With summertime giving away to the fall, the next big holiday we are all really looking forward to is certainly Christmas. The Christmas holidays in December are certainly an amazing opportunity to wrap up the year in the company of family and loved ones. Most people travel, even from different countries, to get back to their hometowns and spend time with their relatives for a few days or weeks, and there is a special atmosphere in the air.
During Christmas time, we all love those little things that make it all a little bit more magical. The snow, the presents, the bows and ribbons, the lights, the amazing food and spreads…and the clothing! Ugly Christmas sweaters have been somewhat of a mainstay for many many years, and they are now synonym with Christmas clothing.
But when did it all start? How did it all come about?
It is not that easy to carefully pinpoint the real origins of ugly Christmas sweaters, but there are many theories or claims out there. Often referred to as “Christmas jumpers”, particularly in the United Kingdom, Christmas sweaters are particularly recognizable for their aesthetics. They are usually full pull-over sweaters with no zippers, and their looks are often characterized by cheesy artworks on the front and sometimes the back.
Most Christmas sweaters will represent some festive scenes, for example, snowy landscapes with Christmas decorations all around. Some sweaters could also represent characters or figures often associated with the Christmas holiday, for example, Santa’s raindeers or even Santa Claus himself! Some ugly Christmas sweaters even have portraits of elves or snowman, with carrot noses! The possibilities are truly endless, and sometimes surprising: You can find ugly Christmas sweater themed after the strangest things: popular TV shows and even hardcore metal band Slayer has a personalized Christmas sweater!
These funny sweaters apparently gained popularity starting from the mid-1980s, when some comedians or public performers started wearing them on television shows. The idea behind the "comedic factor" of the ugly sweater was that they helped create a certain goofy image. Most of these comedians would wear Christmas sweaters during holiday specials to give a goofy attitude to their skits, often claiming that the sweater had been hand-knit by their grandma, just to give them a really fun, goofy twist!
The ironic fun soon became a popular style, and ugly sweaters for the Christmas vacations managed to largely transcend their origins in comedy. Today, even cool kids love ugly Christmas sweaters in a very ironic way. During the holidays ugly sweater parties are actually quite common these days, and many kids and adults alike just can't wait for the opportunity to be able to enjoy wearing them during the Christmas vacation!
Today, the market for ugly sweaters with a festive theme is actually huge. You can find any type of Christmas sweater with different designs, even inspired by stuff like popular culture!
So is that where it all began? Can we thank the comedians? We're not really sure. One thing is certain, however, the yearly ritual of donning your Ugly Christmas Sweater or Sweatshirt is no joking matter!