The Ugly Christmas Sweater History

It’s that time of year to break out the kindling and heat up the fire place. So warm it up, grab something to eat and drink, and get comfortable as I tell you the story of the ugly Christmas sweater.

Nowadays this winter fashion fad is pervasive. You can pick up one of these “ugly sweaters” at any major store. It used to be that you would have to hunt for a sweater like this, which was part of the fun. You would get a vintage sweater from a family member’s closet, or sort through the thrift store, and show it off at the holiday party. But as with everything else, this small tradition for some has become a commercial money maker for big fashion.

festivus sweater

It may seem like a recent fad, and it is. The Ugly Christmas Sweater Part Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On (what a title), states that there was a noticeable increase in these types of parties around 2001. It’s believed that it started in Vancouver, Canada, but it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact moment the ugly Christmas sweater party came into being.

Within these past few years, brands like H&M, and retailers like Target and Nordstrom are cashing in on the craze with their own purposefully made “ugly sweaters”. Meanwhile, thrift stores like Goodwill are making bank on hipsters, moms, and office workers looking to make a splash at their holiday party with a true ugly sweater.

Ugly Christmas sweaters aren’t just an American thing. The Christmas jumper (as their called in England) is also a hit.

So the question is: Why are they so darn popular? There are a few reasons I can think of. One is our love of holidays and nostalgia. Who doesn’t enjoy popping in one of the older Christmas movies like Frosty the Snowman and remembering how Christmas was as a kid. These sweaters are throwbacks to an earlier time in our lives and many enjoy reminiscing on that.

A second reason is that many of us enjoy dressing up and being ironic. We know these sweaters are ugly…that’s the point! We all wear them to the party and remark on how ugly each others’ is. It’s fun to wear something like that when everyone else is wearing one too.

Another reason could be that people in the US just love clothes and trends. Something too trendy, like suspenders, has yet to catch on because too few people wear them, and many of us aren’t comfortable being that far on the fringes of fashion. But once you start catching coworkers, the guy on the bus, or your best friend wearing something trendy, it soon becomes mainstream and you have to have it. Now that ugly Christmas sweaters are popping up in places like Target, they are now mainstream and therefore ok to wear out. Plus, you don’t want to be the only one at the ugly Christmas sweater party without one!

But be careful on your selection. Those shopping last minute will end up with a store-bought sweater that many others at the party may have. If you really want to stand out, hit up your friends and family members to see if anyone has a real vintage sweater you can borrow. If not, it’s time to stop by the thrift store and start hunting.

Now don that ugly Christmas sweater with pride, it’s the only time of year you can wear it.

From Flats to Fur: Fall Fashion Trends for 2014

When it comes to fashion, accessories play a major role. This blog take a look at what’s hot heading into the fall. From flats to fur, these accessories offer a fresh new look. 


Alexander Wang




Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta



Click here to read the FALL 2014 ACCESSORY TRENDS REPORT 


5 Men’s Fashion Week Street Style Trends

This time of year is perfect for style trends as we are inundated by mens fashion weeks across the world. London, Milan and Paris men’s fashion weeks just wrapped up and this article by Fashion Beans summarizes five trends that the well-dressed men were rocking this 2014 summer fashion season and how you can get the look. 











What Men Should Pack for a Weekend Getaway

During the summer, its always nice to break away from the office routine and the business hours by going on a weekend trip. At Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers, we firmly believe everyone needs a break. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your style with you wherever you may be traveling to. We know packing may seem like a daunting task with the fear of overpacking and under packing; the stress can get to people. Here are a few ways you can relax on a getaway with easy, cool style and the perfect amount of clothes.


While on a weekend getaway, depending on where you are going, it is wise to pack a few pairs of pants even in the summertime. Opt for one pair of jeans and one pair of slim khakis. These both are very versatile pieces that go with just about everything. Wear them to the airport, dinner, or a night out on the town!


One of the most vital pairs of clothing you will need for your summer weekend getaway. Shorts are the trademark of summer, by exchanging your long pants for a charming short is one of the best parts of the season. Be sure to pack one khaki short and one patterned short. Wear these around the hotel, out to lunch or soaking in the sun.


Wearing one is usually optional, but here we have some pointers for you anyway. You will need to pack 3 shirts for your vacation, perfect for the amount of days you will most likely be gone.

