The Tackier The Better: Why The Vintage Christmas Jumper Will Live Forever

The Tackier The Better: Why The Vintage Christmas Jumper Will Live Forever

The popularity of the Christmas jumper has only grown in the last century, to unprecedented popularity. It was popularised in the early Noughties with the first known ‘ugly sweater parties’ in Canada, the iconic Christmas sweater is not only worn by your eccentric aunt but everyone and anyone in between during the festive season! The uglier, tackier, sparklier items are the most revered, so much so even the trendiest of celebs have been seen wearing them…

funny vintage christmas jumpers
matt damon vintage christmas cardigan

…Ok maybe not the trendiest. 


A quick history

christmas jumper origins

The earliest examples of a christmas sweater can be traced to the nordic knits, coming from Scandinavia these were mostly functional, real woollen knits made to keep skiers warm. But who says function can’t be fashion! The nordic jumpers were worn a little through the 40s mostly by skiers in the colder regions, see below for a couple of our faves.

vintage christmas knits
vintage nordic christmas jumpers
nordic christmas jumper

The popularity grew until the 70s, but its only in the 80s that their popularity really exploded and they began to be mass produced. Festive knitwear is such a staple that christmas wouldn’t really be complete without your Nan, squashed into the sofa between the relatives, decked in a garish flashing monstrosity. It’s instances like Colin Firth’s iconic Bridget Jones reindeer piece that really kicked off the christmas jumper’s cult following.

mark darcey christmas jumper

These days we have full on national christmas jumper days, we wear them to the work christmas party, make our own and anything else in between, they’re everywhere. Despite them being at the height of their popularity now, we just had to drop in a few banging family jumper pics from the 80s. Some of these are downright awful and some, are genius. Great parenting.

bad christmas jumpers
retro christmas jumpers
80s christmas jumpers

Keeping with the 80s theme, doesn’t Noel look dreamy? 

noel edmonds vintage xmas jumpers
Noel edmonds christmas jumper

And Rob Lowe, the ultimate 80s dreamboat, has honestly never looked sexier in this nordic number.

rob lowe christmas jumper

So it is that the vintage christmas jumper will never die, it's as ingrained in Christmas tradition as mince pies and mulled wine. And its great! We ADORE this crazy, once a year, phenomenon. Being a once a year occurrence however, the Christmas jumper unfortunately tends to be one of the most wasteful items sold in the fashion industry. Last year alone near 12 million new Christmas jumpers were sold, and most likely have been shoved in the back of the cupboard or ended up in landfill. Unfortunately a lot of them are made of plastic acrylic, meaning they take thousands of years to break down. Obviously we don’t want to dampen your Christmas cheer, but this year, consider buying yourself a vintage or second hand xmas jumper, or up cycling/reworking last years item! Our range of Christmas jumpers are all preowned, real vintage items! You could even try and wear it all year round to get the most out of it! 


So yes, the Christmas jumper trend will live forever, but so will your jumper. 


A Christmas jumper IS for life, not just for Christmas!

Shop Vintage Christmas Jumpers now


Back to blog