As Christmas approaches here, you’ll find more than candy canes and lights gracing the scene. It’s also the season for a steadily growing, yet highly unlikely fashion trend of the ugly sweater. Once simply a funny party idea involving a vintage hunt for the ugliest pullover in your aunt’s closet, brand new sweaters can now be found in nearly every department store chain in the country. Sometimes bizarre and often hilarious, these garish garments started gaining steam around the turn of this century and have moved on to become a true holiday tradition. After this coming out of the closet, recent ugly sweater parties have become more of a DIY event that requires a bit more creativity in order to win the contest. Showing up to the same party in the same frock is never a good thing, but it’s particularly weird when it happens to be the same ugly sweater.
This is a doodlewash of an ugly Christmas sweater that I purchased at Urban Outfitters a few years ago. Though I know it was meant to be part of the ugly sweater trend, I found it rather cute. Granted, it is rather over-the-top and the nipple clouds aren’t really helping matters much, but who couldn’t smile seeing Santa enjoying a well-earned skiing holiday. At least, it sort of looks like a tiny Saint Nick. For all I know it could just be a strange gnome of some kind. Which would be even better, because then you could wear this little number well into January, extending its usefulness. I actually bought this on clearance, as it must not have been very popular, and then only wore it once. After pulling it back out again for this sketch, I made a mental note to don it once again at some point this season. Ugly sweaters need love too.
As with anything that becomes trendy, it gets more and more difficult each year to know when someone is in on the joke or just missing a bit of fashion sense. Either way, ugly sweaters bring a lot of fun and joy to the holiday season. And it’s somehow comforting to know that the holidays are one time of year where you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing. Just close your eyes and grab anything with a bit of red and green that you find in your closet and walk proudly out the door. Whether you’ve just made yourself look festive or have indeed achieved the truly ugly, you can be confident in the fact that you’re celebrating the season in the current style. Another happy holiday season, made a little happier with just a bit of help from the ugly christmas sweater.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!