Be a festive knit-wit

Matalan Fairisle Jumper, �18 (www.matalan.co.uk)
Matalan Fairisle Jumper, �18 (www.matalan.co.uk)
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Drop the fashion inhibitions - it’s time to start shopping for a novelty festive knit...

Forget the tinsel, the tree and the mistletoe. The must-have decor for the festive season is the kind that you can wear - the Christmas jumper.

It’s coming to the time of year when you can put your fashion sense on ice and embrace a Noel-inspired knit. No longer a novelty reserved for embarrassing uncles and fancy dress, the kookiest Christmas sweaters are now worn as a style statement, from full-on reindeer cuteness to crystal snowflake couture.

The only real downfall is their limited shelf life; festive knits are one-month wonders, strictly for December only. But this year there’s an even bigger excuse to add some early Christmas cheer to your closet - December 13 is Christmas Jumper Day, an opportunity to make the world better with a sweater. Wear your funny woolly pully in aid of a children’s charity. Visit www.savethechildren.org.uk/christmas-jumper-day to sign up for a free fundraising kit.

You can even bag a catwalk-worthy Christmas jumper while donating to the Save the Children event... A host of British designers have created unique, one-off festive knits for auction on Friday, December 13. There are 14 custom bespoke knits, including versions by Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Matthew Williamson and Burberry.

Take part in the ‘lowest unique bid’ charity auction which runs from now until end of December at www.christmasjumperday.org/designerchristmasjumpers

RUDOLPH REVELRY

Prepare for the odd squeeze from strangers... There’s no mistaking the identifying feature of this BHS Grey Reindeer Christmas Jumper, with its bright red pom-pom nose, £25 (www.bhs.co.uk).

JUMPER LOVE

Perfect for mistletoe moments, send hearts aflutter with sequins. Matalan’s cosy Fairisle knit is updated with shimmering hearts at the neckline, £18 (www.matalan.co.uk).

COSY CLASSIC

Christmas jumpers don’t have to be all singing and dancing. Go traditional with Jack Wills’ classic Abbingdon Crew fairisle knit - also available in Navy Reindeer or Red Snowflake motifs to up the festive ante, £98.50 (www.jackwills.com).

SNOWFLAKE SPARKLE

Christmas jumpers just got couture-like with Swarovski embellishments that glisten like snowflakes. Add pure cashmere to the mix for ultimate luxury, with M&S Collection’s jewel embellished Pure Cashmere Snowflake Jumper, £129 (www.marksandspencer.com).

PERFECT PUDDIN’

Try buying your festive jumper a size up - all the better for second helpings of turkey and Christmas pud on December 25! New Look’s Pale Blue Polka Dot Pudding Christmas Jumper is super-sweet, £27.99 (www.newlook.com).

FESTIVE SPIRIT

Feel all warm and fuzzy inside and out, with a charitable Christmas jumper. John Lewis’s Collection Weekend Reindeer or Robin Charity Jumper cuties are £49 but each come with a £25 donation to Save the Children (www.johnlewis.com).

FAIRY LIGHTS

The trump card equivalent of the Christmas jumper craze. Primark’s light-up Snowglobe Jumper will ensure you look positively beaming over the festive season, £18.

PRINT PRESENT

Dotty about prints? Combine stars, hearts, penguins and polka dots in one colourful, statement knit with Sugarhill Boutique’s Fairisle Sweater; a festive twist on a design classic, £46 (www.sugarhillboutique.com).

SWEET SWEATER

Indulge in a calorific Christmas jumper. George at Asda’s black Sequin Candy Cane Jumper is sugary perfection with a bow on top, £14 (www.george.com).

CLARET CHRISTMAS

Reindeers, snowflakes, stars and wine - a recipe for a very merry Christmas. Embrace the fluffy jumper trend with Pilot’s Bella Fluffy Reindeer Jumper in wine red, £23.99 (www.pilotfashion.com).

JOYFUL JUMPERS

Nail fashion’s infatuation with seasonal knits by using these styling tips:

:: Instantly toughen up a fluffy festive knit by wearing contrasting texture bottoms, like leather or patent.

:: Jeans are a fail-safe combination with your Christmas jumper, but leave white to the snowflakes and stick to classic blues instead.

:: Uber-fluffy eyelash knits are very of-the-moment, but avoid if you want to streamline your figure as they might add Santa-belly bulk.

:: If you’re bigger busted, steer clear of Christmas jumpers with polo or high necklines. Classic crew or scooped boat necklines will be more flattering.

:: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wear a silly festive knit with pride, but if you feel too self-conscious, opt for a chic snowflake print that’s more seasonal subtle than Christmas crazy.