National Ugly Sweater Day – December 20, 2019

Fri Dec 20

With an entire day dedicated to ugly sweaters, it’s hard not to want to celebrate by wearing the most gaudy sweater you can find. Every third Friday of December, people from across the world trade their casual garments for something more festive for National Ugly Sweater Day. From the “jingle-bell sweaters” worn lovingly by TV dads, to crazy, light-up sweaters sold just about anywhere, the ugly sweater has come a long way. Whether you find a hidden gem to wear, or you make your own, one’s thing for sure — this holiday will certainly have you laughing all day long!

National Ugly Sweater Day timeline


From Outdated to Mainstream

UglyChristmasSweater.Com is founded and so begins the steady rise to mainstream popularity. Soon other competitors followed, making ugly sweaters easily accessible and once again mass-produced to brighten the season.


Reinventing the Ugly Sweater

The first “ugly-sweater” party is thrown in Vancouver, Canada to raise money for a friend’s cancer treatment. In the years that followed, this party became an annual shindig raising thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish Foundation and inspiring similar celebrations around the world.


Popularity Peaks

Jingle-bell sweaters reach a peak when displayed on the whole family during National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Soon after, it seems ugly sweaters are a thing of the past.


The First Ugly Sweater is Made

The first “ugly sweater” is made under the name “jingle-bell sweaters.” These sweaters are made wildly popular on a family sitcom where the patriarch of the family wears vivid, outlandish versions each episode.

National Ugly Sweater Day Activities

  1. Find an old ugly sweater and make it new again

    Take a cue from the original ugly sweater pioneers and search through your local thrift store for an ugly sweater that is begging for a second chance in the spotlight! From brightly colored sweaters, to ones covered in jingle-bells and more, the opportunities to find a hidden gem are endless.

  2. Make your own ugly sweater

    Bring your friends together to make your own ugly sweaters! Pick up a couple basic sweaters along with some fabric glue, tape, or a hot glue gun. Collect the most extravagant decorations you can find; think tinsel, string lights, or even googly-eyes, and then get to it. Who can make the best (read: ugliest) one?

  3. Give back with an ugly-sweater fundraiser

    What better way to celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day than to help others while doing it? Give back to a cause that is important to you by hosting an ugly-sweater bake sale, an ugly-sweater jog, or even just a simple ugly-sweater party. You’ll have fun and be doing good!

5 Facts About The Ugly Sweater Industry That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. It started as a joke

    A resale retail store noticed an unruly amount of unfortunate sweaters knitted by relatives or ridiculously decorated with festive accoutrements coming in their doors. So, as a joke, they put them up for sale.

  2. Hipsters had something to do with it

    Many people relate the rise of the “ugly sweater” to the rise of the hipster; people who are notorious for making trends out of things on the fringe of culture.

  3. Business is booming

    From 2012 to 2015, the Ugly Sweater industry grew by 200%.

  4. Everyone wants a piece of the pie

    Since the boom, retailers are making their own version of the ugly sweater and resale stores are cashing in on the trend by promoting their finds throughout the holiday season.

  5. You can even shop ugly sweaters with celebrity faces

    From Beyonce to Bill Murray, even celebrities are hopping in on this billion dollar industry by creating ugly sweaters with their faces on them!

Why We Love National Ugly Sweater Day

  1. It’s the one day we can wear something ugly and it actually be “cool”

    Let’s face it, if you waltz into work on any other day wearing an “ugly sweater”, you would be the laughing stock of the water cooler. Save that ugly sweater for National Ugly Sweater Day and well, you’re the man (or woman) of the hour.

  2. They’re incredibly warm and cozy

    Say what you want about ugly sweaters, but the one thing you can’t deny is their incredible warmth and coziness. Wearing one on makes you want to throw on a pair of fuzzy socks and curl up by a fire; hot chocolate included. Best part? This feeling last all day!

  3. There’s an ugly sweater for everyone

    With the ugly sweater industry booming, there’s no better time to hop on the ugly sweater trend than now. From brand new, to do-it-yourself, to second-hand hidden gems, there’s an ugly sweater for every person and every personality. You just have to find it!