Like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the decorated evergreen and string lights, the ugly Christmas sweater had become a fixtures of this most jolly of winter holidays. These types of sweaters make very convenient and lazy Christmas presents for guys, but the giver might be forgiven for deciding on such an item for the sheer reason that is part of tradition at this point. With up to $50 required for a “good” one, they’re not the most inexpensive Christmas gifts, and there is some science behind choosing the right blend of takiness and tastelessness.
Made out of equal part cotton and polyester, this sweatshirt is both lightweight and comfortable, which renders it perfect to wear underneath a thick winter jacket or around the house. What sets it apart from similar designs is the baffling image of a bug printed on the chest, among more traditional Christmas motifs and what appears to be a play on words.
If you can understand it, you might get the association between a pug and winter holidays, but otherwise, the print looks like a random mess, which will guarantee that this sweatshirt won’t be worn at any other time of year.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14)
Blizzard Bay Festive Llama
This thin and comfortable cotton sweater would be an entirely acceptable piece of jolly red attire if not for the huge figure of a llama stapled all across its front section. To top things off, the festive llama has its own winter scarf, with two pieces of fabric awkwardly dangling from its neck.
Since it’s made of cotton, it won’t shrink with washing, the colors won’t run, and it doesn’t itch. However, the extra stitching and fabric around the llama’s neck can prove bothersome if not worn with an undershirt. Based on the pictures sent out by reviewers, this shirt looks great on both guys and gals.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Awkward Style I Got Ho’s Crewneck
The makers of this crewneck went for a tasteless joke to provide the required awkwardness, namely the old play on words involving Santa’s most popular catchphrase and ladies of the night.
Made out of cotton and polyester, it comes in a wide range of colors and in most sizes, all of them affordable enough to be discarded once the holiday season is over. It’s comfortable enough to wear, and unlike wool, it doesn’t itch, so you won’t really need an undergarment if you decide to use it as a pajama later on. It also comes with a paintable bookmark.Buy from Amazon.com for ($25.99)
TeeStars I Touch My Elf
“When I think about you I touch my elf” reads the message on this sweatshirt, above an image of a winking Santa touching an elf. The song reference/joke is pretty self-explanatory, so this could make a thoughtful gift for that pretty girl at the office, especially as it also comes in women’s sizes. However, that might be a risk you might not want to take.
Made from equal parts cotton and polyester, it will be as comfortable to wear as any sweatshirt, and there are five colors to choose from, including the festive red and green. It was designed and printed in the US, and the print itself is said to hold well to washing.Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.99)
Tipsy Eves Jingle Bros
This acrylic sweater features the most famous figures of Christmas — Jesus and Santa — posing together as friends. The fact that Jesus makes a horizontal V hand gesture reminiscent of rap album covers and they both seem to be enjoying a carton of eggnog adds a certain risque element to it, but otherwise it’s innocent enough not to offend.
Being made of acrylic, it’s significantly warmer than a cotton sweatshirt while not substantially less comfortable, and without the bothersome itching you get out of wool. However, it is somewhat pricier than what many of us would be willing to pay for a gag gift.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.95)
Tipsy Elves Snowman Nose Thief
Many of the reviewers addressing this product have remarqued on its remarkably good quality, especially considering that it’s a novelty item which can be purchased for a pretty affordable price. Tipsy Elves, the manufacturing brand, mentions that this has a double panel construction and the seems have been reinforced, so it might last you for quite a bit of time.
You might not want to wear it every day, however, as it features a somewhat lewd joke that will not make it the best choice for a family party, but some of your friends might appreciate it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($65)
TeeStars Go Jesus Sweatshirt
Unless all those presents and eggnog make you forget what Christmas is all about, this novelty sweatshirt is quick to remind you with a congratulatory message addressed to our Lord and Savior!
Like similar models from TeeStars, it’s made out of equal parts cotton and polyester for lightweight and good comfort. It won’t keep you all that warm as wool or acrylic would, but it does layer well with a flannel shirt or jacket, and it won’t provide a lot of bulk under thick winter clothing.
