THE AWFULNESS OF ‘80S CHRISTMAS SWEATERS IS STILL CELEBRATED DECADES LATER. SO HOW CAN WE EMBRACE THE UNFASHIONABLE FUN WHEN WE LIVE IN THE TROPICS?
One of the downsides to having year-round sunny skies is hot to sweltering Christmases that make it far too toasty to fully embrace the tradition of the ugly Christmas sweater. Wait, you haven’t heard of this phenomenon?
Ugly Christmas sweaters first came into being in the 1980s.
Canada, the United States and Europe could claim to have originated the trend but none will own up to it.
Needless to say, the combo of snow, sweaters and craft caused an explosion of tastelessness that still resonates today.
The sweaters weren’t considered “ugly” back then and, while they weren’t exactly the height of fashion, they were favourites of crafty mothers who thought them “festive” or “cute”, and a lot of time and effort was spent knitting them from scratch or using puffy paints, embroidery, applique, glue guns and any other decorative means possible to embellish a sweater for themselves, their partners and their victims, aah, children, to wear during the festive season and for the annual family portrait.
This continued until the decade of ugly fashion ended.
Suddenly, the realisation that Christmas sweaters were not only garish but UGLY came as a shock.
They were relegated to op shops, storage units and the backs of wardrobes, and it wasn’t until the rise of social media drew people’s attention to the phenomenon of “Awkward Family Photos” that the Ugly Christmas Sweater came back, this time with irony.
Awkward Family Photos are badly posed family portraits of not particularly attractive people from the 1980s (thanks to their hair and fashion sense – or lack of) that, thanks to the internet, were easily shared.
Those who took part in Awkward Family Photo Shoots were also likely to have an Awkward Family Christmas Photo, wearing matching Ugly Christmas sweaters.
If you were unlucky enough to be roped into an Awkward Ugly Christmas Sweater portrait, your shame is likely to now be the cause of much hilarity for the internet’s global audience. • Cowboys fans can get into the festive spirit with the men’s ugly sweater (far left), nrlshop.com • Aussie sports and swimwear label The Ugly Xmas Rashie Company makes Ugly Christmas sweater-themed rashies (left), visit uglyxmasrashie.com.au • fans headed somewhere cool for Christmas will love GOT-themed Ugly Christmas Sweaters, visit gameofthroneshq.com • Anyone else travelling to icy climes will fall in love with the complete tackiness of the ugly Christmas sweaters, suits and dresses available at MyUglyChristmasSweater.com