Get your ugly on

PHOTO: Boheme in downtown Davis is a popular place to buy discounted Christmas sweaters.

By Lizzy Meyer, Staff–

As sweater weather approaches, keep your eyes peeled at Davis High for the most confusing and creative December trend; ugly Christmas sweaters, the one fashion trend where tacky gives you bonus points.

The trend began in the early 1980s. In the bright colors and obnoxious designs of the time, the only out of the ordinary part about these sweaters was wearing them after Christmas.

“I think that ugly Christmas sweaters are popular because they are a reminder of the fashion of the ’80s,” sophomore Paige Carlock said.

The ’80s fashion now preserved in the 21st century is considered an ironic fashion, a joke and a justification. “I would say it is because people can use it as an excuse to wear a supergiant cozy thing,” sophomore Juliet Gee said.

Right at the entrance to Boheme, a hip used-clothing store in downtown Davis, you can spot two full racks of ugly sweaters, some tackier than others and some not Christmas-themed at all.

“Some are quite classy,” said Yelena Ivashchenko, owner of Boheme. As long as they’re styled with the 50s in mind and not the tacky 80s, they can be worn when the weather is right according Ivashchenko.

Though some are fashionable and artistic, the new trend seems to be puns and collabs. “A Christmas sweater but with a ‘Game of Thrones’ spin,” Ivashchenko said about a sweater she had seen.

Other holiday-themed clothing popular at Boheme is Budweiser Christmas, leftover t-shirts from a UC Davis Christmas, Halloween and Hanukkah combo party as well as many snowmen.

 “There are so many different styles and designs to choose from which provides a sort of uniqueness to it,” sophomore Alex Herrera said. Most importantly, no two sweaters are identical.

Christmas may be on the 25th, but it is celebrated all throughout December. This could explain why ugly sweaters is a tradition and fashion is unique to this holiday. “I think that we just do not see enough of any other holiday,” Herrera said.

Ivashchenko said the demand for ugly Christmas sweaters is very high. That’s why the consignment store accepts them all year round, unlike most of the clothing they purchase which usually they accept right before they come into season.

Ivashchenko also has to go out of her way to find ugly Christmas sweaters.

“Any time I travel or find a place that sells vintage Christmas sweaters I buy them wholesale,” Ivashchenko said. Sweaters that are handmade or old are especially valuable, fetching higher prices.

Sophomore Sofía Pereira has a ‘Stranger Things’ ugly Christmas sweater. “I love Steve Harrington and this sweater is amazing,” Pereira said about her Christmas sweater which has a Christmas song pun.

But many disagree on whether they are fashionable or just funny. “They are called ugly for a reason,” sophomore Ari Bukowski said.

“I think they are fashionable because it is all about having the confidence to wear one… It is sort of an ironic fashion,” sophomore Paige Jenness said. This irony may serve as a tool to connect teens to these sweaters.

“While I do not believe that they are fashionable, I do think that they are a super fun holiday custom!” Carlock said.

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