The Ugly Christmas Sweater – A Brief History

Ugly Christmas Sweater | Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Men and Women
Pinpointing the rise of the Ugly Christmas Sweater is no easy task.  However two icons (or enablers?) stand out   We have Bill Cosby (as Cliff Huxtable in The Cosbies) and Chevy Chase (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) who made it fashionable to wear these hideously appealing sweaters.This trend would fade in the 90’s, but would resurface once again around 2001.  This trend has steadily moved upward and as of 2010, ugly Christmas sweaters are once again highly fashionable. Even Jimmy Fallon has chimed in.
But why the Ugly Christmas Sweater?Ugly Christmas Sweater - Bill CosbyBill Cosby – The possible 'founder' of the modern Ugly Christmas Sweater phenomenon.Of all things to gain popularity, why the ugly Christmas sweater?  While no one knows for sure, it’s likely due to a mixture of the following: 
  • Nostalgia
  • Our (United States) insane obsession with fashion/aesthetics 
NostalgiaUgly Christmas sweaters have that vintage Christmas appeal.  They remind many of us of the days when Christmas meant going to bed so Santa could bring those presents and waking up with an anticipation we would rarely if ever experience otherwise.  In other words, it reminds of what Christmas was before it was merely the Super Bowl of business transactions.  The pixelated designs also tend to remind of us the first couple of generations of video games.Our (United States) insane obsession with fashion/aestheticsThe ridiculous designs quite likely break every known law of fashion--and that’s the point.  As a society, we have become obsessed with the latest fashion trends and in conforming to certain rules, if not protocols.  The ugly Christmas sweater throws it all to the wind.  And why not?  If there is a single time of the year when we stop mindlessly following the rules laid before us by the fashionstas it may as well be Christmas!ugly christmas sweaters

Infographic Transcription

When Ugly Turns to Beautiful: Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Facts about Ugly Christmas Sweaters

  • An "Ugly Christmas Sweater" is any sweater with a Christmas theme that is considered bad taste, tacky, or gaudy
  • Bill Cosby is considered the Father of the Ugly Christmas Sweater
  • "The Cosby Show" was named after the actor/comedian Bill Cosby who wore a lot of ugly sweaters while acting
  • Christmas sweaters were first mass manufactured under the name "Jingle Bell Sweaters"

History of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

 
  • The city of Vancouver, Canada claims to be the birthplace of the first ugly sweater party in 2002
  • Every year at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver a party in held and the dress code is an ugly sweater affair
  • Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch, are the co-founder of the Commodore's annual ugly sweater party

Popularity of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

  • The actual mass-market ugly sweater reached its peak popularity sometime in the 1980s
  • On Nordstrom.com, one ugly Christmas sweater goes for $600

Famous People Known for wearing Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable on his eponymous '80s sitcom, "The Cosby Show"Colin Firth Wearing reindeer turtleneck sweater in the 2001 hit Bridget Jones' DiaryChevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas VacationVal Doonican Who appeared in these type of the jumpers in their television Christmas specials

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book

Definitive in every way, Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book includes the history of the event, how to throw the perfect party, what to wear, and how to judge the all-important ugly Christmas sweater contest. The book was written by Brian Miller, Adam Paulson, and Kevin Wool.    Check out our selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters Also, check out our list of Christmas Links

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