5 Tips for Buying the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater

Tips on selecting the perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater for your upcoming holiday parties, pub crawls or Christmas card photo session:

How to score the perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater 1. Consider your environment. Are you going to be outside strolling from pub to pub? Is your gathering out on an ice rink or ski slope? You might want something snug and warm.

If your party is in an office or a house party, especially in a warmer locale, consider a lighter weight sweater or a vest with a t-shirt. Thick scratchy acrylic or mohair sweaters are fabulously tacky–sweat pouring off your head while you wear one is just plain ugly.

Will Grandma be there? Stay away from the humping reindeer and naughty snowmen sweaters and stick with some smiley Santas or festive Christmas trees.

Grandmas are a great source of Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Grandmas are a great source of Ugly Christmas Sweaters

2.Consider your sources. First check with your mom, your grandma, or your Aunt Nancy. Be tactful, don’t tell them you are looking for something “ugly”. Use words like “festive”, “holiday spirit” and “sparkle”. 😉

If you don’t have a relative to mooch off, consider buying your own ugly Christmas sweater. Do you have a charity or thrift shop nearby? Those are a great first location to search for sweaters.

You can try them on first, but they might be a little… um… in need of cleaning, so take care when you do.

Ugly Christmas sweater vests on eBay

You never know what you will find at a thrift store

If you’ve struck out locally, turn to the internet. In addition to TheUglySweaterShop.com, there are a few other resellers of tacky and ugly sweaters, as well as Etsy and eBay. The nice thing about buying online is how quick and easy it is, and your order comes right to your door, no schlepping around from shop to shop looking for what you need. You can’t, however, try items on, so be sure to check over the measurements of the sweater and compare them to one that fits you well to be sure what you are buying will work for you.

Teacher Sweater

Channel your inner grade school teacher when selecting your sweater

Good online retailers will list any flaws in items they sell, will ship your sweater quickly, and will ensure they are neat and clean when they arrive. Check any available feedback or merchant rating of a seller before buying, to ensure a hassle-free purchase.

You can also hit the mall, but experience has shown us in the past few years that the truly tacky sweaters are just not being made anymore. Your best bet is to go with something from the mid-80s to the late 90s. Think of your first grade teacher, for example.

3. Mix & match. A sweater vest or short sleeve sweater looks most tacky when paired with a clashing turtleneck (one with tiny prints is best–even choose a different holiday for some real fug). Another alternative under a vest or short sleeve sweater for guys is a clashing print dress shirt and Christmas bowtie, for ultimate nerd appeal.

Add a printed turtleneck to an Ugly Christmas Swater or vest for extra fug

Add a printed turtleneck to a vest for extra fug

While clashing is tacky, so is being match-matchy. Consider a group theme of all reindeer sweaters for you and your friends, with matching antlers and noses if you are especially festive. Or all Santa sweaters, complete with matching Santa hats. If you are really lucky, you can find identical sweaters to wear with a friend, partner or group.

Matching Ugly Christmas Sweaters from TheUglySweaterShop.com

Matching Ugly Christmas Sweaters from TheUglySweaterShop.com

"Ugly Sweater" Nordic Knit Mukluk Booties/Slippers Women's Size L (8 / 8.5 / 9 US)

Nordic Knit Mukluk Booties from TheUglySweaterShop.com (sorry--sold out!)


4. Accessorize!
Along with reindeer antler headbands, battery-operated blinking Christmas lights and jingle bell jewelry, some party-goers have been spotted wearing flannel Christmas sleep pants or holiday print skirts along with their tacky sweaters. If you will be somewhere dry, consider a pair of Nordic mukluk booties to complete your outfit.


5. Have fun!
Searching for the perfect sweater is half the fun of these holiday events. Go out in a group to hit up the local charity shops, or if time doesn’t permit, share your favorite funny sweater pictures online via Facebook or Twitter to see who can come up with the fugliest of them all.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for buying an Ugly Christmas Sweater?  Add them to the comments!

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2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Buying the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater

  1. Pingback: Tips for Buying the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater | TheUglySweaterShop.com

  2. Pingback: Tips for Buying the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater | The Ugly Sweater Shop

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