The Ugly Christmas Jumper: Origins and Top Picks
In the past decade, the world has been going crazy for ugly Christmas jumpers that look like the result of inept handmade and kitchen design. Every December, they crawl out of the darkness of dressing rooms to herald the approach of the great night.
Nothing is worse than being at a party wearing a naive patterned sweater that your grandmother knitted for you. Do you remember how Ron Weasley, in one of the Harry Potter films, received a gift from his mother - a brown sweater with the letter R - and how ashamed he was to wear it?
What are these jumpers? Why did people love it so much? And who even came up with it? That’s what this article is going to shed some light on.
Besides, as a fashion designer, I take the time to research some of the top picks for ugly Christmas jumpers. From traditional patterns to modern designs, there is something for everyone. So let’s try to unravel the history of this trend and find out what kind of ugly Christmas sweaters people love on this particular holiday season!
History and Origins of Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Do you remember the first time you heard of ugly Christmas sweaters? Let’s dive deep into history to understand better how this trend started.
How Did the Christmas Sweater Come About?
The sweater was originally only a functional item for men. Knitted sweaters made of wool were worn by fishermen, hunters, and those who had to work on the street.
Women mostly made sweaters for their fathers, husbands, sons, and later for themselves. Therefore, the tradition of knitting and giving a jumper to a loved one arose long before the advent of the “Christmas sweater.”
A knitted sweater became a New Year’s attribute in the middle of the last century. In the 1950s, the West began actively commercializing Christmas and everything connected with it:
Decorate the shelves with snowflakes.
Create a festive mood in shops and shopping centers.
Use New Year’s symbols in all kinds of goods.
The Popularity of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in the ’80s
The original “Christmas sweater” was created in the 1980s. It started with a small business in Canada but soon spread to the United States and Europe. At this time, people began to make their versions of these sweaters at home. They became increasingly popular until they were utterly mainstream in the late 2000s.
The mass popularity of the Christmas sweater started when the successful comedy project The Cosby Show began to appear on the screens. Host Bill Cosby wore Christmas sweaters by Dutch designer Kues van der Akker each episode.
Around this time, the Christmas sweater began to be actively used in pop culture. And gradually, it becomes an obligatory attribute of the Christmas celebration for Westerners.
From Comedies to Royals: The Popularity of the Christmas Sweater in Pop Culture
The Christmas sweater idea is a product of pop culture and marketing. Since the 1990s, this thing has often appeared in films.
The “perfect American Christmas” idea is played up in the 1989 comedy Christmas Holidays. In it, the head of the family is obsessed with meeting the holiday with all the necessary attributes - a sweater is one of them.
The classic winter sweater party scene is in the comedy Dumb and Dumber. A bright festive sweater is worn by the Grinch (copies of which are still successfully sold in stores).
The ironic connotation and prefix “ugly” Christmas sweater get in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary, where the heroine meets the aristocratic Mark Darcy in a ridiculous sweater with a deer.
Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron, is a little ashamed of the Weasley tradition of giving all family members cute Christmas sweaters with initials.
Christmas Sweater and High Fashion
Since the Christmas sweater became popular thanks to the idea of marketers to capitalize on people’s love for the New Year holidays, high fashion also mastered this trend over time.
In the 2010s, fashion houses release their versions of holiday pullovers. At first, their decor is limited to modest snowflakes, but deer, a Christmas tree, and giant knitting appear later.
In the second half of the 2010s, brands are trying to rethink the image of the traditional Christmas sweater and give out their versions of other clothes stylized as ugly Christmas sweaters - T-shirts, shoes, dresses with funny prints, and slogans.
Today, ugly Christmas sweaters are becoming more and more popular. As a result, many brands develop special capsule collections for the holiday season. For example, sweaters with reindeer and snowflakes have become one of Polo Ralph Lauren’s most-sold items!
So the Christmas sweater has come a long way from traditional knitting patterns to modern fashion trends. As a result, it’s a unique piece of clothing that all fashionistas should have in their wardrobe!
