It is only a few weeks left before Christmas and once again everyone would see the ever-pervasive ugly Christmas sweaters. There are numerous objects that have been exclusively attributed to Christmas like the Christmas tree, snow men, Santa Claus, reindeers, but most of them have been intentional unlike the ugly Christmas sweater, which has become a surprisingly iconic representation of the holiday season.
Before, you might have only seen your great aunt wearing these hideous-looking sweaters but now they have become a common feature during the holidays. In fact, people even hold ugly Christmas sweater parties, either to insult their parents for wearing them or to have good fun in the company of others who too are wearing ugly Christmas sweaters.
But where did the ugly Christmas sweater come from? Was it specifically invented or did it evolve from a prehistoric ancestor?
The sweater, as a garment alone, has existed since the late 19th century in the US but the ugly holiday version had only come out several decades after. No one actually knows where the ugly Christmas sweater was first made, probably because no one wanted to take credit for it. But if you truly want someone to blame or thank, think of Bill Cosby.
No, Bill Cosby didn’t invent the ugly Christmas sweater, but he was probably the one who pioneered and popularized the trend in the 80s. He is actually the patron saint of the ugly Christmas sweater. The sweater that Bill Cosby wore was made by Koos Van Den Akker, a designer from New York who was known for his collaged work. So you have Cosby and Koos to blame, err–thank.
When the ugly Christmas sweater became a trend, it had also become a competition. People, both young and old, are actually trying to beat each other by wearing the ugliest Christmas sweater they can find. Parties are held and good times are made. But besides all that, the ugly Christmas sweater has also become a great business. In fact, The Wall Street Journal had even written a few articles about it since it has become a booming business in both traditional and online stores like UglyChristmasSweater.com.
So far, it would seem that the ugly Christmas sweater trend is not ready to leave the world just yet.