How Santa’s Wardrobe Evolved over time?
- Author:Apeksha Rawat Published: 18th December, 2019
Santa Claus is a legendary figure and all the kids are crazy for him. With the preparation of Christmas, begins the wait for secret Santa gifts that add more fun and excitement to celebrations. People would be surprised to know that Santa Claus, as we know him today, with his white beard and red suit used to look quite different earlier. The overall Santa’s look has changed a lot over time.
Read further to know how Santa’s wardrobe evolved over time.
The version of Santa Claus that we see today is based on Saint Nicholas, a bishop who lived around the 4th century. He was known for leaving coins in poor children’s shoes and stockings and giving money to poor and needy. St Nicholas’s attire is the reason behind Santa’s red and white costume because Bishops traditionally wore red and white robes.
The first appearance of a modern Santa Claus was seen in the drawings by Thomas Nast. His original drawings were of a small Santa who could slide down chimneys. But in his later drawings, Santa was seen in full size. Thomas Nast was the first one to draw Santa wearing a red suit with fur lining, a nightcap, and a black belt with a large buckle.
In the early 1900s, Santa was depicted on all types of postcards dressed in boots and a white fur-trimmed suit. There was also some debate over what colour Santa’s suit should be on- it’s shown in red, blue, and green colour on various postcards. Puck, the popular magazine always opted for the red suit. The magazine first featured Santa on the cover in 1901 carrying his sack to kids who rejected his gifts in favour of copies of Tolstoy & Madame Bovary. However, in 1902, Santa was pictured being kissed by two beautiful Victorian ladies.
Way before Nast’s work, Santa’s outfit used to be of the tan colour that he changed to red, although he also drew Santa in a green suit. This change is often mistakenly credited as the work of Haddon Sundblom who drew images of Santa in advertising for the Coca Cola Company since 1931. Due to Coca Cola’s images, many people believe that Sana wears a red suit because those are Coca Cola’s colours. Haddon Sundblom altered the image of Santa a little bit each year. He continued painting Santa for Coca Cola until 1964. In fact, the image of Santa Claus as a jolly large man in a red-and-white suit was the standard long before the Coca-Cola Company co-opted it for its brand advertising.
There are also a few variations made on Santa’s outfit for special occasions, like during World War II. During the years of war, Santa was featured in a typical soldier’s outfit in posters made by the War Production Board.
There are several regional differences in the type of suit that Santa Claus wears. In the United States and the United Kingdom, Santa Claus wears a white fur-trimmed red jacket and pants with a buckled belt, a matching hat, and black boots. While in Continental European countries like Low Countries or Australia, the Santa Claus outfit is still similar to Saint Nicholas closer to that of a saint.