Ugly Sweater, the new fashion kitsch

2 minutes read

During your next Christmas dinner, will you beat your great-grandparents for the ugliest family sweater? Over the past

few years, the classic holiday tradition has been shaken by the Ugly Christmas sweater trend. Before deciding if you’re going to love or hate this new ritual, follow me to explore and understand it.

  1. Concept

Do you remember Christmas family dinner when you were a kid? Do you remember wearing this old fashion, ugly and uncomfortable homemade sweater from grandma? At the time you had no choice but proudly (?) wear it to honor grandma during the endless family reunion… Today you have the choice! This new tradition is coming back but ugly is becoming fun and cute.


The origins of this come back to life ritual is uncertain. Some would say it emerged again in 2002 in Vancouver. Since then, it spreads worldwide. The concept? To wear an ugly sweater for the Holiday season.

  1. How to get the ugliest Christmas Sweater?

For the ugliest and most original Christmas sweater, I recommend visiting your grandma and shop into her wardrobe! Joke aside, explore thrift store for unique pieces or do it yourself with ornament bells, lights, etc. The more Santa, trees, colors, glitter, sequins, snowmen, the merrier 😉


Of course, the clothing industry ran into this new business opportunity and offers large and wide choices in stores or online (Target, Amazons, Macy’s, etc.). The trend now is to have a cute or beautiful or funny sweater. It also has been extended to other clothing products like costumes, ties, and shoes. Even sports teams and licensed brands developed it like Star Wars, the Lakers, and Nike to name a few of them. Choices are just endless.

  1. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, lets the party begins!

The third Friday of December each year is the official National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. This day rings the bell for the ugly sweater party season! At work, with your family and friends, many parties are organized. Often there is a competition to determine the ugliest one. In addition to official contests, there are plenty of runs and walks around the country too.

My coworkers and myself during my 1st National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Since I bought one ugly sweater!

I participated in a few of them since I live in LA. Doubtful at the beginning, I’m now enjoying the fun and festive holiday’s spirit behind it.


  1. The Ugliest Sweater World Championship

Renowned for its chic and elegant fashion, France hosted the 1st Ugliest Sweater World Championship! On November 25th, 2017, 600 participants competed in Albi, in the South of France. This crazy idea arose when organizers looked for promoting their Vintage Fare. It was a success and a lot of fun!

Albi (Tarn), December 1st, 2018. Pascal Marty won the 2d world championship. Photo credit: La Dépêche du Midi/Émilie Cayre
  1. A tradition extended to world’s animals

Ugly sweater reaches pets’world too. For many stores, it became one of the top 5 best sellers of the Holiday season! Events are rising in the United States with ugly sweater dog contest like in Anaheim (California), 5k run and walk, and parties like the one hosted by the Chicago Party Animals.

Are you enthusiast by this new fun Holidays tradition? Leave a comment or a photo with your ugliest sweater to join the discussion.

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