Unraveling the history of the ugly holiday sweater
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Spending quality time with family and drinking cider by the fire. Playing Secret Santa. All of these activities encourage getting into the festive holiday mood. So does taking out your ugly Christmas sweaters. You might be really lucky. You might get to show off your tackiest at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.
Ugly Christmas sweaters have emerged with newfound public acceptance. They're no longer creations made by craft store-obsessed grandmas. They aren't foisted upon family members only to wind up at a thrift store. They've become a cultural meme. They're filled to the brim with an eggnog-sized cup of irony. Even celebrities are in on the action. To capitalize on the sweaters' popularity, a market has sprung up around this wintertime phenomenon. There are ugly sweater books. There's a 5K race and trophies. All of these celebrate the Santa face plastered across your chest.
The gaudy sweaters are harder to come by due to their increasing popularity. This is especially true in thrift stores. It was once typically easy to purchase the best (I mean, worst) option at thrift stores. And who really wants to buy a full-priced light-up snowman sweater that'll be worn only once a year?
One option is to shop eBay's collection of ugly Christmas sweaters. You may find yourself bidding on a pre-worn gaudy pullover.
Another option is to make a sweater from scratch. This DIY approach is a labor of love. It embraces a time when the off-the-rack, last minute tactic wasn't an option.
Men, women and children have been channeling the holiday spirit through sweaters for decades. They are adorned with snowflakes. They feature reindeer and Christmas trees. The garishness reached new heights in the '80s and '90s.
Back in the '40s and '50s, a touch of graphic flashiness was essential to a genuine holiday pullover. Grab your vintage holiday sweater-knitting patterns from Etsy, and they Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invitation on your refrigerator. Now is just the right time to pull out your knitting needles and make something wonderfully ugly.
Any holiday sweaters catch your eye this season?