ugly sweater

Mockworthy No More: Why the Ugly Holiday Sweater Is a Must for Your Shop

by • December 8, 2015 • Fashion Accessories, Merchandising + TrendsComments Off on Mockworthy No More: Why the Ugly Holiday Sweater Is a Must for Your Shop2569

Create-your-own holiday sweaters are the rage — and they’re not necessarily fashion-backward. One thing’s for sure: having a good sense of humor is also good for business.

Once upon a time, ugly Christmas sweaters were the exclusive right of dorky dads, glam-mas, and hipster doofuses. Now they’re bigger than the snuggie — and better yet, they don’t even have to be Christmassy. Thanks to Seth Rogen’s turn in “The Night Before,” non-denominational iconography is trending like woah. And not just menorot and dreidlech: cats, sports, and Star Wars are beginning to occupy prime real estate on party-going attire.

ugly christmas sweater

And why shouldn’t they, when your “ugly” sweater could look like this?

Attention, online sellers: according to Terapeak Trends, the annual market for novelty sweaters is $1 million on eBay alone  — with around 40,000 items sold every year. Some may credit Jimmy Fallon’s charmingly sophomoric “Tonight Show” antics with the trend’s rebirth, but it’s actually been très branché for more than a decade.

Last year, the Atlantic proclaimed holiday sweaters to be “still ugly, but no longer ironic.” So you don’t have to be the office wiseguy or a Williamsburg barista to pull off an amazing feat of sweaterfication this holiday season.

Get your ugly (read: “awesome”) on at ASD Market Week. Your free ticket awaits.

Here’s how to eschew the stigma and construct the perfect sweater statement (with or without the irony). After all, whoever thought a poncho could be sexy?

Embrace the Oddity


No need to defend the trend’s legitimacy: it’s Polyvore-approved. Rest assured, romper haters, this fad’s got staying power. So why shouldn’t your e-commerce shop capitalize on its popularity? Sweater-chic is basically the new Boho-chic.

Store-Bought vs. Make-Your-Own

Depending on your holiday party schedule, you may or may not have time to cook up your own devastatingly brilliant creation. Never fear, sweater making is a vast retail subculture. Novices should browse FunQi for inventive apparel options.

‘Tis the season for handmade goods. Check out The Insider’s guide here.

Complete the Look (But Don’t Overdo It)

ugly sweater accessories

Elf hats. Sleigh bell stockings. Mistletoe headbands. Need we say more? These talismans of erstwhile pagan rituals are the true meaning of Christmas, and we recommend Forum Novelties to help get the party started.

The Takeaway

Ugly sweaters are no longer cringetastic. They bring together multifarious cultural ideas and traditions, they have the rare and wonderful ability to be simultaneously highbrow and lowbrow, and they’re more fun than a bowl of spiked eggnog. So what are you waiting for? Personalize your very own non-denominational, on-trend holiday sweater today! (No seriously, you may need to do it right now while supplies last.)

Like following cool trends and feeling inspired? Get your free ticket here to the next ASD Market Week!  ASD Market Week is a B2B merchandise trade show and retail education conference in one (with over 90 free retail strategy sessions!). For professional retailers and online sellers only. 

By Haas Regen

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