The History of the Christmas Sweater

October 31, 2023

Novelty knits. Festive jumpers. The Christmas sweater.

No matter the name, they’re here to stay.

It could be nostalgia, or even irony. All we know is that our enthusiasm for this jolly jersey goes way back. Not only because they were first established on the ski slopes of northern Europe - it was the handcrafted heritage that had us hooked.

The festive sweater was traditionally made using heavy wool in colors influenced by forest landscapes. And although geometric patterns were a popular choice amongst knitters - the handmade process meant that they were fully customizable, making them both fun and functional.

A family wearing cozy red navy & white nightwear & sweaters featuring Stevie the Sheep character.

While the reputation of Christmas sweaters had been briefly elevated by affluent skiers of the 20th Century, life hasn’t always been so perfect for this sweater. In particular, during the 80s and 90s when television personalities infamously re-popularized them in households across Britain. The irony of wearing these coarse cliché knits seemed entertaining at the time, but the laughter soon stopped as they re-emerged as an annual gift presented by grandma.

The good news is - with the evolution of time and style - we can now choose something more suited to our taste. And we have something for everyone with loads of cute and classic styles.

A family in Christmas sweaters & jeans, putting gifts in a car in the snow.

Today, our Christmas sweaters and festive knits have been carefully crafted to deliver tons of joy and merriment, while still being super comfy and wearable. From modern twists on the classic Fairisle sweaters, to sparkly ones that will certainly make spirits bright, and matching family sets that are perfect for those Christmas cards. Not only are these styles ideal for wearing during the festive season, but they’ll still look great long after the tree has come down.

How To Style Your Christmas Sweater

When it comes to styling the festive sweater there really are no rules. After all, the holiday season is a chance to embrace dopamine dressing and go bright and bold. With no limitations on who can wear them, there are Christmas sweaters for women, men, and kids! We love the look of a Fairisle sweater layered over a sweeping midi skirt or printed dress at a Christmas party. If you prefer a pared-back look that you can wear to the office, you can’t go wrong with wide-leg pants and ankle boots. Festive sweaters also go really well with super soft, organic cotton nightwear sets, complete with sweet whimsical prints. Don’t forget the snuggly slippers and socks so you can rock around the Christmas tree in style.

A man & woman dressed in warm layers & accessories, walking through a snowy forest.
A girl and a woman in matching polar bear patterned Christmas sweaters, opening presents together.

For all the Family

Share the festive fun with matching styles or mix it up!

A boy and a man wearing matching campervan patterned Christmas sweaters & jeans, sitting in a snowy forest.

Share the Joy

From practical beginnings to a bright (yet still practical) present, our love for the Christmas sweater shows no signs of fading. If you’re as passionate about these iconic knits as us, share how you’re wearing yours by mentioning us @fatfaceusa on Instagram.

Discover more