The Christmas jumper is a fashion hit in Norwich

Has granny's knitted patterned jumper really become a fashion must-have? EMMA HARROWING finds out.

The Christmas jumper is a festive tradition. In the 80s when television presenters such as Noel Edmonds donned a Rudolph jumper you knew that Santa wasn't too far away.

Those days the Christmas jumper was seen to be an item to balk at. After all Noel Edmonds still wore one throughout the 90s and probably still does today. The patterned jumper was also a gift received from your granny who had spent hours if not days knitting so that you had something to wear on Christmas day.

Last winter Fair Isle knits were detected on the fashion radar, perhaps a sure sign that the traditional Christmas jumper wouldn't be too far behind.

Fast forward a year and patterned jumpers have taken a different twist. Snowmen, Santa and snowflake prints are everywhere on the high street and in the independent boutiques in Norwich. We have even seen a jumper with Rudolph on it, surely not the same one worn by Noel Edmonds circa 1986?

It's now cool to wear a yuletide sweater. Along with Christmas characters; stripes, stars, spots and last year's Fair Isle patterns adorn jumpers and chunky knit cardigans for men this season.

The last time so many people wore a highly patterned jumper and believed they looked cool was when the Sweater Shop opened on Gentleman's Walk in the 90s and everyone wore crazy and sometimes gaudy patterned jumpers with their coloured jeans.

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It seems that the tide has turned on what once was a item of clothing you would just wear to keep granny happy on Christmas Day and then relegate to the back of your drawer for the rest of the year. It's now a must-have item for any man's wardrobe.

Life Matters picks some of the best Christmas jumpers available from the shops in Norwich - find out what they are by clicking on the photo gallery link at the top right of this page.