Ugly Chrismas Sweater at the Center of Scandals
In 2019, the Christmas sweater was at the center of the discussion twice already. The first time was when a sweater with the inscription “Wool hurts” and a bloody acrylic sheep figure sewn to it appeared in the online store of the animal protection organization PETA. This Christmas sweater cost $149.
The second scandal happened with Walmart, the world’s largest retail chain, which later withdrew it from sale due to the negative reaction of buyers. The blue pullover with snowflakes depicted Santa Claus sitting on the sofa and laying out “paths” of snow on the table in front of him.
The product description stated that the best white snow comes from South America: “Santa likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.” Walmart had to apologize for the bad joke and admit that the product does not reflect the values of the retail chain.
Top Ugly Christmas Jumpers to Buy This Season
Now that we’ve established why the Christmas sweater is so popular, let’s take a quick look at some of the best ugly Christmas jumpers to buy this season.
Women’s Tree Rex Light Up T-Rex Ugly Christmas Sweater
This Women’s Tree Rex Light Up T-Rex Ugly Christmas Sweater will get a laugh at your holiday party. It features a T-Rex dinosaur doubling as a Christmas tree with presents underneath. And it gets even better – the sweater lights up when you wear it! So spread holiday cheer and fun in this festive, funny sweater.
Blizzard Bay Men’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Llama
This Blizzard Bay Men’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Llama is perfect if you're looking for a truly unique Christmas sweater. Made of a warm wool blend and featuring a festive llama, it’s sure to get some attention. Plus, it comes in various sizes so that you will find the perfect fit.
Happy Birthday Jesus Sorry Ugly Christmas Office Sweater Essential T-Shirt
This Happy Birthday Jesus Sorry Ugly Christmas Office Sweater Essential T-Shirt will surely be a hit. It’s made of a comfortable and lightweight material, making it perfect for wearing to the office or around town. And the festive design is sure to get some attention – after all, it’s not every day that you see a Christmas sweater to congratulate Jesus!
Adult Ghostbusters Ugly Christmas Sweater
If you’re looking for a vibrant and funny Christmas sweater, then this Adult Ghostbusters Ugly Christmas Sweater is perfect. It features the beloved characters from the original Ghostbusters movie and will get some laughs. And it’s made of a cozy, warm fabric, which makes it perfect for chilly winter days. So make sure you add this fun sweater to your holiday wardrobe!
Ralph Lauren’s Snowflake Estate-Rib Pullover
For men, Ralph Lauren’s Snowflake Estate-Rib Pullover is a great choice to show your holiday spirit. This pullover features an all-over snowflake pattern and is made of a soft cotton blend fabric. Plus, it’s machine washable so that you can wear it in winter again and again. This sweater is perfect whether you’re headed to a family gathering or just out for a night on the town.
Ornament and Garland Ugly Christmas Sweater
This Ornament and Garland Ugly Christmas Sweater is perfect for showing off your holiday cheer. It features a festive design with ornaments, garlands, and Christmas trees. And it’s made of a soft cotton blend fabric, so you can be sure it will be comfortable to wear. With fun and festive decorating, you’ll be the center of attention at any holiday party - even if you weren’t invited!
Funnycokid Kids Ugly Christmas Sweater
And, of course, we can’t forget about the kids! The Funnycokid Kids Ugly Christmas Sweater is sure to be a bestseller with kids. Choose from various funny Christmas patterns, including Santa Claus, reindeer, cat and dog, dinosaur, and more! Plus, it’s made from a soft cotton blend fabric so kids can feel comfortable and warm all holidays.
Christmas is about having fun and spreading joy, so why not do it with an ugly sweater? There are many cool options on the market this season, so you’re sure to buy one that fits your style.
Whether you want something funny, festive, or just plain ugly – there’s something for everyone. So get out there and show off your ugly Christmas sweater this season! Happy holidays!