Jumpers aren’t particularly synonymous with the Australian climate in December and therefore we tend to miss out on one of the best Christmas traditions:
Due to our unfortunate placement in the Southern Hemisphere, we have been without an opportunity to wear garish, winter-themed sweaters – and as a lover of both knitwear and bright colours that struggle to match, I have long lamented the lack of a jumper tradition. I have scoured many an op shop hoping to find something that resembled the gaudy offshoots of British grandmas but alas, my search was in vain. In vain, that is, until I remembered internet shopping existed.
It was 2 am, September 2018 when I made my first impulse purchase. In other words, there was a sale on a British website for 2017’s line of jumpers, with a discount low enough to justify the ever exorbitant shipping cost to Australia. After years of wishing for the warmth and comfort of woollen jumpers with a stand-out factor of colour vomit, I now was the proud owner of a Star Wars Christmas jumper, unmistakable in its dedication to the winter months. Thus marked the creation of my growing collection of these wearable hugs.
My favourite thus far is the knitted dedication to the immortal planet guardian, Sir David Attenborough. Complete with a pun on each side, the jumper has beautifully interwoven my two loves of puns and the environment. On the front, underneath a large emblazonment of Sir David’s head, reads the text “Attenbrrrrrr” whilst the back reads “Stay Cool” underneath a knitted earth. Thus, I can show people I care about climate change at the same time as hitting them with some sick punnage. Whilst I technically didn’t buy this jumper myself – I received it as a Christmas present, the result of sending my mother the ‘buy now’ link as soon as a friend tagged me in it on Facebook. The link accompanied the statement that I would be happy if this was the only thing I got for Christmas. And oh boy was I happy. My mother, being the extra and excellent woman she went one step further – buying one for each of her three children, to the disdain of my significantly more fashion-conscious siblings. I loved it so much I wore it to Christmas lunch, even though it was a typical Australian summer day.
Slightly more appropriate for our antipodean climes is my Christmas ‘rashie’ – designed to be worn chilling at the beach or by the pool, rather than facing the winter chill. This was another gift from my mother, and yes, she did buy my siblings a matching set as well. My most recent purchase adds to my Star Wars collection, complete with BB-8 Christmas baubles knitted all over. I initially bought it in a post-Christmas sale just for the sake of buying another jumper, rather than liking it for the design. However, it’s become a bit of a surprise hit, made of thinner wool and colours that suit my own palette. My mother even said it looked “nice” – not the usual descriptor one would use with gaudy Christmas jumpers.
I continue to wear all my jumpers to this day, no matter the time of year, as they fulfil the function of keeping me both warm and happy, and I think you should too. The best time to buy is after Christmas because of sales. Already, I have seen a few others on campus rocking the sweater style – in my opinion, the more outrageously vulgar the better. In addition to internet purchases, I’ve taught myself how to knit in the hopes that one day, I can be the creator of my own garish winter puns – they’re pun to look out for.
Words by Cate Tweedie