The iconic ugly Christmas sweater made its first debut in the 1950s, along with the mass commercialization of Christmas. Formerly known as "Jingle Bell Sweaters," they had distinct Christmas designs such as a bell, Christmas trees, moose, Santa's elves, etc. Despite the misleading name, they were never intended to be depicted as ugly, but rather cheerful and artistic. They had a limited appearance in media until the 1980's when tv actors popularized them, by the end of the decade, it became common for actors to wear them on Christmas specials.
However, by the 90's the style started to diminish until the character Mark Darcy got shamed for wearing an entirely out of place Christmas sweater in the 2001 film "Bridget Jone's Diary." Later in 2002, Vancouver natives Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch launched the very first Ugly Christmas Sweater party, and the idea quickly spread throughout the U.S with the rest of the world shortly after. They first started as simple parties and then transitioned into massive events, many of which supported local charities. By 2007, the demand for ugly Christmas sweaters sky-rocketed, and the fashion trend slowly brought itself back into the media. From there, it even made its way into high-end fashion.
In 2010, Italian designer Riccardo Tisci debuted a series of angora pullovers with Givenchy. Then in 2011, Dolce & Gabbana unveiled its fall collection of ugly Christmas sweaters. The trend soon spread to H&M, Bloomingdales, Macy's, NBA, and even went so far as becoming fall and winter runway fashion. Social Media also largely impacted the return of the sweaters to the extent of making a national holiday to commemorate the bizarre trend. December 21 is known as the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day worldwide and is you can celebrate it by showing off the goofiest sweater you've got hiding in your wardrobe.