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If I had to boil my aesthetic down to a single phrase, I’d probably call it retro-chic practicality. A mouthful, I know—but it hits everything it needs to. My wardrobe is more informed by the kitschy-cute past than the sophisticated-sleek present, but notes of contemporary chic seep into almost every look.
Then, of course, there’s the practicality portion: As much as I’d like to be one of those It-girls who carefully curates Instagram-worthy ensembles every damn day, I’m just not; I prefer sleep to getting ready, flats to heels, and cozy knits to tailored cuts.
Needless to say, ugly Christmas sweaters are kind of my sweet spot.
Ugly Christmas sweaters sit at the intersection of nostalgia-bred kitsch, surprising trendiness and sheer comfort. They’re heartwarming, cute and practical all at once—not to mention, they’re also tons of fun to wear. If the ugly Christmas sweater’s shelf life wasn’t limited to a mere three weeks, you could catch me wearing them all year long—well, all winter long, at least.
In recent years, ugly Christmas sweaters have exited niche territory and fully come into vogue, becoming a kind of staple in any fashion-minded person’s December wardrobe. It’s no longer rare to care about ugly Christmas sweaters—in fact, it’s downright normal. Unfortunately, that’s made ugly Christmas sweater shopping a lot more competitive.
Given that thrift shop bins have been thoroughly picked through since Macklemore released the song “Thrift Shop” in 2012, I’ve all but given up on the notion of finding diamond-in-the-rough, bona fide vintage ugly Christmas sweaters.
Instead, I’ve resorted to shopping fast-fashion and designer retailers for thrifted-looking pieces—ensuring both that the ugly Christmas sweater I have my eye on won’t go out of stock the moment someone else catches a glimpse of it, and that I can return it if it turns out to be itchy, scratchy or ill-fitting.
It’s not a perfect system, but it works—and it fills my wardrobe with little treasures. It’s enabled me to stock up on a handful of ugly Christmas sweaters, instead of paring my choices down to one or two. And it allows me to refresh my ugly Christmas sweater wardrobe on an annual basis.
On board? You should be. Whether you’re an ugly Christmas sweater die-hard or just someone who needs something to wear to their office’s ugly Christmas sweater party, you’re in good hands. Scroll down to find 27 ugly Christmas sweaters worth cozying up in this season—all of which you can conveniently shop from the comfort of your couch.
Mango Crochet Knit Sweater, $67 at ASOS
The ultimate grandpa sweater—and it’s festive.
Christmas Light Sweater, $31.50 at ASOS
On point, and totally kitschy-cute.
Stag Pom-Pom Jumper, $75 at Topshop
Now that‘s the kind of thing you dig through thrift shop bins for hours to find. Methinks this isn’t what designers had in mind when they started the pompom sweater trend, but I’m here for the iteration.
Star Sweater, $99.90 at Zara
Because ugly Christmas sweaters don’t have to come in obvious palettes.
Argyle Cropped Sweater, $68 at Topshop
Bonus points for anyone who pairs this with a massive scrunchie, the way Topshop intended them to.
Fair Isle Zip Collar Jumper, $110 at Topshop
An ugly Christmas sweater updated in zip-up pullover form? Here for it.
Marc Jacobs Cashmere Sweater, $550 at Shopbop
This one is basically just an ’80s-/’90s-inspired sweater, making it the perfect choice for the ugly Christmas sweater lover who prefers to shop a little outside the box.
Colorful Zip-Front Sweater Jacket, $149 at Urban Outfitters
Ugly Christmas cardigans are totally on the menu.
Christmas Party Popper Jumper, $100 at Topshop
Sequins and glitter make for serious festive excellence.
Avalene Half-Zip Sweater, $69 at Urban Outfitters
Because your ugly Christmas sweater would look better paired with an ugly Christmas sweater skirt.
Color Pop Fair Isle Sweater, $69 at Urban Outfitters
The stuff of cozy winter Instagrams.
Pom-Pom Sweater, $190 at ASOS
The more pom-poms, the merrier—when it comes to ugly Christmas sweaters, at least.
Christmas Slogan Sweater, $31.50 at ASOS
Let this sweater issue season’s greetings for you.
Colorblock Sweater, $79 at Urban Outfitters
Because sometimes the most excellent finds are hiding out in the men’s section.
Bop Basics Tartan Sweater, $118 at Shopbop
Hard to go wrong with a little holiday plaid.
Faux Pearl Tweed Jacket, $69.90 at Zara
The kind of thing you’d rob your grandma’s closet for.
Oversized Jacquard Sweater, $99.90 at Zara
For the shopper who prefers pink and purple to red and green.
Carven Multi-Pattern Sweater, $275 at Farfetch
Ugly Christmas sweater goals—and it’s designer.
Warehouse Razzle Dazzle Sweater, $78 at ASOS
For the minimalist—or the shopper who can’t bear to break the flow of their all-black-everything wardrobe.
Calvin Klein Intarsia Wool Jumper, $1,200 at Farfetch
Part poncho, part sweater, all kitsch.
Monki Tree Sweater, $32 at ASOS
Dancing Christmas trees—need I say more?
Mira Mikati ‘Always Tomorrow’ Sweater, $295 at Farfetch
An ugly Christmas sweater fit for year-round wear.
Henry Fair Isle Sweater, $69 at Urban Outfitters
The kind of thing you’d wear while baking cookies to put out for Santa.
Monki Tree Sweater, $32 at ASOS
A more graphic (but still incredibly delightful) take on the classic ugly Christmas sweater.
Cropped Christmas Sweater, $24.50 at ASOS
Cozy, cropped and cute as can be.
Crocheted Fruits Sweater, $69.90 at Zara
For the ugly Christmas sweater fan who can’t help but dream about the tropics when it’s cold out.
Boohoo Santa Two-Person Sweater, $44 at ASOS
If you don’t get this for you and your partner (or best friend), you’re doing it wrong.