• We hope you enjoy our final edition of The Wred Feather Newspaper for the 2023-24 School Year!

The Wred Feather

The Student News Site of Wredling Middle School

The Wred Feather

The Wred Feather

What is the History Behind Ugly Sweaters?


When you think of ugly sweaters you may think of a knitted sweater made with love by an elderly relative… or now that they’ve become so popular, you may think of the ones you can buy at the store. You don’t have to look hard to find Holiday sweaters in colors such as red, white, or green, made with questionable fabric. Pom-poms, glitter, string, hanging lights, and even a holiday cow wearing a hat can be found on these sweaters. But how did this even start? How did ugly sweaters become such a phenomenon? 

Our nation has been known to wear ugly sweaters since the 1950’s. However, these sweaters weren’t common until the 1980s when a popular television sitcom, The Cosby Show, featured these sweaters in their weekly episodes.

Clark Griswald wearing a Christmas Ugly Sweater

In the 1989 film, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation Clark Griswald (Dad and main character) was seen in several scenes wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. This was just the beginning of a tradition that took over worldwide. 

From the 1900s-2000, ugly sweaters started to become gag gifts. From 2010-2011 sales for ugly sweaters nearly rose 600%.

Taylor Swift wearing an ugly Christmas sweater

Ugly sweaters had made it to the top 10 most celebrated traditions of Christmas. Celebrities started to be seen wearing ugly sweaters which caused all their fans to feel the need to wear them as well. During this time ugly sweater contests started to become popular as well. Everyone was rushing to the store to buy an ugly sweater and trying to beat the other competitors. In 2012 ugly sweaters became a season MUST HAVE. On top of the 600% they made in 2011, it rose again another 54%. In 2019, 95% of sweaters were made of plastic and were only worn once. People who supported the economy urged others to swap, re-wear, or buy second-hand sweaters. Because these sweaters were only worn during the holiday season not much use was put into the sweater itself. 

Though ugly sweaters have had a chaotic past, they are still an important part of our history. They might not be the most stylish attire but they definitely will get some laughs out of those who mean it. So everyone reading this article go to the store and buy yourself an ugly sweater, no one is going to judge you. It’s Christmas time, It’s the holiday season, so make it count.


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About the Contributor
Haileigh Prill
Haileigh Prill, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I am Haileigh Prill, the editor-in-chief of the Wredhawk News. I started this newspaper last year with another student and Mr.Loversky. I am very proud to be releasing these papers to you guys.  I am an 8th grader, pod 8-3. My email is [email protected]

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    Hannah PetersonJan 8, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    Love this article, Haileigh! Very well written!!