Ugly sweaters with a bigger meaning


Lydia Popple

Ugly sweaters were all the rage the December 12 Trojan Gymnastics Meet.

Adam Langfield, Writer

‘Tis the season for parties, gifts, friends, family, and sweaters. For decades, the “ugly Christmas sweater” has been a popular holiday style to wear to parties, work, and lounge around the house during the holidays. Many people own at least one of these festive sweaters, but they really have no idea as to where they originated, and why they have become so popular.

The sweater actually originated in the 19th century, but not many know why they were created. The first, or what is perceived to be the first, ugly Christmas sweater was actually made of left-over scraps of cloth from an 1800’s clothing producer. The sweaters consisted of cloth scraps and various colors of dyed wool yarn – I’m sure the picture is very vivid in your head, and what you are picturing is truly very ugly. These sweaters were worn as cheaper alternatives to their “perfectly-pieced” counterparts during the cold winter months that we Minnesotans are so familiar with. Eventually, these sweaters became popular and were worn more and more during the winter months.

As trends evolved, people no longer desired to look “pieced-together.” Sweaters became more versatile in their pairing capabilities, but the bright and vibrant ugly sweaters stayed popular around the holidays as a way to bring happiness and color to gatherings. As most of us have seen, the job of an ugly Christmas sweater is just that: to bring a smile to the face of any passerby. 

As the holiday season commences, I encourage you to bring joy to all others you see and to have a very happy holiday season with those you hold dear.