Ugly Christmas sweaters have become a popular part of holiday traditions in the modern times. People choose the best—or worst— xmas sweater to wear in contests, parties, and even organized events to set world records. But how did it all start?
Cliff Hux table from The Cosby Show was famously known for wearing pullovers with questionable colors and patters. Bill Cosby, together with Chevy Chase, have both contributed to the popularity of this type of xmas sweater on screen. However, the trend’s popularity declined by the start of the 90’s.
However, in the recent years, these sweaters have started to become more popular again. Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On explains that its resurgence began in 2001, and it gained traction from there. Now, these sweaters are being worn again, albeit ironically. Many stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are benefiting from this trend, as they used to be the destination of these old-fashioned tops until they become popular again. Now, fast fashion and high-end stores alike, such as H&M and Nordstrom, have joined in the trend selling their very own ugly holiday sweaters as well.
Now, ugly-sweater themed parties are becoming a thing, too, causing people from all age groups to look for the most over-the-top sweaters. Even famous celebrities like Jimmy Fallon has joined in with his late night talk show featuring a segment entitled, “The 12 Days of Christmas Sweaters.” MTV also released a parody documentary called True Life: I Love Ugly Christmas Sweaters.
Runway Inspirations and Outside US
Even the high fashion industry cannot escape the trend. Although a little tamer than many ugly holiday sweaters, Fair Isle released a line of pieces with tribal prints and graphic patterns inspired by this trend.
In the UK, Colin Firth wore an ugly sweater in Bridget Jones’ Diary as well, a gift from his mother for a holiday party.
Whether people wear it ironically or genuinely enjoy how it looks, it seems like ugly sweaters will continue to become a popular choice at it elicits fun memories of childhood and simpler times. Besides, it is a very comfortable top to wear during the freezing weather. With all the stress that the holiday brings— the rush, the planning, endless interaction with family and friends— wearing an outrageous, yet comfy, sweater is one sure way to relax and unwind.