The Return of the Ugly Sweater

by Mackenzie M. | September 20th, 2012 | Men's Shopping

After returning to my American university after a stint studying in Japan, I noticed some pronounced new fashion trends that have taken twenty-something’s by storm this year. Aside from women wearing tights as pants, and guys wearing an uncomfortable amount of tank tops with animals on them, this autumn, ugly sweaters are making a comeback. Girls somewhat indulge in this trend, but college men have been buying up ugly sweaters by the dozen.

Out of all of the bizarre fashion trends of this generation, this one happens to be one of the strangest. Although, I have to admit, I am slowly becoming a fan.

To fully understand this trend, one must know the definition of an ‘ugly’ sweater. Think back to the terrible Christmas sweaters of the early 1990’s. Also remember your dad’s old formal winter sweatshirts from the 1980’s. In those days, the trend leaned toward crazy patterns and colors woven into a loose-fitting knit sweater. As the late 1990’s turned into the 2000’s, ugly sweaters slowly went out of style and flooded resale shops.

In fact, my own step-dad keeps at least twenty of these fantastically vintage sweaters in a dingy hall closet. Although these sweaters have seen the occasional day out for 80’s day in school, or a throwback dance night, the trend was thought to have died with the chia pet and VHS tapes. However, in the past few months, fashion designers and major urban retailers have once again started to market these woolen monstrosities.

While many were skeptical to the idea at first, after seeing peers sporting these vintage sweaters, many young men have been won over to the trend. From suburban Chicago to the deep South, ugly sweaters are everywhere. This trend does arise with some benefits for those shopping on a budget. To find the perfect ugly sweater to debut this fall, a simple search of the basement or attic can easily prove fruitful.

Also, before buying the new designer versions, check out thrift and resale stores where these sweaters are found for as little as one dollar. Keep an eye out for interesting colors, mesmerizing patterns, and soft fabrics. To stay true to the most extreme sect of the trend, sweaters with cats, Christmas, or galaxy patterns are the most revered.

For those with a slightly bigger budget, Urban Outfitters, several Internet websites, and even upscale retailer J. Crew have all debuted a variety of sweaters with vintage colors and patterns. A great place to shop for moderately priced sweaters is ustrendy. com. Here the college-aged man can find the perfect crazy Christmas sweater, complete with deer and traditional Norwegian patterns, for only $40.

Although viewed as a little strange by some, this men’s fashion trend often gets favorable reviews. Along with the plethora of other recycled fashion trends that are in right now, crazy, ugly sweaters are by far the most innovative and interesting. So, as the temperatures start to cool this fall, be sure to rummage for the perfect zany, colorful, and imaginative sweater your attic has to offer.

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