How the "ugly Christmas sweater" conquered America

Since mothers would create the looks for their children, the style became a cliché. It was a requisite, if unexciting, holiday present that was never on anyone’s wish list, but was somehow always gifted year after year.

By the 1980s, dorky film and TV dads such as Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) and Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) wore chunky, colorful sweaters for all of their comedic misadventures. Chase, who never met a pratfall he did not like, further associated the jumper with clumsy, but lovable, behavior.

In 2014 Koos van den Akker, the late Dutch designer who created Cosby’s sweaters, told CNN that the design “(was) not all that popular at first, but they became more popular later on, because suddenly people would watch the show and say, ‘What the fuck was that?’”