The Start of Jumper Season!
As the days begin to grow shorter and the air around us starts to get cooler, we can now welcome the Autumn months and wave goodbye to the warmer summer days. As leaves begin to fall off trees and grow darker in colour, it signifies the shift in seasons, and hence the required change in apparel. As you begin to experience the cool chill of the later months of the year, you can swap those loose shirts and short outfits for some warmer garments, with jumpers being one of the go-to's.
However, when choosing to adopt a jumper for this period, not everyone follows the same silhouette or even the same name, as a matter of fact. From Pullovers and Cardigans as well as Sweaters and jumpers, all of these differ slightly in their design; however, all share the same cause of keeping you warm whilst maintaining your stylishness. All of the varying designs refer to the same overarching concept of a knitted torso piece that covers the wearer's upper body, and with the alterations made between each different construction, this piece of clothing is an exciting product which should be a staple piece of anyone's wardrobe.
The History of the Jumper.
Should you be interested in one of the various compositions of knitted fabrics, you should first understand the jumpers we know today actually have a rather interesting backstory and history to them. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of the jumper, traces of knitted torso pieces can be dated back almost 2,000 years, a testament to the functionality. However, a more concrete basis for the first jumpers that we are more familiar with today can be accredited to the English Channell Islands of Guernsey and Jersey.
These rather small islands have actually played a rather instrumental role in the popularity of jumpers, with the residents all the way back in the 15th century originally referring to their knitted wool garments as Guernseys. Due to the island being surrounded by water in the channel between England and France, residents begin wearing thick torso-covering garments in order to protect themselves from the harsh weathers that are frequent out at sea. At first, these knitted jumpers, or guernseys as they were more commonly known as at the time, were often a dark blue colour, and upon the establishment of additional trade routes to these coastal regions, workers passing through slowly began to adapt these woven fabric pieces. Soon after, these fishermans jumpers became extremely popular across the Western European regions, and demand soared, possibly down to the unique aesthetic offered and combined element protective functionality.
The 18th Century saw the popular Guernseys be adapted into leisure used for activities and sports such as golf and cricket within the UK, with these pieces, all though now more modernised, remaining as part of their synonymous sporting outfits. However, despite their popularity over in Europe, it wasn't until the late 1800s that the US would begin wearing guernseys. These became incredibly popular amongst athletes of the time, and consequently, the term Sweater was birthed.
In addition to all this, one interesting piece of history surrounding jumpers is down to the British naval commander Lord Nelson. With the common blue variations of the guernseys, it was recommended by the Ministry of Defence that the British Royal Navy should adapt the garments. Subsequently, these woven upper halves became important for mariners, something which still remains to this day.
The Different Types of Jumper Materials.
With the everchanging world of fashion always striving to test out new and unique designs, this has resulted in the jumpers we are familiar with being made with various different materials, some of which serve different purposes. If you are looking for a jumper of your own, it is important to note the multitude of different materials on offer, as each individual fabric could provide a different feeling or varied fit.
For instance, should you find a Cashmere jumper, these are typically the lightest jumpers on offer; however, these could come with a more costly price tag due to them being one of the most expensive and luxurious fabrics out there. Conversely, a majority of jumpers you will find will be made with the more popular wool. With this tried and tested material, you can expect your jumper to be hard-wearing, providing the wearer with a warm and long-lasting wardrobe piece. Merino wool is particularly popular when it comes to desirably warm jumpers, with it being renowned for its breathability and heat absorption. This material is particularly popular when constructing the ever-popular Submariner Sweaters which have seen a recent rise in popularity.
Cotton also proves to be a common choice when constructing a jumper due to its cheap manufacturing costs as well as its lightweight composition that still proves to be comfortable to wear. However, modern times have seen a slight shift away from organic materials, with more and more designs adopting a more synthetic blend of fibres. However, although these are used as an alternative, they can often result in a substandard garment when compared to jumpers made with more classical materials.
The Various Styles of Jumpers
It's not just the materials that differ from jumper to jumper; it is also the design of the garments. Each variation of the jumper can give the wearer a unique style, with each one giving an alternative silhouette, meaning you can create a whole range of different outfits with just one piece of clothing.
The turtleneck is yet another pullover style of jumper, which has had multiple resurgences in its popularity throughout the years. These long torso pieces offer an additional layer of insulation, as their iconic knitted, foldable necklines cover even more of the wearer, making them the ideal selection should you be wanting a warmer alternative. Furthemore, the more sophisticated design can make this a unique piece for a smarter outfit, another benefit of this versatile garment.
However, if you're looking for a substitute for the more common pullover style of jumpers, Cardigans can be a great choice. The conceptualisation of this on-and-off design can be accredited to the Earl of Cardigan, who thought the button-fastened garment would be a great choice for soldiers during the Crimean War. This open-fronted design of jumper has been since adapted for all sorts of different activities, proving to be a versatile centrepiece when constructing an outfit.
The Popularity of Jumpers
Although different styles of jumpers have came in and out of popularity since its creation, Jumpers as a whole have stayed mainstays due to its style and practicality. With their adaptable design and various different materials that can come in a range of colours, the jumper can be a piece perfect for all genders, regardless of the occasion.
Should you be interested in adding one of these iconic pieces of clothing to your wardrobe, we here at Barrington Ayre have a wide collection of various different jumpers, with the additional ability to create one bespoke and perfectly fitting for you!