Skip to main content

National Ugly Sweater Day Is December 17, 2021

VP (Vynyl Pops) likes to collect geeky and funky stuff like Funko Pop! figures. She has a hand boiler!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day Is December 17, 2021

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day Is December 17, 2021

The Who, What, and Why of Ugly Sweaters

This holiday season you are bound to be invited to an Ugly Sweater party, encouraged to wear an Ugly Sweater to work or participate in an Ugly Sweater Contest. You might even be the host of one of these parties. Ugly Sweaters have dominated the winter holiday season for years and there appears to be no end in sight. If you’re curious about the history of the infamous Ugly Sweater, we’ve put together the who, what, where, when and why, of the odd tradition and compiled some ideas of how you can decorate your Ugly Sweater.

What Is An Ugly Sweater?

The Ugly Sweater usually consists of a Christmas, Hanukkah, or winter-themed sweater that is considered tacky, gaudy, or just downright unpleasing to look at. Ugly Sweaters typically feature a variety of silly and tactless embellishments including popular characters like Rudolph and Santa, and as much tinsel, pom-poms, bells, and candy canes that the sweater can fit.

Brand Names That Have An Ugly Sweater:

  • Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
  • Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
  • Lays Snacks
  • White Castle Hamburgers (Sliders)
  • Dunkin' (Donuts)
  • Hefty Party Cups
  • Double Stuff Oreo
  • Popeye's Chicken
  • Red Lobster
  • Converse has sweater theme sneakers
  • Nütrl Vodka
ugly-sweater-day-is-december-17th

Why Wear An Ugly Sweater? Because It's FUN!

Today, you can find Ugly Sweaters from almost all mainstream retailers, and a plethora of how-to guides online to make your Ugly Sweater. So why are Ugly Sweaters so popular? Most people attribute the popularity of Ugly Sweaters to the sheer fun of the event. Dressing up in a garish outfit to celebrate the season is fun! Ugly Sweaters are also fun to locate.

Today, you can purchase one from most retailers, or if you are a fan of DIYing, you can make your own. If you’re looking for the most unique and authentic option, you should look to your local thrift stores to pick up your Ugly Sweater for the season.

ugly-sweater-day-is-december-17th

When And Where Did Ugly Sweaters Begin?

The first iterations of Ugly Sweaters came about in the 1950s, as the commercialization of the holiday season began. Originally called “Jingle Bell Sweaters” the idea didn’t initially take off.

Thanks to the popularity of Christmas comedies in the 1980s where goofy characters, think Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the popularity of what we consider Ugly Sweaters began.

Fast forward to the year 2002, and what is widely considered the first official Ugly Sweater party was held in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Commodore Ballroom. Co-founders of the Commodore’s annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Partyhave even trademarked the phrase, and continue to throw the party every year with proceeds benefiting the Make a Wish Foundation.

By 2014, Google trends showed a huge uptick in searches related to ugly Christmas sweaters. Today, Ugly Sweaters are synonymous with reindeer, the Grinch, and holiday cheer.

My favorite Ugly Christmas Sweater is this DIY tree

My favorite Ugly Christmas Sweater is this DIY tree

Who Should Wear An Ugly Sweater?

The sheer accessibility of Ugly Sweaters makes it easy for anyone to get involved in the trend. While you can purchase an Ugly Sweater easily, it’s more fun to decorate your own. I recommend scouring your local thrift store for a great base. Look for a sweater that can already be deemed an ugly sweater, or look for an option in a holiday color such as cream or white, red, green, or blue. From there, you can add embellishments to make the sweater as ugly as you can.

The most popular sweaters include some holiday imagery, including snowmen, Santa, reindeer, presents, or Christmas trees. The best sweaters include 3D options like tinsel, bows, bells, antlers, and even actual Christmas lights. The more attention-grabbing and outlandish, the better.

You can find plenty of inspiration from ugly sweaters online and recreate them yourself by raiding your decoration stock or visiting your local craft store.

Remember, Ugly Sweaters can be recycled year after year or donated to your local thrift store for someone else to luckily land upon!

Who?  Everyone can wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater!

Who? Everyone can wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater!

How To Celebrate Ugly Sweater Day

Here's a list of fun ideas to help you celebrate ugly sweater day this year!

  1. Have An Ugly Sweater Contest
  2. Have A Grab Bag Exchange Or A White Elephant Exchange

Give Out The Ugliest Sweater Prizes:

  • Most Original Ugly Sweater
  • Best Couple (Ugliest Couple?)
  • Most Likely To Get Arrested
  • Tackiest Ugly Sweater

Play Some Christmas Games:

Play The Ugly Sweater Game

This game is new to me, but here's how to play The Ugly Sweater Game:

  • As they arrive give each guest an unbreakable holiday ornament they can hang from their ugly sweater.
  • If anyone says "holiday" or "Christmas", anyone who hears them can "steal" their ornament.
  • The one with the most ornaments at the end of the party wins!

Whether you will make your own or purchase an Ugly Sweater, the opportunity to dress silly and laugh with friends has become a popular staple for holiday seasons.

You can make it a yearly tradition to gather together with friends and family and have fun in the weeks before Christmas with this hysterical theme. The family that dresses up together, has fun together. Enjoy my friends, and Merry Christmas to all!

Ugly Sweater Themes For Inspiration!

  • Happy Birthday
  • The Nutcracker
  • An Advent Calendar
  • Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  • Elf
  • Tinsel And Ornaments
  • Ugly Ties
  • Two-For Christmas Sweater (two people wear one sweater)
  • Hair Chest
Anime Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Anime Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Christmas Sweaters And Anime Were Made For Each Other

Look out World - It's ugly Christmas sweater season and the Anime World is all over it. Take a look at these popular Anime and Manga series that have their own ugly sweaters:

  • Dio Brando (Jo Jo's Bizarre Adventure)
  • Goku Kid
  • Luffy
  • Pokemon Snorlax
  • Joseph Joestar
  • Haikyuu
  • Ken Kaneki
  • Aizawa
  • Tony Tony
  • Roronoa Zoro Swords
  • My Hero Academia
  • One Piece
  • All Might
  • Sailor Moon
  • Light Yagami
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Attack On Titan

It Ain't Just Ugly Christmas Sweaters Anymore

How about decorating your hair and your beard with Christmas Baubles and Beard Ornaments

How about decorating your hair and your beard with Christmas Baubles and Beard Ornaments

Related Articles