Ugly Sweater Overload?


By Molly Freeman

Photo courtesy of

In recent years, the ugly holiday sweater has seen a rise in popularity. Helping the ugly sweater inch into the fashion stratosphere were ironic ugly sweater parties (presumably thrown by hipsters and sarcastic college students across the country).

At first, attendees of these parties raided thrift shops, their parents’ closets, or their grandparents’ attics for the necessary attire. But recently, fashion retailers–both online and in the physical stores–have jumped on the ugly sweater train and started producing their own purposely-ugly clothes. These sweaters can be Christmas-themed, Hanukkah-themed, or just generically wintery.

However, the ugly sweaters, once reserved for hipsters or hipster-types, have gone sensationally mainstream. Not only can you now buy an ugly sweater styled after your favorite hockey team, men can also purchase holiday ugly sweater patterned suits.

In fact, if you don’t want to purchase anything–which is completely understandable as it appears these types of sweaters are redefining the term “ugly”–you can rent tacky holiday garments for the night of the party. Rent the Runway, a company that loans designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of their retail price, now offers a wide selection of ugly sweaters.

The popularity of ugly sweaters may be an affront to those that take fashion seriously, but it also gives adults (especially those who are new to being an adult) a chance to be silly. Is a New York Rangers ugly sweater or a red-and-green Christmas tree patterned suit ridiculous? Absolutely. But why can’t we be a little ridiculous and festive at this time of year?

Certainly, the ugly sweater trend will die down (perhaps even in the next few years as we seem to be reaching overload status), but until it does, you might as well join in on the fun.