Fashion & Beauty

The 17 Best Places To Buy Ugly Christmas Sweaters

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Somewhere along the line, the ugly Christmas sweater went from a misguided holiday fashion choice and dreaded gift to a must-have item for the ironically hip. When did that happen? According to The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On, a couple of Canadian guys threw the first ugly Christmas sweater party in Vancouver back in 2001.

I’m more behind the theory that it was Mr. Darcy sporting that horrifying reindeer sweater in Bridget Jones’s Diary that may have started the whole snowball rolling. He just looked so endearingly vulnerable in that monstrosity.

Hideous holiday pullovers are a definite thing in the counter-cool culture, whatever the case may be. And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to bust out the kitschiest knit you can find.

I mean, why not? They make people laugh. They go with nothing and everything at the same time. And you don’t need to worry about fit (which is very convenient if you’ve packed on a few holiday pounds).

In keeping with the ironic holiday spirit, we will clue you in on the best places to get a sweater that would make your grandma proud. If you’re planning to adorn yourself with jingle bells, jolly old elves and a whole lot of glitter, here’s where to get your ugly on.

1. Tipsy Elves 

Woman in a green and white striped sweater with a stocking that holds a wine bottle

Tipsy Elves has delivered year after year for ugly Christmas sweaters, getting major points for both quality and originality, as is the case with this little beauty. This sweater features classic green stripes with some fun designs on the sleeves. But the real highlight is the hidden wine bottle compartment, perfect for when you need to liven up the work Christmas party or if the drinks being served at your in-laws aren’t your thing.

Looking for a winter scene beyond the classic snowman or Rudolph? This sweater features two polar bears sharing a beer.   

2. Shein

Woman drinking wine while wearing a red and green sweater

Shein has emerged as one of the hottest fast-fashion companies on IG. With their robust selection in just about every facet of clothing, it’s no surprise that this China-based retailer also dabbles in ugly sweaters. And by dabbles, I mean that you will find a host of glorious holiday sweaters, like this snowflake pattern blast from the past.  

Here’s another great option and a matching mini version for some extra festive family photos.  

3. Ragstock

Red Christmas cardigan from Ragstock

Ragstock has such an incredibly fine collection of ugly Christmas sweaters that you will have a tough time narrowing your choices down. What better excuse to buy them for everyone on your list? 

Another reason we love Ragstock is that they showcase truly vintage sweaters, so you could end up with something your grandma actually wore! (Which, by the way, have you called her lately?)

So is this Christmas cardigan charming or tacky? You decide.  

4. Etsy

Green garland ugly Christmas sweater

Etsy has no end to ugly Christmas sweaters. You can truly deck yourself in something hideous and possibly win an ugly sweater contest. We’re declaring this truly abominable sweater one of the best disasters of 2022.

And what about this little number? It’s Christmas in the shire!

Related:  The Complete Guide to Festive Holiday Party Outfits   

5. Ugly Christmas Sweater 

Man wearing a Bob Ross sweater

With ugly sweater in the name, it’s no surprise that Ugly Christmas Sweater will help you take your ironic holiday spirit to the next level with interactive sweaters like this beer pong sweater. But we’re especially loving this sweet little ode to Bob Ross. The colors are perfect for that Hanukkah party on your calendar, too. 

6. Target

Christmas tree hoodie

You’ll never go wrong with an ugly sweater from Target. They have them for the whole family. We love this Christmas tree hoodie that features sequin ornaments, gold garland and an extra festive hood. 

7. Kohls 

Woman wearing an oversized, open face Kohls Christmas vest

Kohls is another excellent choice when you’re on the quest for ugliness. What’s better than a Christmas vest full of Christmas goodies? It’s got presents, snowflakes, and Santas for the full Christmas effect. 

Kohls also offers a new take on Darth Vader with this holiday sweater. 

8. Amazon 

Man wearing a Santa cardigan

Amazon has everything, and that includes a wide array of ugly Christmas sweaters. Are you shopping for the man in your life? This Santa cardigan is somewhere between “I’m ready for a cigar now” and Bill Cosby—perfect for revelers that are still transitioning!

Other Amazon highlights include this adorable construction sweater and this sloth sweater that showcases the holiday spirit in a very big and somewhat uncomfortable way. 

9. ASOS

Woman in a pink Bershka fair isle sweater

Although they don’t have a huge ugly Christmas sweater collection, Asos has a few gems, like this pink Bershka fair isle sweater that will help you break out of the traditional red and green box.  

Who says Christmas can’t be colorful? 

10. Party City

Ugly Sweater with a 3D glass that says "Don't hog the nog."

If you’re going to a holiday party where ugly sweaters are required, why not shop at a place that’s all about fiestas? Party City will definitely help you pump up the ironic holiday season spirit with its fine collection of tacky Christmas sweaters.  

Take this little number, for example. You’ll be incredibly cozy in this nog-focused ode to National Lampoon. 

11. Ardene

Trendy girl wearing a Grinch ugly Christmas sweater that says "I'm the reason there is a naughty list."

Ardene has some holiday sweaters that are kind of cute, but there are a few that will help you to rock your worst look. Try this classic that features the Grinch. This sweater screams, “I’m cute and festive, but don’t get on my bad side.” 

12. Hot Topic

Star Wars Ugly Christmas Sweater

Hot Topic will definitely keep you on-trend with a wide selection of Christmas eyesores. 

In fact, you can take the ugly sweater to a whole new level by adding a nerdy element like Star Wars characters.

13. Boo Hoo

Pregnant woman in a sweater that says "Santa Baby" on her bump

If you’re more into moderately ugly Christmas sweaters, Boohoo has a collection for beginners to the tradition. Take this Santa Baby maternity cardigan, for example. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus.” 

