Reviewed by Louise Totton
It’s the time of year again when thoughts turn to all things festive; the supermarkets have been full of tinsel, tins of chocolates and advent calendars for weeks, office Christmas parties have already being booked and outfits planned, and of course it’s getting colder. Given it’s the season to be jolly (and a little kitsch), and I like to be warm, I rather enjoy joining in with the Christmas jumper tradition that seems to have been so popular over the last few years. I’ve had some absolute crackers, from sparkly ones, ones with pompoms and a fantastic Christmas tree effort that featured both of the above, plus flashing lights. The one things that my previous jumpers have had in common is that they have been relatively inexpensive (under £15), and have been bought to last one Christmas. The quality of them isn’t top notch, but they’re good fun.
By contrast, British Christmas Jumpers offer less garish, more wearable and higher quality jumpers that are made in Britain. I was really pleased to be asked to try one of their jumpers out, ready for the new festive season. British Christmas Jumpers offer jumpers and scarves for men, women and children. Being the selfish individual that I am, I chose a jumper for me rather than the kids although there were plenty on the website to pick from for all of the family.
I was sent the Ladies’ Christmas Sparkle jumper, which is one of the more understated jumpers on the website. It is a cream crewneck knitted jumper with red, black and yellow Christmas themed icons (think snowflakes and reindeer), in bands around the jumper. It is definitely not the garish, cartoon character style of jumper, but is still bright and festive. I am normally a size 10-12, so I ordered a size medium, which is a 12-14, as I thought the small (8-10) would have been a little small. It has cuffs around the bottom and sleeves.
The jumper is 50% cotton, 50% acrylic and as such can be machine washed at 30 degrees, although not tumble dried. It has a nice, substantial feel and all of the seams are well stitched together. With the pattern on the jumper being a hoop / band design, I was pleased to note that the patterns did match up nicely at the seams, even where the shoulder meets the sleeve.
As I said, I ordered a size 12-14, which was a little big, but I still think the smaller size would have been too small. I found that it was a bit loose around the middle, and because of the cuff around the waist, it looked a little gathered and I thought made me look a bit rounder than other tops that I have. I also found the sleeves a little short. Having said that, this could be because I’m an odd shape – the website describes the jumper as a ‘modern, boxy fit’, so it may be that this is just not the most flattering shape for me.
This is clearly a good quality jumper, and I think it will last for several years. The understated style of it means that it could be worn for a festive lunch with a pair of skinny jeans, and would look casual but smart, unlike some of the more vivid ones I have had in the past which are more suitable as a joke or on Christmas Jumper Day at work. At £35, it is on the expensive side, but I would imagine the cost per wear would be less than cheaper jumpers as it will last for longer and would probably be worn more times over the festive period.
Available to buy from www.britishchristmasjumpers.com.