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They’re traditional and always a talking point, but there’s more to our Christmas jumpers than meets the eye. Join us as we sit down for a chat with the faces behind this year’s festive knits and pieces...
“I’ve been at Joules for seven years now and designing the Cracking Jumper was super fun as I love working on any dog or animal print. (I’m desperate to feature my dog Sid in a future design!) A painting I did of my mum’s spaniel, Wilf, was used in some of Joules’ homeware designs a few years ago and my mum has quite the collection of Joules ‘Wilf’ products in her home!”
Lillie: It was actually a picture of dogs bouncing on trampolines that inspired this dog’s cheeky grin! We wanted a family Christmas jumper that would capture the fun of Christmas and what better way than making it all about family’s four-legged friend? We chose reds and greens to capture the tradition of Christmas, and put the lab to the side of the jumper to make it look like he’s peeking out, ready to join in the fun. We couldn’t resist giving him some sparkly Christmas glasses too.
Lillie: Decorating the Christmas tree! It’s my favourite day of the year - picking out the best tree and decorating it with all the baubles I’ve collected. I have lots of them handmade by friends and family.
“I’ve loved art and prints for as long as I can remember so it’s quite magical to be working in print design every day. I’ve been at Joules for 3 years and so far, my favourite design has to be our guinea fowl print that you can spot on some of our AW21 pieces. I had so much fun painting the little bird and whilst I was doing the project, I visited Chatsworth estate with my friend where we saw one running along. They are so cute and comical!”
Lucy: Just like spotting Christmas wreaths on doors, we wanted something that would evoke Christmas from the first glance. It started with a virtual Christmas wreath making session we had as a team. It was so much fun and there are so many different elements you can add to a wreath: berries, foliage, lights.
The wreath on our festive harbour is similar to a real wreath in this way, with embroidery, sparkle and pops of colour. Not forgetting the pun of course!
Lucy: Making mince pies! Every year I always make a few batches for friends and drop them round to their houses. I use a recipe where the pastry is shortbread, and it has converted a fair few mince pie haters!
“My love of knitwear started at a very young age. I grew up in Scotland with five woollen mills nearby, and my first job was in one of them. My grandma was also a knitwear designer, so I guess it’s in my blood! I’ve been working with knitwear for over ten years now and love it as much as ever.”
Gillian: This jumper was designed and inspired by the traditional Icelandic ‘lopapeysa’ style jumpers. ‘Lopi’ means wool and ‘peysa’ means sweater. The Lopapeysa is always a circular continuous pattern around the neck or ‘yoke’ of the jumper, which has reference to the circle of life. This style of jumper also has a bit of folklore and nostalgia surrounding it, and the meaning of the design is very layered.
Many believe the patterns are that of landscapes and I like to think that our Joules jumper is a reflection of our countryside, mountains and the sea shown in the wave patterns. The bright colours tie back into the brightness of our Christmas windows and we added the gold sparkle for a special Christmas sparkle..
Gillian: Going home to see my family! Nothing says Christmas like time together.
When did Christmas jumpers become a thing?
We do love the irony behind the story of the Christmas Jumper. Your Christmas Jumper used to mean the very unique piece of knitwear you’d get given for Christmas (sorry nan), often handmade, and which you wore to show your appreciation for the gift, before stashing it into the back of the cupboard never to be seen again.It wasn’t until the ‘80s and ‘90s that the Christmas Jumper started gaining its celebrity status as TV presenters and singers began wearing them. From there, its popularity only grew until it became the Christmas outfit must-have it is today.So there you have it - what was once the ugly duckling of your winter wardrobe is now the festive star of the show.
When can you start wearing Christmas jumpers?
The controversial answer: all year long.The less controversial answer: December. Bah humbug to anyone who says otherwise.
When should you stop wearing Christmas jumpers?
Again, there’s no set date. The common census seems to be after the twelve days of Christmas, which last until the 5th January. If you want to avoid any weird looks, definitely stop wearing it before June.
What to wear with Christmas jumpers?
The great thing about Christmas jumpers is that they’re meant to be bright and bold so no need to worry about colour clashes!For feeling comfortable and casual, you can’t go wrong with jeans or culottes. Finish off your outfit with some ankle boots or swap them for some sparkly festive footwear for an extra fun factor.If it’s more of a dressy or party occasion, try pairing your jumper with a skirt or leather look trousers or leggings. For footwear, pair with boots or heels, depending on how comfortable you’d like to be.