You’ve probably been invited to at least one ugly sweater party. Everyone shows up in the gaudiest, most outrageous sweaters decorated with holiday-themed phrases, characters and on-the-nose pop culture references.
The festive trend dates back to the 1950s, when the commercialization of Christmas was on the rise, but ugly Christmas sweaters really came to the forefront of the holiday season after the 1989 release of one of the holiday’s iconic movies: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Clark Griswold’s snowflake-embellished sweater in the film sparked an interest in sporting selburose prints. A few years later, the character Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” gave the trend another boost.
Today’s ugly Christmas sweaters stretch the “ugly” component, though, with some options being more socially acceptable and less of an eyesore than others. You can choose from sweaters featuring traditional red nosed-reindeers, jolly Santas and enough tinsel to decorate three Christmas trees, or from sweatshirts covered with music artists, TV characters and movie quotes.
These cozy, fashion statement-making sweaters are sure to be conversation starters at this year’s holiday parties and family gatherings. And if you’re having a smaller, low-key celebration, let these sweaters put you and the whole family in the Christmas spirit as you go to work on making extravagant gingerbread houses or trimming your tree.