  • One is a floral shirt, think beach and relaxed vibes, that you can wear to the beach or on a sunny day.
  • One thin summer sweatshirt, for if it does get a bit chilly, you can wear on a night out.
  • One simple pocket tee, which is great for the airport or traveling. Its easy and will help you cool down.

In addition to these, a simple navy blazer is always excellent to have on hand just in case. This packing list will be sure to give you a memorable and fun weekend getaway over the summer.


Don’t Clash or Crash: Cycling to Work in Style


Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning and groggily making your way to work is enough energy for your morning routine. However, a new craze has come along! Biking to work is now becoming increasingly more popular. People have always biked to work, whether its your environmentally conscious friends or your freakishly fit acquaintances, and others just like to avoid the rush of traffic in the morning hours. For whatever reason you bike to work, there has always been one complaint, “I always have to change my clothes after.” This age old problem has kept people from slipping on their spandex and packing their work clothes for the day.

With the popularity of biking to work at an all time high, a new industry has been created. Suits designed to bike to work and take meetings in. Companies like Parker Dusseau have developed a suit you can bike to work in using Marino Wool-Spandex Blend, a stretchy material. The crtoch has a diamond design instead of a four way seam, providing flexibility and comfort.

Although these suits are pricey, $495 for the jacket and $295 for the pants, it still provides a gateway to new designs and new ways to get into this niche market. So, next time you think about grabbing your bike rather than your keys, don’t hesitate!

NFL Draft 2014 – Fashion Recap

The 2014 NFL Draft did not disappoint. The best part of the Draft is the realization that the NFL season is nearly upon us! But as we know, the Draft is more than about football. The red carpet is rolled out and these men show up in one-of-a-kind custom suits. For more than 20 years, Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers has worked directly with professional athletes including over 100 NFL players and head coaches. So, as you can imagine, I have a vested interest in seeing what the up and coming stars are wearing.


Virginia tackle Morgan Moses poses for photos with his mother Marion Graves upon arriving for the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft


Justin Gilbert made a big statement showing up in a light-colored suit for an evening event — but it without a doubt paid off. Gilbert looks amazing and fresh in his light blue ensemble, and the red accents in his pocket square and tie are the perfect slash of color!


Mike Evans also got lucky with his color combinations. I admire his bravery to mix patterns between shirt and tie.


Southwest Florida’s very own Sammy Watkins kept it simple and classy with his draft-day outfit, and the subtle plaid pattern of his suit made it one of my favorites of the night.


Jadeveon Clowney knew well before the draft that he was going to be holding up a Texans jersey, because that tie matches the his new jersey well. The rest of his accessories are sleek and simple.


CJ Mosley is making a bold choice with the patterned bow-tie and light suit. I’m always happy to see a non-black suit make its way into the sea of traditional mens formal wear.

The Heat is On! How to Dress in Warmer Climates


It is that time of year. The afternoon rain is approaching, the humidity is increasing.. well at least here in Florida it is! I’m not complaining, summer is one of my favorite times of year, but it certainly proposes some challenges for men who like and/or need to wear suits to work everyday. Just thinking of business suits and Florida’s heat can make one sweat, but summer is right around the corner and that’s the reality for Southwest Florida businessmen. Here are some tips on how to stay cool and look cool all at the same time:

The right suit? No sweat

The best choices for business suits in climates like Florida are made of breathable fabrics such as tropical wools and wool/mohair blends that are 120-gauge thread count. These suits wear well, are lightweight and keep their shape. Luxurious Italian cotton and linen suits also are great for staying cool but may require pressing from time to time.

For the evenings, opt for a sport coat made of lightweight wool or a silk-linen blend. These fabrics have a light/lofty feel with a beautiful textured look that is great in either solids or patterns. Another ultra-lightweight option would be a cashmere and silk-blend sport jacket. These jackets wear well and are very comfortable.

Cool leather

A lightweight shoe can make a big difference in keeping you cool and comfortable in tropical climates. Footwear made of Italian calfskin leather is the best choice. The construction of these shoes is lighter in weight and features either a terry cloth or ultra thin lining. In some instances, you can even purchase a shoe with no lining. Also, the structure of these shoes is soft and breathable and is available in a variety of styles, including wingtip, loafer, monk strap and cap toe.