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The “Ugly” Christmas Sweater Trend

December 15, 2011

Not that they are necessarily ugly……….

I do enjoy the mocking and ridiculing that is taking place in this current generation of 20 and early 30–something year olds.

In the 1980s, haughty white women wore similar Christmas sweaters (and snooty white identified women). White women at white collar work, PTA mothers, teachers, etc all strutted around with their little Christmas sweater as if it was handmade lace made by blind nuns under duress, during the French Revolution.

I was young and struggling in the 1980s and could not imagine having a Christmas sweater for the simple fact that such a sweater was a luxury. First, they were somewhat pricey. Second, they could only be worn during the Christmas season. If I had the cash to buy a sweater, it would have to be one that I could utilize in January and February as well.

Nevertheless, today something made me question my initial acceptance of this new meme of wearing the “Ugly” Christmas sweater. I thought, “Okay, they are mocking the archetypal woman [their mothers] of yesteryear who used to wear such sweaters, seriously and with a purpose.  Then I thought, aren’t they now also sort of like those women.” There is something there. I cannot quite put my finger on it. It is as if mocking is the new haughty. As if you have to be privilege in the first place in order to mock.   Do you have the money to search thrift stores for “Ugly” Christmas sweaters? Do you have the money to waste a perfectly good solid colored sweater by decorating it with Christmas appliqué that you purchased at Wal-mart and/or fabric stores?  Some Christmas appliqué  are priced as high as $10.00 apiece. Everyone knows an “Ugly” Christmas sweater cannot be officially “Ugly” until it is adorned with at least six Christmas appliqués.

I want to feel the fun in it, especially when I see women that I like participating in the event and having fun. But, something doesn’t feel right about the whole thing. It is like the 20-30-somethings are wearing the “Ugly” Christmas sweaters for the same reason their mothers did but have found a way to camouflage [mitigate?] the extravagance in doing so.

And, it does not take much prodding to get men to join in on the fun as well.

I guess, I just don’t think the joke is that funny.

  1. GallusMag permalink
    December 15, 2011 5:08 pm

    Irony is the new haughty.

    Full disclosure: I have the BEST xmas sweater evahhhhhhhhhhh. And it only cost me a dollar. But it still smells faintly of mildew years later. It’s completely handmade- a work of art that someone labored intensely to make. Come to think about it where did I put that damn thing? I hope the moths didn’t get it.
    I had no idea I was so trendy!

  2. la redactora permalink
    December 15, 2011 9:23 pm

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the hippest of them all?

    I am surprised that Christmas sweaters were ever considered “with it.” Because I have always seen them on older women, or people who did not have a clue/could not afford to have one. And there was always some snarkass little loser in the corner, chuckling about their sweaters.

    I know I have said this before, but hipsters are a plague upon the earth.

    • December 15, 2011 10:30 pm

      I am not saying the Christmas sweaters were ever in as in for the “It” girls. But, for the women, families who called themselves somebody and was quick to turn their noses up at less fortunate people, they were most certainly in. Not quite redneck chic, but between redneck chic, Suburban soccer mom, and all around “We put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and would never think about leaving our lights on our house until Valentine’s Day” crowd.

  3. la redactora permalink
    December 15, 2011 11:24 pm

    The American class system, and its corresponding archetypes and symbols, is one of the most confusing social systems on the planet. That’s all I can say.

  4. December 16, 2011 4:34 pm

    Hipster irony, it is nerafrious and sneaky.

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