The Story Behind the Sweaters

Allyssa Gauer, Columnist

Over the last decade or so, the holiday season just hasn’t been complete without an ugly Christmas sweater. As soon as Halloween ends the stores are filled with ornaments, decorations, and most importantly, cute and cuddly sweaters– well, at least, they used to be cute. Recently, there are lights, bows, pictures, and patterns of all shapes and sizes embedded on these sweaters. More and more parties are themed as an ugly sweater party. And they have become a popular holiday DIY. So all this holiday spirit got me thinking, where did these hideous Christmas sweaters originate?

There are some mysteries behind the creation of the ugly sweater, most of them relating to Bill Cosby. Time states that there was a sweater invented by Bill Cosby that displayed some wild features. On this sweater was a combination of colored patterns and shapes, much like today; however, this was during the 1980s, and the trend quickly faded. Cosby wore the sweater for “The Cosby Show,” a comedy production designed for entertainment, according to ThoughtCo.

Although Cosby was the first to make the trend popular, Complex explains that ugly Christmas sweaters were actually first constructed in the 1950s. Embellished with bells and other holiday materials, these original sweaters were known as “jingle bells sweaters,” and lived up to their title.

Another theory is that the perspective of ugly vs. pretty sweaters just changed throughout the years. This was also implied in ThoughtCo. Looking at the fashion evolution from the 1960s all the way to the 2000s, there is a drastic difference in clothing and accessories. So, ThoughtCo hints that these sweaters were at one point designed to look appealing and pretty, but as time increased, the sweaters were just considered too much, and then ugly. Decorations also advanced, allowing new patterns and materials to cover a sweater with.

Today, students, kids, and adults all dress up in their unique, one-of-a-kind sweaters every winter to celebrate Christmas and the holiday season. Thursday, Dec. 21, Horizon Honors is hosting their annual Christmas Sweater competition, right before winter break. So make sure to bring your ugliest sweaters to win this event!