History of UGLY Christmas Sweaters

By Mariclaire Bozarth

Believe it or not, ugly sweaters didn’t used to be ugly: our parents thought they were cute at one time or another. Bill Cosby, sitcom dad and superstar of the 80’s, is known to have pioneered the trend of sweaters that had particularly loud patterns. At the turn of the century, those sweaters had become Christmas staples to many. A festive household, turned comical in the eyes of the modern youth.
No one knows the exact time and place that ugly sweaters were declared atrociously hip and appropriate for the Christmas season. Like all style trends, it happened organically when the younger generation turned on the fashion of its predecessors in wake of the new and modern.
The first recorded sweater party – a themed party usually around Christmas time, in which everyone wears a sweater that would be considered out of fashion – was in 2001 in Canada; and from there, ugly sweaters became extremely popular to both celebrate and berate the xmas season.
Perhaps it’s this century’s emphasis on comfortable clothes that made this trend so popular. As sales rise of old, comfy sweatshirts and leggings, so do the sales of scratchy Christmas sweaters worn ironically.
Whatever the source of the trend, be confident in the your red monstrosity, dripping with bells, mistletoe and a light up Rudolph nose. Remember, if your grandma wouldn’t wear it to Christmas dinner, it’s not ugly enough.


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