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Christmas sweaters and reasons of popularity

Christmas sweaters and reasons of popularity The origin of the tradition of wearing Christmas sweaters (collage: RBC-Ukraine)

Christmas symbols include not only the Christmas tree, festive table, and houses adorned with garlands but also the warm sweaters in green, red, or white colors featuring winter motifs such as snowmen, reindeer, candies, or bells. This attire quickly became an integral part of Christmas celebrations, according to CNN.

The history of the Christmas sweater

Christmas-themed sweaters began to emerge in the 1950s, possibly as a sign of the increasing commercialization of the holiday. Initially called Jingle Bell Sweaters, they were not as vibrant as today's versions and did not become popular on the market, although some television characters wore them.

It was only in the 1980s that this item became mainstream, thanks to pop culture and the comedy National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Sweaters with snowflakes were not considered cool, but they radiated a festive mood, and people wore them to office parties and on Christmas.

The resurgence was short-lived. In the 1990s, the popularity of Christmas sweaters faded. At the turn of the new millennium, this item was considered a real fashion faux pas.

Think of the 2001 film "Bridget Jones's Diary," where Mark Darcy (played by Colin Firth) returns to greet Bridget (Renee Zellweger) at a family party wearing an unattractive knitted garment featuring a giant red-nosed reindeer. Bridget is horrified.

З оленями, сніжинками і дзвіночками: звідки взялися "огидні" різдвяні светри і чому вони популярні

A frame from the movie Bridget Jones's Diary (screenshot)

In the early 2000s, Christmas sweaters were given new life as themed parties began to emerge. The first such party took place in Vancouver in 2002.

Over the next decade, knitted attire transformed into a new holiday tradition. Fast-fashion giants like Topshop and high-end retailers like Nordstrom started filling their shelves and websites with vibrant designs each holiday season.

In 2007, Stella McCartney released an alpine sweater featuring a polar bear. Givenchy followed suit in 2010, and Dolce & Gabbana the following year.

The year 2012 marked a turning point in the full embrace of ugly sweaters. The British charity Save the Children launched Christmas Jumper Day, a fundraising campaign encouraging people to wear their most festive sweaters.

The Telegraph dubbed this item essential this season, while The New York Times reported on ugly Christmas sweater runs and bars and specialty online stores thriving in the United States. During this time, knitted items featured more tinsel, bells, and quirky details.

З оленями, сніжинками і дзвіночками: звідки взялися "огидні" різдвяні светри і чому вони популярні

The Royal Family in Christmas sweaters (photos: from open sources)

Celebrities, from Taylor Swift to Kanye West, have also embraced this trend. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon even started a regular segment called 12 Days of Christmas Sweaters.

First Lady Jill Biden showcased festive White House decorations in one of the segments. The rise of social media further elevated the status of the ugly sweater.

Experts explain that Christmas can be a stressful time, and celebrating it in humorous sweaters can help lighten the mood and bring some smiles.

Modern stores also offer a wide range of Christmas sweaters in various styles and designs.