Origin of Ugly Christmas Sweaters

There are many things we associate with the holiday season, such as Christmas lights, Christmas trees, stockings and even ugly Christmas sweaters. These sweaters have become a popular clothing piece during the festive season. Many find themselves wearing them to holiday parties or even to their own family Christmas celebrations. The Thrift World team is going to break down the popularity of the trend, where it originated and where to get a sweater at a thrift store near you.

What are ugly Christmas sweaters?

To show your true holiday spirit, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater is a great place to start! What is more festive than a red, white or green sweater decked out with Christmas-inspired characters? Whether you choose to purchase or make your own, wearing an Ugly Christmas sweater is a great way to celebrate the holidays! 

Where did they originate?

Holiday-themed sweaters originated in the 1950s. They were originally named “Jingle Bell Sweaters” and were growing in popularity due to the holiday’s growing commercialization during that time. The sweaters then were quite a bit different than the sweaters you see today. TV personalities were the ones who took hold of the trend and made it popular. The sweaters started out by showing off gaudy and festive prints. It was during the 1980s when the pop culture appeal of the sweaters really blew up. Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” can be seen wearing ugly Christmas sweaters throughout the movie with various prints and colors. In the 1990s, prints were out and knitted sweaters with giant festive characters were in! Ugly Christmas sweaters with red-nosed reindeer were seen as a chaotic fashion statement frequently made during the holiday season.

How to style 

I know what you’re thinking…how do you style an ugly Christmas sweater? Honestly, it’s not about how well your outfit goes together but how festive and how much holiday cheer your sweater brings. The uglier the better. Finding the perfect sweater to impress your friends, co-workers and family can prove to be a difficult task. The perfect place to look is a thrift store near you. Oftentimes people will buy an expensive sweater with the intention of wearing it more than once. Visit your local thrift store and browse the racks for crazy patterns, holiday characters or find a plain sweater and DIY one yourself!

Thrift store near you

Stay festive this holiday season by shopping secondhand for an ugly Christmas sweater! Shop our Thrift World locations around the Omaha Metro, Council Bluffs, Carroll and Kansas City! Can’t make it to a thrift store near you? Do your thrift shopping online by shopping our inventory

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