Since we're about to get polar vortex-ed again, this message is brought to you by sweater weather! It's going to be cold out, guys! What better time to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of tea and go shopping for holiday sweaters all morning? There is no better time.
We all want something different from our holiday sweater. Some of us want it to be as ugly and garish as possible, while others want something simple that can be worn more than once or twice, and still others of us want something cute and kitschy--memorable--but not flat-out awful. So even though plenty more holiday sweaters will hit the stores in the next few weeks (looking at you, J.Crew!) we can get a jump on our holiday jumper shopping now--let's look at some contenders.
Fair Isle is Fair Play
A holiday sweater for Grinches, a Fair Isle pattern isn't even technically a holiday pattern (it's a knitting technique named after a Scottish island) but many of them mimic snowflakes which say "winter" without screaming "HI IT'S CHRISTMASTIME NOW!" In short, you'll get a lot more use out of this than a sweater with a big picture of Santa on the front.
• L.L. Bean Open Cardigan for Women, $64.95: Cozy without being bulky, the L.L. Bean Open Cardigan is very on-trend--sweater/coat hybrids are big this year--and only the sleeve pattern gives the impression of snowflakes. Wearable and affordable.
• Lands' End Men's Lambswool Fair Isle Crewneck Sweater, $89: The pattern on this sweater is even less "snowflake-y" but the combination of vintage ivory and red make this an instant Christmas classic you can rock well into the New Year.
RAWR! Winter Beasts
Can we interest you in a holiday moose? Perhaps an anthropomorphized polar bear that you wear, instead of the real kind that would eat you in three gulps? Maybe you're more of a Christmas reindeer kind of guy. Sport a winter beast with one of these sweaters:
• French Connection Polar Fun Knit Sweater, $118: This French Connection sweater, which features what can only be described as a miming polar bear, is perfect for the office holiday party.
• Gant Reindeer Slim Fit Crewneck Wool Sweater, $225: It would be nice if we could recommend Ralph Lauren's truly sharp Intarsia-Reindeer Wool Sweater, but since the animals in question are CLEARLY MOOSE, we cannot. The Gant Reindeer Slim Fit is both attractive, and properly identifies the animal depicted.
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You Are A Beautiful Snowflake
So a Fair Isle snowflake cheat won't do it for you, and you want a straight-up, unambiguous snowflake sweater--you're a person of principles, clearly. The snowflake is unisex, and it doesn't anthropomorphize dangerous animals. Not everyone is into that, after all. Here are some snowflakes for boys, and some snowflakes for girls:
• Men's Double L Cotton Sweater, Nordic Quarter-Zip, $54.95: You get so much bang for your buck at L.L. Bean, and their sweaters last forever. This Quarter-Zip style is very sharp.
• Lands' End Men's Snowflake Crewneck Sweater for Men, $89: A little more graphic, with a neutral color palette, this sweater from Land's End was inspired by vintage ski sweaters. Like L.L. Bean, you really can't go wrong with classics from Lands' End.
• American Eagle Outfitters AEO Snowflake Sweater, $34.97: On sale from $49.95, with lots of sizes left in both colors, this American Eagle sweater is kind of a steal. The rainbow colors on the snowflakes are really pretty, and the ribbing on the bottom half of the sweater is a subtle but interesting detail.
Twinkle Along With the Tree
It's kind of fun to go all out with the sparkly stuff at Christmas, when the lights from the tree can maximize all of those reflective surfaces. It's kind of fun to spend a little more here, since you'll be able to wear sparkles year-round. These are awfully cute:
• Michael Kors Sequined Color Block Sweater, $149: This is kind of mod, and totally rad--good work, Kors. It's very sporty, as you'd expect from MK, but it's also feminine and forgiving.
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• Lauren Ralph Lauren Rhinestone Crewneck Sweater at Lord & Taylor, $140: There are a lot of bejeweled cardigans out there, so this pullover with a rhinestone collar is kind of refreshing. The keyhole opening in the back is a lovely detail.
• Talbot's Jeweled Marino Sweater, $89.25: Talbot's Jeweled Marino sweater comes in black but the red is really festive, while the ivory would make a great winter white statement. One hundred percent Marino wool and embroidery for under $100 sweetens the deal.
If Tacky Christmas is really your thing, and you don't have a couple of hours to kill at the moment, don't visit the Tipsy Elves. You've been warned. It is garish and delightful and features some of the ugliest, most insane Christmas apparel and accessories you can imagine. Get a holiday sweater with your favorite sportsball team on it! Get a giant fuzzy hat with antlers! Do not forget to add a few wine sweaters to your shopping cart! These elves must be drunk--it's the only explanation.