Want something a little more classic? This ode to Home Alone is always a hit. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! 

Related: The 54 Best Christmas Movies [That You Can Stream Right Now]

14. H & M 

Sweater with a  Dachshund that says, "Dachsching throught eh snow."

While H&M may not have a stellar women’s ugly Christmas sweater collection, there are more than a few children’s pieces that will make your friends and family wince with pride, like this cropped holiday vest or this adorable dachshund sweater.   

15. Hanna Andersson 

Colorful gnome Christmas Sweater

Hanna Andersson generally focuses on ethical children’s clothes, but every once in a while, you’ll snag a great unisex adult option, like this gnome holiday sweater. Complete the look with these gnome socks, matching children’s sweater and baby gnome dress,   

16. Thrift Stores

A smiling group of young adults have fun shopping for retro and vintage clothing styles at a second hand thrift store. Mixed ethnic group. Horizontal image with copy space.

Not enough can be said for the power of some good thrifting. After all, do you intend to keep your ugly Christmas sweater for your entire life? Probably not. 

If you’re tight on cash or don’t really want to tap into your creative gene, be sure to hit up the treasure trove that is your local thrift store for awesome sweater ideas. You can also find a generic sweater and add some festive touches, like super fun accessories. (See below) 

And when it comes to ugly sweaters, usually the sketchiest stop is the best one. 

17. Do It Yourself

A woman tailor works at a sewing machine sews reuses fabric from old denim clothes. The concept of economical reuse of recyclable things. Homemade needlework hobby. Selective focus

If you want something that’s both unique and totally you, you can always make your own ugly sweater. The less talent for crafts you have, the better. Just hit your local Michaels and stock up on felt, glitter, tinsel, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom-poms and anything else that catches your fancy.

Then set to work like a maniacal Santa Elf and make your mutant creation. When it looks as though Christmas has thrown up on your sweater, take it one step further, and you’re finished. We know you can do it!

Styling Your Ugly Christmas Sweater

The beauty of an ugly Christmas sweater is that there’s no wrong way to style it. It just depends on the look you want. 

Yes, the ugly sweater is a statement piece. An obnoxiously loud, totally in-your-face kind of statement piece. If you don’t want to pull focus from it, a pair of jeans will do. And if you’re going to reinforce your total lack of concern for looking cool, wear it with khakis.

Maybe comfort is your priority. If so, check out these candy cane leggings. You’ll feel totally at ease and festive at the same time. 

Is it hot where you live? Try rocking your ugly Christmas sweater with a pair of daisy dukes and some biker boots. It will make you feel like a rebel for the cause of counter-cool culture.

And for those of you planning a stay-at-home holi-date, wearing your ugly holiday sweater with nothing at all could be a definite icebreaker. 

Ugly Christmas Accessories

Remember those festive touches we mentioned? Here they are. Maybe you have your Christmas sweater, but your look isn’t feeling complete. Or, perhaps you prefer a more subtle look altogether. Either way, an ugly Christmas accessory could be the magically tacky touch you need. Here are a few of our favorites.

Christmas Tree Hats & Headbands

Woman in a Christmas tree heat wrap

Maybe you’re not quite ready to go over-the-top in a complete Christmas outfit. Just throw a Christmas Tree on your head, and no one will doubt your enthusiasm for the holiday. Keep it simple with a pair of red and green Christmas tree hats or go full-force with this Christmas tree face hugger. Here is an even simpler Christmas tree headband

Earrings 

Every girl knows an outfit is made with the right accessories. Here are some light bulbs that actually light up and some oversized clay polymer light earrings. Got a love for the classics? Show your love with A Christmas Story with lamp earrings or Ralphie’s glasses

Christmas Face Masks 

Like it or not, face masks are here to stay for those who plan to travel this time of year. But if you’re going to wear one, you might as well rock a festive print like this contender for the ugliest sweater mask or a holiday mask full of charm. If you want a good laugh, check out the  Santa beard mask

Glasses

There’s something for everyone in this pack of Christmas glasses

Socks

Sure, you might not see them. But that won’t keep you from knowing you are Christmas spirit from head to toe. Some of our favorites are these Jolly AF socks, some Mistle Toes, and these custom face socks.  

Ugly Sweater Nail Decals

Prefer to wear your ugly sweater on your fingernails? These nail wraps are super fun! 

Beard Ornaments

Man with beard ornaments on his face

Hey, if you’re going to call attention to yourself with a hipster beard, why not decorate it? These fun little ornaments will make anyone’s facial hair more festive. 

Hat 

And if you absolutely need a fun hat (that’s not a Santa hat) to complete your ugly sweater look, here’s a festive fedora that’s sure to get Kris Kringle’s attention. 

That’s A Wrap

Well, friends, it looks like it’s time to get out there and start your ugly sweater shopping. After all, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is just around the corner on December 21st. And who would want to miss out on that?

We know you’ll be rocking your worst look at all your holiday get-togethers now that you have our ultimate guide. And if you’re really good/bad, you may even win an ugly sweater contest! 

Happy Ug-Mas, everyone!

You might also like: The Origins of Your Favorite Holiday Cookies 

17 Places To Get The Best Ugly Christmas Sweaters: 

  1. Tipsy Elves
  2. Shein
  3. Ragstock
  4. Etsy
  5. Ugly Christmas Sweater
  6. Target
  7. Kohls
  8. Amazon
  9. ASOS
  10. Party City
  11. Ardene
  12. Hot Topic
  13. Boo Hoo
  14. H & M 
  15. Hanna Andersson
  16. Thrift Stores
  17. Do It Yourself

Sherry De Alba

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