The most mortifying moment in cinema history came not from a gratuitously violent slasher flick, but rather in the opening frames of the seemingly innocuous romantic comedy Bridget Jones’ Diary. I refer, of course, to the infamous Holiday Sweater incident, when the hapless thirty-something Bridget locks eyes with the dashing Darcy across a crowded Christmas party. She is aghast to discover, however, that the tall, dark and ever-so handsome Darcy has fallen prey to the curse of the festive season-inspired knitwear, sporting a reindeer design sweater that is enough to have Bridget swear off his charms immediately.
The fate of Darcy should prove an instructive anecdote for anyone tempted by the current rash of snowflaked, glittered, and otherwise festive foliage-inspired clothing. Examples of the holiday sweater are everywhere: Victoria’s Secret, a catalog of often dubious taste that seems to feature clothing best left in the early 90s, sells an array of knits plastered with festive graphics. Among the bounteous array of holiday garb available is the “snowy keyhole sweater,” a confusing mixture of wholesome Christmas-related imagery (snowflakes adorn the front) and typically Victoria’s Secret-style tack (the keyhole neckline) and also the “Christmas tree sweater,” a more classic example of the only-wear-this-once-a-year nature of the holiday sweater purchase. Either way, it’s an ill-advised fashion choice.
Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the trimmings of Christmas. And it’s not even the commercialization of the season that’s so wrong in this case (head directly to your nearest Starbucks for corporatized Christmas galore). The objection is purely one of aesthetics: it is a truth universally acknowledged by those in the know that to wear a Christmas tree across your chest and look classy at the same time is an impossibility. The bottom line? For a cool yule, stick to the basic cable knit.