Ugly Christmas Sweaters in Pop Culture

Ugly Christmas sweaters allow us to decorate ourselves for the holidays. Spread humor and joy during the holiday seasons by wearing these timeless masterpieces of bad taste.  

Colorful knitted scenes of Santa’s reindeer, puffy appliques of elves, and snowflake patterns that make you dizzy--welcome to ugly Christmas sweater season.   

How ugly Christmas sweaters became a thing 

Once upon a time in the eighties, ugly Christmas sweaters were considered cute. The bright colors, vivid graphics, and tinsel trimmings signaled merriment. But then they faded out of fashion (probably for being a bit too extra). 

That is, until some brilliant masterminds decided to raid their parents’ closets. 

Two Vancouver fellas came up with the idea of hosting a theme party dedicated to these knitted wonders in 2002. They wore the designs ironically for a laugh. And that’s how the first ever “ugly Christmas sweater party” came about. 

Now, it’s almost been twenty more years since the holiday season’s silliest event made its debut. Here’s why the ugly Christmas sweater craze has lasted. 


Celebrities flaunting ugly Christmas sweaters

First of all, pop culture is full of ugly Christmas sweaters both on and off stage. Matt Damon showed up for an interview in a Santa-clad number. And Miley Cyrus has used Instagram to share her own ugly Christmas sweater collection

Not to mention, ugly Christmas sweaters are constantly evolving. The internet can’t forget how Devi Lovato wore a cropped reindeer sweater onstage at a Jingle Ball in Florida. Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest hosted Live with Kelly and Ryan wearing a tandem, double-headed version of an ugly holiday sweater. And of course, Howie Mandel added a new twist by sporting a Hanukkah version featuring challah holiday bread.


The future of ugly Christmas sweaters is already here

Now that celebrities are wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, makers of ugly Christmas sweaters have flipped the script. You can find Drake wearing an ugly Christmas sweater in an ugly Christmas sweater design! Pop culture has stormed ugly Christmas sweaters with everything from stormtroopers to Stranger Things.  

Even if ugly Christmas sweater designs keep changing over time, classic uglies are still out there. You can always find gaudy, jolly warmth when you browse your favorite thrift stores. 

Perfect your holiday game by shopping our surprise thrifted ugly Christmas sweaters.   


Article written by Erica Eller

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