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Ugly Sweaters from the 80s

Ugly 80s Sweaters Montage
You may want to cover your eyes before viewing this post! Prepare yourself for some very ugly sweater pictures that we've plucked from the 1980s - you have been warned!

Original black and purple women's 80s sweater
An original 80s sweater
1980s Multi-coloured Pattern Jumper with Matching Leg Wamers
80s Patterned Jumper with matching Leg Warmers
There can't be anyone who lived through the 1980s that didn't wear an ugly sweater at some point. This was an 80s fashion craze that was unforgettable for all the wrong reasons, and my memories of oversized, mohair jumpers with ghastly clashing colours and geometric patterns have scarred me for life! The first example at the top of this post is actually pretty tame compared to some of the other attire on this page. It has geometric influences, for sure, but I actually quite like black and purple.

Now, that multi-coloured pattern jumper on the cover of the 80s brochure (above) by Cleckheaton is dire enough on its own, so why on Earth would you want to wear matching leg warmers as well? That poor girl!

1980s Jarol knitting pattern - family sweaters

Jarol knitting pattern. Please don't go out in those or I'll call the fashion police!

Original 80s Pattern Jumper

I'm left speechless by this. Well, almost. It's atrocious! Just why would anyone choose to wear that?

Machine knitted 80s geometrical pullover

A machine knitted, geometrical disaster with a design that looks like a lopsided factory.

1980s hand knit chunky sweater for women

A chunky, hand-knitted affair. Just what was the idea of those crosses?

Vintage 80s Knitting Pattern for Girls Bobble Jumpers
Vintage 80s knitting pattern for girls bobble jumpers
Oh dear! Adults wearing hideous jumpers is bad enough, but why did we have to make our kids suffer, too?

80s knitting pattern for bobble jumper and cardigan by Emu
80s Bobble Jumper and Cardigan Double Knitting Pattern
It seems that we couldn't get enough bobbles during the 80s as this double knitting pattern by Emu shows.

St. Michael (Marks & Spencer) patterned 80s jumper
St, Michael patterned wool jumper
Back in the eighties you would have found jumpers like this on display in Marks & Spencer. I know that abstract patterns were fashionable, but this is looks like it was created in the dark. The patterning is atrocious!

Women's ugly lurex sweater from the 80s

1980s lurex jumper for women. That colour combination is ghastly!

If you are looking for a fancy dress idea for an 80s party or festival, then instead of opting for a ready-made costume you then you can actually find many original tops from the era on eBay and Etsy, allowing you to create your own authentic look.

Oversized 80s Off-shoulder Sweatshirt
Flashdance Sweatshirts at Amazon UK

Failing that, you could try this off-shoulder, batwing-sleeved sweatshirt which has Jennifer Beals from Flashdance written all over it, but not literally, of course. Add some stirrup leg warmers and you have an effective eighties costume.

1980s Ladies mohair jumper
A genuine 1980s Mohair Sweater
Now this is more like it - red and pink together in an argyle-influenced pattern - frightful! But wait, it gets worse!

80s Knitting pattern - chunky knit sweaters

Yes, this cheesy knitting pattern shows us that the whole family could now wear the same style of chunky knit sweater. Would any daughter really want to be seen out wearing their Dad's pullover? Maybe if you lived in the Cotswolds, but for the majority of folk if you went out looking like this then you were asking for trouble!
80s Aztec Sweater for Men
Original 1980s Aztec Pattern Jumper for Men
Now, this pullover is so 80s it hurts! Geometric, aztec style shapes and patterns and lots of ghastly colours combine to make the ultimate 80s jumper for men.

1980s Fair Isle Sweater for Men
Original 80s Fair Isle Sweater for Men
Fair Isle jumpers have been on trend again in recent years, but it would take a brave man to wear this number. There's a fine line between retro cool and just plain ugly!

80s Geometric Grey Shades Sweater for Men
80s Geometric Sweater
There was also lots of grey around in the eighties, and there are several shades of grey (not quite fifty!) in this original geometric, machine-knitted sweater. If your granny couldn't knit then the machine-knitted pullover was your best option.

BBC Weatherman Michael Fish wearing one of many knitted jumpers sent in by viewers


Some of the most horrendous jumpers were worn by 80s BBC weather presenters such as Francis Wilson, Ian McCaskill and Michael Fish. Viewers actually used to send in their creations for the weathermen to wear, as shown in the example above. Behind that forced smile, you can hear Mr. Fish uttering the words "do I really have to wear this thing live on air?".

Well, I've had a real blast creating this post and I hope you've had as much fun reading it as as I had in creating it.

You may also be interested in;

Amusing 80s Knitting Patterns and Magazines

You can read much more about 80s Fashion at my website SimplyEighties.com.

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