Fashion & Beauty

The 15 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 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 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

Man wearing red and green argyle ugly sweater from Tipsy Elves

Tipsy Elves has a collection that genuinely looks like inebriated Santa’s helpers crafted it.

And when it comes to kitsch, this sweater has it all—a garland, ornaments and that Christmas green color you can’t wear at any other time of year. The only thing you may need to bring to the table is cleavage and a complete lack of shame. 

2. Hot Topic 

Hoth Sweet Hoth 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 of appalling by adding a nerdy element like Star Wars characters. 

3. Target

Target ugly Christmas Sweater

You’ll never go wrong with an ugly sweater from Target. They have them for the whole family. We love this one with leopard sleeves, tassels, and a llama’s entirely random element in glasses. 

4. Ragstock

Ragstock Christmas vest

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 patchwork Christmas vest charming or tacky? You decide. 

5. Kohls

Christmas cardigan full of sheep

Kohls is another excellent choice when you’re on the quest for ugliness. What’s better than a button-up Christmas cardigan full of sheep? You won’t have to look far when it comes time to count them after a night of fun.  

Related:  The Complete Guide to Festive Holiday Party Outfits   

6. Amazon

Yo Ho Ho Christmas Sweater

Amazon has everything, and that includes a wide array of ugly Christmas sweaters. Are you shopping for the man in your life? He’s going to love this super hip Santa in shades!


Reindeer ring toss sweater will help you take your ironic holiday spirit to the next level with interactive sweaters like this reindeer ring toss sweater. 

It’s all fun and games until someone hits you in the face. 

8. Rusty Zipper

Rusty Zipper Christmas vest

If you like truly vintage sweaters,  Rusty Zipper was the first website dedicated to fashions of yesteryear. They will open your eyes to a whole new world of tackiness with their over-the-top embellishments and lights. 

This wool-blend vest features lights, gingerbread men, snowflakes, ornaments and candy canes. That’s a whole lot of Christmas on one sweater vest!

9. Boohoo

Boohoo reindeer cardigan

If you’re more into moderately ugly Christmas sweaters, Boohoo has a collection for beginners to the tradition. Take this reindeer cardigan, for example. It’s somewhere between “I’m ready for a cigar now” and Bill Cosby—perfect for revelers that are still transitioning!

10. Ardene

Grinch Christmas sweater

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 with a 3D scarf. This sweater screams, “I’m cute and festive, but don’t get on my bad side.”

11. Party City

Pink bunny suit Christmas sweater

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 their fine collection. 

Take this little number, for example. You’ll be incredibly cozy as you live out Ralphie’s experience in a pink bunny suit on A Christmas Story. 

12. H & M

Fireplace Christmas sweater

H&M may not have the biggest ugly sweater collection, but a few choice pieces will make your friends and family wince with pride. This fireplace scene is retro, classic, and part of their Conscious collection; it’s made with recycled polyester. 

13. Etsy

Pink flamingo sweater from Etsy

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 2020.

And what about this little number? It’s a Christmas in paradise!

14. DIY

Woman working on a sewing machine

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 Michale’s 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’s 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!

15. Thrift Stores

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. You can also find a generic sweater and add some festive touches. 

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

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.

Then again, there’s something to be said for going totally over the top. Check out this ribbon skirt, for example.  

The model is wearing it with a subdued black shirt. But there’s no reason you couldn’t wear it with an embellished Rudolph sweater. The more festooning, the merrier!

Maybe comfort is your priority. If so, check out these candy and elf striped 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 Face Masks 

Man wearing holiday facemask

Like it or not, face masks are here to stay.  But if you’re going to wear one, you might as well rock a festive print like this sweater or the not-so-ugly Christmas mask. If you want a good laugh, check out the  Santa beard mask

Ugly Sweater Nail Decals

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

Beard Ornaments

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. 

Christmas Headband

Woman wearing decorative Christmas headband

You can choose from a reindeer, Christmas trees or ornament headband. There’s truly something for everyone!  


And if you absolutely need a fun 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 engagements 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 

The 15 Best Places to Buy Ugly Christmas Sweaters:

  1. Tipsy Elves
  2. Hot Topic
  3. Target
  4. Ragstock
  5. Kohls
  6. Amazon
  8. Rusty Zipper
  9. Boohoo
  10. Ardene
  11. Party City
  12. H & M
  13. Etsy
  14. DIY
  15. Thrift Stores

Sherry De Alba

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