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Words by Ms Laura Craik, fashion editor of The Times

Novelty jumpers: you're either in the "too cute" or "too crass" camp. Or maybe even in the "too camp" camp. I love them, and am forever reaching for my Mulberry number on days when the weather/ government/ inadequacy of nearest coffee source is likely to make me feel depressed. It features a bright yellow pear with eyes, making it an instant hit with children (because it looks like a cartoon character) as well as men (because it gives them an opportunity to say "nice pair" and wait for me to fall to the floor in helpless mirth). Dudes, you'll be waiting for a long time. Actually, forever.

Hypocrite that I am, this doesn't mean I like a novelty jumper on everyone. If a man approached me wearing a jumper featuring a yellow pear with eyes, I would cross the street. Screaming.

Happily, there is another way for men to join the novelty jumper club that doesn't involve them looking like Mr Justin Fletcher from children's TV show Something Special. Gents, I give you the patterned jumper, another big seasonal trend. Banish all thoughts of Mr Val Doonican (if you are over 40) or Mark Darcy (if your girlfriend is a fan of Bridget Jones): the new patterned jumpers are graphic rather than psychedelic, with an edge that looks thoroughly modern. Scaredy-cats could start off with a monochrome pattern such as Slowear's Zanone jacquard, before graduating onto something more colourful, such as YMC's Navajo number.

On the other hand, if those aren't novelty enough (who knows: maybe Mr Doonican is your role model), feel free to branch out into the world of cute animals and pears with eyes. OK, so maybe not pears with eyes. But Jil Sander's dinosaur intarsia jumper certainly ticks the cute animal box, as does Burberry's dog jumper. And if these are too fey, designers' love affair with statement jumpers this season has ensured that there are myriad other options to choose from, some of which are butch-er than a butcher's block. Why, YSL's even features a razor blade, and what could be more, er, cutting edge than that?

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