There’s an art to being ugly. Striking that unholy composition, that revolting combination, is not easy. Mediocre is easy; average is achievable. But being ugly? When something is truly ugly, it’s a beautiful thing.
The same principle applies to the ugly Christmas sweater. There are a lot of run-of-the-mill “ugly” Christmas sweaters out there. Ones that take the easy route by repeating a festive image in a set pattern. Ones that go for shock value with your favorite holiday icons engaging in some NSFW activities. The best ugly Christmas sweaters, however, are the ones that strike the delicate balance between festive, funny and tacky, all with a certain homemade feel.
So, finding the right ugly Christmas sweater for you is no small feat. Your sweater has to speak to who you are as a person. It’s your first line of defense against co-workers you hardly ever speak to during your company’s annual holiday party. Your ice breaker at those awkward holiday single’s mixers. Your invitation to XXX-mas themed kickbacks and ragers. That’s a lot of responsibility for a mass-produced cotton/polyester/wool blend.
Maybe the crippling anxiety of finding The Ugly Christmas Sweater has kicked in now. If it has, take a deep breath. It’s going to be fine. The children are fine.
We’ve done the hard work and scoured hundreds of second-rate ugly Christmas sweaters to bring you the Top 5 beautifully ugly ones this merry season.
5.) Alex Stevens Puking Pooping Reindeer Ugly Christmas Sweater
This 100% cotton, crew neck Alex Stevens’ Puking Pooping Ugly Christmas Sweater features a simple yet stunning design of a reindeer vomiting and defecating ornaments, mistletoe and presents against a bold crimson background. Ugly Christmas Sweaters often overdo it with the imagery — too many snowflakes and other good tidings nonsense littering the background. But this Puking Pooping Ugly Christmas Sweater lets the design speak for itself and gives the main punchline the attention it deserves.
The fear in the reindeer’s eye and the simple shadow are the real showstoppers here, evoking a Reindeer Caught in the Headlights Doing Something Naughty effect.
4.) Blizzard Bay Happy Birthday Jesus Ugly Christmas Sweater
Presents, parties, peppermint…Let’s not forget what Christmas is really about. Jesus Christ.
It’s Jesus’ special day; the day he was born in a manger in Bethlehem. The Blizzard Bay’s Happy Birthday Jesus Ugly Christmas Sweater does away with all that fake Christmas iconography and gets back to the true meaning of Christmas. This 100% cotton crew neck sweater features an old-school look with a retro color scheme, fun pompom accent and festive polka dot background. Jesus himself is rocking some tight stitching and needlework.
3.) KSJK Funny Print Ugly Christmas Sweater
Honestly, any ugly Christmas sweater from KSJK will do. They have everything from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (copyright infringement?!) to cosmic Christmas cat (pictured).
These Ugly Christmas Sweaters are a little different from most as they’re not knitted but digitally printed. So they shouldn’t fade (supposedly), and they are 80% polyester and 20% cotton. These baddies offer wearers fresh, unique designs that aren’t afraid to be a little avant-garde for the ugly Christmas sweater world. They’re for people who want to be bold and declare to the world that they aren’t afraid of anything. These are the ugly Christmas sweaters that both frat boys and hipsters with undercuts and circle frames wear. And if that’s not holiday unity, we don’t know what is.
2.) Tipsy Elves Function Bottle Opener Christmas Sweater
The Tipsy Elves Function Bottle Opener Christmas Sweater has a real bottle opener at the top of a beer bottle Christmas Tree. And the bottle opener is detachable and shaped like a star. It’s as functional as it is funny! You’ll never be stuck wandering around a party looking for the one bottle opener or getting stuck busting your hand trying to twist off the top yourself. Instead, the party will be flocking to you, while people simultaneously remark on your amazing sweater and ask you to open their beer.
Tipsy Elves boasts that this 100% acrylic ugly Christmas sweater has double panel construction, so it’s built to last. Don’t know what that means, but OK, sure.
All jokes aside, this is a pretty cute Ugly Christmas Sweater that hits all the right notes: festive, funny, and just the right amount of tacky.
1.) Stranger Things Ugly Holiday Light-Up Sweater
Truth be told, there’s nothing ugly about this ugly Christmas sweater. In fact, this Stranger Things Ugly Christmas Sweater is the ultimate mashup of pop culture and the holiday spirit. After all, Joyce’s frantic attempts to find Will perfectly mimics the panic we all feel as we scramble to assemble last minute gifts.
Want some gift ideas, ‘Stranger Things’ fans? Check out our Top 5 ‘Stranger Things’ Gifts That Should be on Every Fan’s Holiday Wish List
And waking up the morning after Christmas can feel like a trip to the Upside Down, where everything is dark, gloomy and rotten, and Season 3 is a million months away. Maybe Santa will deliver and Season 3 will be under the Christmas tree this year. Here’s hoping.
What’s your favorite ugly Christmas sweater? Let us know in the comments below!