Occasionally I suffer from depression. That’s enough about that – I’m British so I don’t dwell whilst the dark passenger isn’t riding my coattails. Anyway, it tends to make me rather zealous about holidays. All holidays – I don’t discriminate. They all have a meaning and a purpose so they’re all equally important.
I’m not a total zealot – I don’t celebrate them all. I am, however, infused with a little bit of hope whenever one arrives. I don’t like the fact that I’m sometimes controlled by something grey and miserable. I don’t like the fact that anyone else is either. The little bits of colour that life gives us should be enjoyed. Even though I don’t come from a culture that celebrates Diwali, for example, I love that other people can be joyful during that holiday.
When it comes to the holidays that we do as a family, Christmas is a big deal. Mr Sophie’s Voice is very keen on it. Very keen indeed. I’m more of an Easter person. I like pastels and fluffy bunnies. I don’t think I need to offer further explanations.
Each holiday has its traditions, of course. I would be a pretty awful fashionista if I hadn’t noticed the clothes we wear for each. I’m a mistress of sartorial etiquette, after all. To that end the kids always have – and will (until they can object) – worn Christmas jumpers.
I always wear something glamorous on Christmas Day. I know that only my family sees me but it comes from a time when all my friends used to finish Christmas dinner with their families and then go back to someone’s house for fun. It was often ours and I would never invite people into my house for Christmas related shenanigans without putting on some sequins. Anything else would be ludicrous. Absolutely impolite as well.
I’m not sure where I stand on holiday sweaters. I’m conflicted. They’re rarely chic. I’m not exactly obsessed with elegance. It’s an ideal that my body type does not support. Elegant comes with collarbones that cut paper. I can, however, do glamorous. Glamorous is an epithet that is rarely wasted on the slender. Glamorous curves and sways.
Sweater girls were glamorous. However, they didn’t wear jumpers that had bauble designs. Or light up Christmas trees. Or disembodied elves. Or…well, you get the picture.
So I have spent a reasonable amount of time trying to find a solution. There is a solution. It’s called fairisle. Fairisle in any colour is festive. I’m not sure why – some things just are. Anyway, good old fairisle can save your day if you’re in a pinch. It really can. It also lasts past the festive season. You can get away with wearing it from November through to March at a push.
The other advice I can offer is to buy from a retailer that understands winter, Christmas and budget. That retailer is, in my opinion, H&M. Scandinavians know cold temperatures, tasteful Christmas and reasonable prices. You should always weigh up the purchase against its value. If you can’t wear it for long, it’s pretty pointless spending a lot of money on it.
My personal favourite holiday buys have all been from H&M or F+F at Tesco. I got the above fairisle jumper to wear to the nativity play with flared jeans, heeled loafers and a quilted coat from H&M. I went for Love Story meets PTA mum. It did the job. It did the job very well indeed.
I have also indulged in a couple of sequinned numbers. There’s a fine line between glamorous and blousey. I walk it very carefully because I don’t want to look like a barmaid. I did that in my 20s – I’m not going back. However, glamour favours sparkle over understatement. I try to strike a balance. I’m good with embellished clothes and all the other vaguely sophisticated ways of making myself look halfway twinkly.
I opted for red and grey jumpers. They’re not very subtle but I don’t look like a oil tzar’s girlfriend or a 6 year old when I’m wearing them. That’s about as much as you can hope for in the seasonal knitwear business.
I have one more thing to say on this subject. It’s a confession of sorts – and a cautionary tale: a word of warning, if you like…
Don’t wear one of these jumpers if you’re a man. At least, not near me. It’s just not worth it. The risk it poses to your innocence is too much.
You see, ever since I saw him in Fletch, I have had a massive crush on Chevy Chase. He’s smart, funny, reasonably good looking, talented and successful. He’s been an utter ass for pretty much all of his career – read all about his more recent behaviour on the set of Community here, and bear in mind that it takes a lot to piss Joel McHale off – but, in Clark Griswold, he created a legend.
I’m not quite sure what Griswold’s appeal to me is. I’m pretty sure that, were I to keep digging and identify it, I might not like it. Being halfway sensible, I gave up long ago. The downside is that I haven’t learnt how to control my weird knitwear kink. Still, there are worse things I could like, right?
On that note, I wish you all good night and good luck with any remaining Christmas shopping.