a time I used to consider festive fashion almost as criminal as double denim, or wearing socks with sandals. I thought it was quite enough to have a house full of decorations, radio stations playing the same seventeen festive hits on loop, and only eating food with a Christmas spin. How wrong I was: two years ago I bought a reindeer jumper, complete with bells, and never looked back. If you’re struggling to get in the mood for festivities, just remember why you never see Ebenezer Scrooge in Yuletide attire: it’s impossible to feel grumpy when you are swathed in glitter, sequins, and kitsch knitwear.

But even as a champion of Christmas clobber, it must be said that not all festive fashion is fantastic. Anything featuring Christmas emojis deserves to go straight on the naughty list, as does anything emblazoned with a predictable pun, or a plea telling Santa you’ve been good this year. Stay well clear of the Grinch onesie too, if you want to retain any self-respect. You have generous liberty to bend the rules of acceptable attire, but even if it is the most wonderful time of the year, there remains a distinct difference between being merry and looking like a fool.

However far you want to go with festive fashion, there is something available for everyone. For a more subtle hint, Fairisle jumpers can be worn throughout autumn and winter, yet give an almost accidental Christmas vibe when worn in December, the perfect compromise for anyone who really can’t sacrifice a day of street-cred in the name of festive spirit. Alternatively, there is a treasure trove of themed earrings, from snowflakes to candy canes to holly sprigs, and a plethora of festive pyjamas, meaning you can keep your festive attire within the confines of your room. The very least you can do to avoid being mistaken for the Grinch who stole Christmas is swap your dull black socks for a funky Christmas pudding patterned pair.

Like every trend, not everyone will be willing to dress up like one of Santa’s little helpers, but don’t be too uptight about exchanging your sartorial standards for frivolous fashion over the next weeks. You never know – you might put on a seemingly ghastly knitted garment, and absolutely love it.