Last year, it was the double-denim brigade that were accidentally on trend. This year, it was yah girls with their ‘heritage’ look. In menswear, one more person was accidentally on trend. Your grandma.

Every year, someone knows someone whose gran has knitted them a woolly abomination with some strange depiction of a deer on the front. This year, that’s cool. Don’t misinterpret this; Santa is not a viable jumper icon. Nor is a sewn on representation of Rudolph, à la Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones. Chunky knits are pretty much a winter staple; this year cable knit has been superseded by design rather than texture orientation. What we mean is the knitted pattern; whether it’s Fair Isle style contrasting patterns, symmetric patterns or a single large silhouette. These complement winter pieces nicely, and look good on the ski slope and in a lecture. The coolest people are wearing the snowflake jumpers.

Fair Isle knitwear, as an aside, rarely come from Fair Isle with the island’s total production of jumpers rarely exceeding 30 in a year. Whilst Harris Tweed may have to come from the Hebrides (mostly Lewis), there is no such protection for Fair Isle, so unless you took the trip to the Shetlands your fair isle knit probably isn’t.

This year then, you won’t have to force yourself into a half-hearted “Thank you, it’s what I wanted” when you open the woollen travesty.

Alastair Irvine

Image credits: Flickr Creative Commons