The Beautiful History of the Ugly Sweater

Ugly Christmas Sweater | Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Men and Women Over the last several years, ugly Christmas sweaters have made a huge comeback. Offices have ugly Christmas sweater parties; families design matching ugly Christmas sweaters to wear on Christmas morning; college kids have ugly Christmas sweater contests; schoolchildren design ugly Christmas sweaters to wear over Christmas vacation. No matter a person's age or gender, it seems that ugly sweaters are par for the course during the holiday season.

But how did this whole trend get started?

The idea of the ugly Christmas sweater actually originated in the 80s when the Father of Ugly Christmas Sweaters, Bill Cosby, wore one on The Cosby Show. Shortly thereafter, Chevy Chase wore one in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and the trend was begun. The popularity of the sweaters took a hit in the Grunge fads of the 90's, but in 2001, the sweaters came back with a vengeance, and they have only gained in popularity ever since.
Since 2001, they have appeared in many different movies, tv shows, and other types of media, which, of course, adds to their popularity. They have been seen in Bridget Jones' Diary, Dumb and Dumber, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Glee, among many, many others. The popularity of these sweaters in popular media has made them that much more popular with real, every day people, as well. While ugly sweaters used to have to be DIY'd by creative people or bought in places like Goodwill stores, Salvation Army stores, thrift shops, or dug out of the back of Aunt Bettie's closet. However, the craze has become so popular that mainstream stores now sell these sweaters, as well. Not just stores like Walmart or Target, either; the sweaters can be found at stores like H&M, Aeropostale, Macy's, and even novelty shops like Hot Topic and Spencer's. The style of these sweaters has also gotten more gaudy and more elaborate over the years. What used to be knit sweaters with some reindeer and snowmen on them are now crazy colorful, full of glitter and sparkle, and the gaudier the better. There are even themed sweaters available to buy now. Some of the more outrageous sweaters are things a person would never even imagine. Here are some of the more outlandish ugly sweaters available for purchase this holiday season.

Grateful Dead Sweaters:

Grateful Dead sweaters are an unusual, but popular, option for ugly Christmas sweaters this season. They are generally in color schemes of red, green, white, and black. They often have the signature dancing bears of many Grateful Dead albums. The bears often have Santa hats on their heads or Christmas tree lights strung around their bodies. They are quite colorful and quite fun to see and to wear.

Home Alone Sweater:

Home Alone is arguably one of the most popular Christmas movies in the world. It's an older movie, but it has not lost its appeal to audiences. People who grew up watching Home Alone enjoy watching it for the sake of nostalgia; young children who have never seen it love getting to watch it for the first time. It has almost become synonymous with Christmas, so it is only logical that people love wearing ugly Christmas sweaters that are Home Alone themed. Many of these sweaters are patterned after actual costumes in the movie, and others are simply gaudy sweaters that have lines from the movie written across them in large, very visible letters. Some of the most popular phrases are Escaped Wet Bandits, Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animal, Buzz, Your Girlfriend... Woof!, and the ever popular Shitters Full sweater. Still others have knit images of the main character's face. There is a wide variety of Home Alone sweaters available from which fans can choose.

Griswold Sweaters:

There is a plethora of different ugly sweaters that center around the Griswold family from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Because this was one of the two original sites of origin for the ugly Christmas sweater, it is only right that there be plenty of Griswold family options available to buy.

Wu Tang Sweater:

Another unusual option that has become much more popular over the past few years is the Wu Tang sweater. These sweaters are generally black and yellow or black, yellow, and white. The sweaters also usually prominently feature the Wu Tang Clan logo across the front of the sweater. It's a great way to win the ugly sweater contest at work and represent your favorite band.

Will Ferrell Sweater:

Another popular Christmas movie is Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Since its release in 2003, Elf has also become a movie that is very much associated with the holiday season. As such, putting Will Ferrell's face as Buddy the Elf on ugly Christmas sweaters has become a very popular novelty. In addition to Buddy the Elf's smiling face, other Elf-themed sweaters have quotes from the movie such as, Santa... I know him!, You Smell Like Beef and Cheese, Son of a Nutcracker, and I Just Like to Smile.

Star Wars Sweaters:

Star Wars Christmas sweaters are probably one of the largest niche of Christmas sweaters available to buy today. Because the franchise has been around for decades, there is a lot of material from which to pull sweater designs. There are a ton of sweaters with storm troopers, Yoda, Darth Vader, and R2D2 on them. There are also sweaters with popular sayings and quotations from the Star Wars movies on them. The color schemes for these particular sweaters are as varied as the designs that can be found on them. They are blue, green, black, white, red, and purple. So if you are looking for an ugly Christmas sweater in a color that isn't necessarily red or green, you might want to check into Star Wars sweaters.

Stranger Things Sweaters:

More recently, Stranger Things Christmas sweaters have become very popular. Since its release two years ago, the show has become a quick favorite among television watchers, and it has a huge cult following. There are numerous ugly sweaters being made that are based off of the Stranger Things franchise. A very popular design in this line is the "Eleven Days of Christmas" sweater that features one of the main characters, whose name is Eleven. Another option prominently features the Christmas light A-B-C wall that the character Joyce Byers creates in the television show. Still others feature the monster of the show, the Demogorgon, or the place in the show referred to as "The Upside Down." The short-lived character Barb also has several sweaters that feature her face. So, whether you are a National Lampoon fan, an Elf fan, a Stranger Things fan, or a fan of just about any other fandom that is out there, there is probably an ugly Christmas sweater that will be exactly right for you. You are sure to find something that fits your needs, and if not, you can always custom make an ugly sweater for yourself. Whichever you choose, wear your ugly sweater with pride, and have a very merry Christmas!

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