Ugly sweaters aren’t just for Drake

Bailey Ayres, Sports Editor

Every Thanksgiving, my cousins and I raid our Grandmothers’ attics for vintage Christmas-style sweaters. We do this in search of the perfect ugly sweater for that ugly sweater Christmas party we are invited to every year. I remember when the craze starting in 2010 or 2011. I remember thinking this could not possibly catch on; it would one of those short-term, trendy, creative ideas for a party theme. But I was wrong. It is still a big hit, and has carved a permanent place in holiday traditions.

The sweater craze did not start out of the blue in the 2010s; it’s actually something that’s been around since the ‘80s, according to The Independent, a U.K.-based newspaper. Pop culture had an influence on ugly sweaters. “As Cliff Huxtable on his eponymous ‘80s sitcom, [Bill Cosby’s] uniform of choice was a wooly pullover with questionable color mixing and patterns,” states Allison Berry in a fashion article. “Thanks to Cosby, as well as Chevy Chase in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” these sweaters experienced a resurgence until their popularity faded as the ‘90s began.”

The ugly Christmas sweaters made their way back slowly in the 2000s in movies and TV shows. Sweaters appeared in movies like “Bridget Jones Dairy,” and the classic scene in the first “Harry Potter” movie, where Ron Wesley receives his Christmas jumper with an R on it that his mom made, and there’s one for Harry too with an H on it. That’s when ugly sweater parties first started popping up.

Now sport teams are getting in on the act, promoting their own ugly sweaters. From college sports to the NHL, NFL and other professional sports teams, everyone loves the ugly sweaters. I remember seeing someone walk down State St. wearing an ugly Wisconsin Badgers Christmas sweater. I laughed to myself, but then later that day I discovered that the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild had been selling similar merchandise. It’s a smart marketing move for sports teams to make, too, cashing in on the popularity of the ugly sweater.

Other businesses have been designing ugly sweaters, too. There’s even an ugly sweater in honor of Drake’s new music video “Hotline Bling.” This just shows how very creative ugly sweaters ideas can get.

Ugly sweaters aren’t only Christmas themed. There are ones Hanukkah coming out, and hopefully soon we will see more diverse ugly holiday sweaters pop up.

“Whether or not it constitutes a fashion faux pas, the ugly Christmas sweater rouses an undeniably warm and fuzzy feeling as it conjures up memories of home and childhood,” Berry concludes in her Time article. Whither it’s about nostalgia for childhood or just fun and the creativity, I feel that this tradition is here to stay.