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Why are we all wearing ugly sweaters?

Why are we all wearing ugly sweaters?

We are all guilty of it. Every year around December they start popping up in offices, clothes shops, your friends and worst of all, your family. Ugly Christmas Sweaters! But why? Where did this trend come from and more importantly why won't it go away?!?

OK, so I am engaging in a little bit of hyperbole here. To be honest, at Qkids we love Christmas sweaters, the uglier the better. But here in China, it is not very common and we had literally no idea why at this time of year people all across America and Canada seem to don the item in question, seemingly trying to out-do each other in how garish they look. But we had to find out. Here is what we learned.

The start of the ugly sweater trend

Apparently, they started off known as ‘jingle bell sweaters’ back in the 1950s. It probably won't surprise you that this was a cold faced cash grab at the time Christmas was becoming commercialized and people started having money to spend on frivolous things like this. But they didn't really gain traction till around the '80s. We can thank a few high profile actors in famous sitcoms for the mainstream appeal during that time. Sadly more recent events mean we won't be talking about him here, but his influence can't be ignored. But what about now? How did a 50’s clothing item make it big in the '80s and still be making annual waves in 2018!?!

Ugly sweaters in the new millennium

Sometime in the new millennium a wave of self-awareness about just how bad some of these Christmas sweaters can be manifested. But instead of putting people off and killing the trend once and for all, it added new life by riding the wave of vintage nostalgia and irony. Turns out the one thing millennials are not killing is vintage fashion.

Before long this had morphed into ugly sweater parties, with two Canadians lofted as the two pioneers of the trend with their first ugly sweater party in 2002. They still hold one every year, drawing huge numbers of equally badly dressed guests. It wasn’t long before this trend penetrated into corporate culture as a way for companies to let their employees have a little fun around the holiday season.

Ugly Sweaters as a Fashion Statement

Now even big fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana, as well as smaller high street brands like H&M will bring out a signature ugly sweater or two to mark the season. And its a pretty big party foul to not wear one in the office during the build-up to Christmas. It really is the must-have look of the season, regardless of whether you are genuinely celebrating the season, wearing it ironically or just a huge vintage fan who found their sweater in a box of your grandmothers old clothes.

So there you have it, the reason why you have been donning an ugly sweater every year around the winter holiday without knowing why. Feel free to drop this knowledge bomb at your next Christmas party and share your pictures with us of your favorite ugly sweater!

Don't forget to join our Christmas Live on December 23rd, 8:30PM EST. 

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