Lots of decisions at this time of year: Where to get the turkey; what to buy your Mother; to whom to send Christmas cards and so on. These generally take care of themselves. However, what to wear on Christmas day and the next few days off (if you should be lucky enough) is my concern. What should a stylish man wear at this time of year?
It can depend on whether you are at home or travelling a bit and with whom you are hanging out. However, one of my main beliefs is that you dress for yourself. Outwith the basic societal requirement for being clothed in public, it’s about making you feel good and feel comfortable. I try to never lose sight of that. Yes, impress your guests/hosts with your sartorial prowess, but impress yourself first.
The Christmas jumper
Well, this is a style column…. I have pretty much no love for the ubiquitous Christmas jumper. Probably, due to that fact that it is ubiquitous and is surely meant for kids only? Call me a grump, but spend your money on a year round jumper, knit or cardigan that may actually flatter you. Fast fashion chains pumping out jumpers for a single wear pretty much goes against everything sense-wise in this day and age. Plus, you will be dressed like your kids. Avoid.
Cardigan or sweater
The traditional garb for carving a turkey was always a cardigan in my house. Probably, due to the fact that my Dad was always freezing. That is just a truthiness actually, as my Mum always carved it! However, a renaissance is well and truly underway with cardigans and they have lost their 1970s stigma. There are some lovely versions taking various shapes. There will be one out there that fits you and flatters you whatever build you carry.
The shawl-collar cardigan is “on-point” at the moment. Versatile too. I am slim and it suits me. I have seen it on brawnier guys and it suits them too. The higher collar is quite masculine and it will go with most other items in your wardrobe. Go for grey, navy or a bright colour if feeling brave.
The zip-up sweater or half-zip cardigan are functional and relaxed. Not quite as stylish as the shawl-collar perhaps, but these are the kind of items you get a stack of wear out of. Good over a shirt or even a t-shirt.
The traditional cardigan has no collar, so sits really nicely over a shirt. John Smedley would be excellent purveyors of this style in particular. Uniqlo is a great place to source good, reasonably priced cardigans and sweaters. Christophe Lemaire is now Artistic Director there which is quite a coup. That is a good sign. Any Uniqlo gear that I have picked up (for my wife and me) has been of a really good quality. Their website is decent and postage is reasonable.
Polo-neck or Roll-neck
No longer the exclusive preserve of secret agents or Parisians. This is generally a light cotton material with the distinctive high neck rolled back on itself. Great for layering as well, as it will look good under a blazer, coat, leather jacket etc etc. It may not be the look for you or you may risk being the figure of fun from friends, but hey what do they know? You will never know until you try it out. Top Man, River Island, ASOS all do keenly priced versions to experiment with.
Unlike my Father, I will be carving the turkey this year. Like my Father I may well be sporting a cardigan while at it. Unless, the heat gets too much in the kitchen that is. Then I will scarper and find the closet bottle of malt whisky that I can.
More on festive fashion frivolity to come soon…
Stay stylish and thanks for reading.