Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Pop Culture at Its Tackiest Finest

It might not be as precious as a vintage Yves St. Laurent or Valentino haute couture, but trust us, this holiday garment has a place in the annals of fashion and good humor. Of course, we’re referring to the famous ugly Christmas sweater. That’s right; the tacky and often colorful, naughty, funny, adorable and even sexy sweater that comes in a pullover, cardigan vest or turtleneck adds the right touch of spirit to the holidays. These funky Xmas sweaters are ideal for an entire family and network of friends, fellow employees, students, etc. The tackier the better wins every time. Consider sweaters adorned with pom-poms, felt appliques or light-up features; you get the picture.

It appears that the trend of wearing tacky Christmas sweaters really came into vogue in the 1980s, but some of you know it started it even long before that. Your Aunt Mary might have bought you one of the ugly Xmas numbers for Christmas as a child, and you quietly freaked out when unwrapping the unwanted garment. Hey, a cool toy would have been so much nicer. Years later, and this kind of fashion is hot for the ice-cold holidays.

In other words, there is no longer any shame putting on this tacky Christmas woolie. In fact, it is a celebratory item that has grown in huge numbers over the years. Even social media is in on the absolute hilarity of it all. Check out super popular Pinterest and the many boards that are dedicated to tacky Christmas sweaters. One website gives fans great directions on Do-It-Yourself sweaters, including gauche accents for the sweater like tons of bows, bulbs, candy canes, bells, beer caps, tinsel, branches, balloons and so much more.

Even news-proper Time magazine has done a bit of investigative journalism into how the ugly trend in Christmas sweaters skyrocketed in pop culture over the years. It’s become a major fashion holiday faux pas, so to speak, and each year, the trend gets more hideous than ever, says the prestigious, smarty-pants publication. The news item explains that the ugly Xmas sweater was actually around in the United States as far back as the late 19th century.

When The Cosby Show debuted on television in 1984, the tacky holiday sweater got a major reboot. Cosby enjoyed wearing a variety of sweaters on his popular comedy show. Dr. Cliff Huxtable, his character, was famous for his wooly, often colorfully patterned, crewneck style pullovers. Dutch designer Koos van der Akker was the fashion genius behind Cosby’s look, and today, tons of celebrities put them on and attend “ugly parties,” according to In Style.

These days, the tacky holiday sweater has grown in variety and imagination. Some ugly Xmas sweaters depict President Donald Trump on them. There are also great-looking ugly fashions to go with these memorable holiday sweaters, including leggings, lounge pants, hats, jackets and 3D styles. If you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em, folks. Ho, ho, ho, put one on and see.