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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

An investigation into what qualifies as 'Christmas clothes'

Y’know. To wear for the dinner.

EVERY YEAR IN school in the run-up to Christmas, without fail, most of my classmates would talk about their Christmas clothes – the clothes they would wear specifically on Christmas Day.


This was a foreign concept to me. I was never bought a specific outfit to wear for December 25th, bar the one time when I specifically asked for items of clothing for Christmas (where are those Mark Ecko runners and black and purple striped jumper now, I wonder? In a bin, with any luck).


I didn’t feel hard done by as a child – obviously, I was very lucky to be getting loads of other great gifts and there were so many kids who were not in the same fortune position.

But as an adult during the festive season, I’ve found myself thinking about it more and more. Was I spared from another horrible child-to-adult-transition associated with Christmas?

Like, just how important are Christmas clothes? They’re a matter of life or death in Iceland, if you’re to invest in the long-held tradition there.

For other people, it’s very obviously a significant part of their personal Christmas experience.

clot Source: @Wangqhazar

In a way, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t you get an outfit specifically for Christmas? We get costumes for Halloween, on significant birthdays we’ve splashed out on glittery body-cons. So why wouldn’t we celebrate the birth of Christ in a similar fashion?

Allow me to answer a question with a question here – do Christmas clothes have to be Christmas-y?

I’m talking strict Santa/reindeer/snowflake motifs here, or colour schemes – because that’s all that comes up when you do a quick Insta search of #christmasclothes.

Frankly, the idea of rocking up to greet your turkey decked out in an outfit that was possibly emblazoned with a turkey seemed outrageous to people who are in the know.

(And by that, I mean people in the office who had the pleasure of having parents who wanted them to have a nice rig-out for the day).

From my extremely in-depth research, I’ve concluded that Christmas clothes for girls involved:

  • A textured dress (velvet or sequinned preferred)
  • Tights (new ones, obvs)
  • Plastic shoes of some kind, potentially from Clarks or Debenhams

With boys, however, it seems to get a little less clear. When asked about the topic, one of my male friends said:

[My mam] asked me to put on jeans from time to time, yes.”

Another friend simply wears “nice, normal clothes”. Specific.

A Google Image search of “nice, normal clothes” summons these results:

Source: Pinterest

f6bd8bebff1c107b7f7608439b58adb5 Source: Pinterest

download (3) Source: Pinterest

However, I am otherwise none the wiser. Did I miss out? Are they just clothes, at the end of the day? What’s the cut-off point? Will I ever understand?

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