It comes in 4 colors, but no festive red, since that is already featured on the balloon that Jesus is holding.Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.95)
Uideazone Unisex Pullover
This is truly an unsightly Christmas shirt, going for the well proof idea of printing a hairy man’s torso all over its surface. It applies a seasonal twist to it, as this product also features decorations like Christmas tree globes hanging from the neeples and string lights around the neck.
The photorealistic print looks fairly well made, as it does for all the line offered by the manufacturer, with bright colors and resistant to washing, but the material used, which was a mix of polyester and spandex was found to be a little stretchy and not exactly top quality.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.98)
Alex Stevens Reindeer
This item would be a perfectly wearable cotton crew neck if it weren’t for the reindeer printed on one of its sides. The animal is engaged in the process of both puking and pooping items associated with the winter holidays, like mistletoe, gift wraps, and Christmas tree globes.
Otherwise, the dark red color is discrete enough for every situation and the item itself appears to be comfortable and of good quality, although relatively chubby people might not appreciate the slim fit. For a 100% cotton shirt, it’s not the cheapest novelty item you could find, and it should only be washed by hand or on a gentle cycle.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.99)
How to find a cool ugly Christmas sweater
Ugly Christmas sweaters have long left behind the history trashcan and have become quite a thing, combining tradition with humor. Whether you plan on getting such a sweater for yourself, or you want to surprise someone close with a quirky gift, you will discover that the options available on the market are endless.
Overnight, everyone seems to have grabbed their knitting needles and started putting together such sweaters with the sole purpose of selling them during the holiday season. However, if you are no good with thread and needles and you need to get one knitted by someone else, things can get complicated.
The truth is that there are many possibilities around you if you want to get a Christmas sweater that will put an entire party dressed up for the same occasion to shame. You have to think of a bunch of aspects, and not only how ugly the sweater is.
That means that you have thousands of options to wade through and that may not be something you have time for. Our buying guide is focused on getting you exactly where you need to be, without wasting all that time and energy.
How we chose the coolest ugly Christmas sweaters
What are the best ugly Christmas sweaters? That is the first question that could pop into your mind once you decide that this is the getup you intend to wear the next season or the gift you want to offer your closest friend, for a good old fashioned practical joke. Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure that you don’t have to tire yourself trying to get the right ugly sweater for the next Christmas party.
Even if you may not wear this sweater more than once, you still to make sure that you are getting the right size. When you are browsing through different sweaters on various websites, make sure to check the size chart offered by the seller. If it is a sweater, you intend to buy for yourself, finding the right size should not be difficult.
However, if the sweater you find best for the occasion is a gift to offer someone else, it would not hurt to do a little research and find what size your recipients wear. The last thing you want, even if it is just a prank you’re trying to pull, is that everything goes to shambles because you had no idea the sweater won’t fit.
Sweaters for the winter season are usually made of wool, but you don’t necessarily have to go this far. Since Christmas party are held indoors, and everybody is still wearing lighter clothes underneath their winter coats, you may prefer an option that will not make you sweat through your pores throughout the entire evening.
Cotton is an excellent choice, but an even cheaper one is synthetic fibers. The latter are easy to wash, and they are lightweight; you may not have to worry about the occasional eggnog spills since this type of threads are not that easy to stain, and usually, any accident will be nothing your washing machine cannot handle.
Let’s not forget that we are talking about cool ugly Christmas sweaters here. That means the sweater to catch your eye and steal your heart should have a theme that is up for the occasion. Consider mixing everything with a good dose of humor and get a sweat with a quirky message, instead of the traditional ‘Merry Christmas’.
Plus, if you are a Star Wars fan, you may not have anything against Darth Vader joining the party, being present only on your sweater, though. Adult-themed sweaters can be a thing, too, but think ahead if you want to draw that much attention.
If the party is between close friends and there are no kids around, that may not be a problem, but think again if you want your boss to remember you from being the guy with that strange sweater at the last company party. Something a bit more appropriate would be the right solution to avoid demotion as soon as the year starts.
3D sweaters, on the other hand, can make you the soul of the party, without making anyone harbor ill feelings. If you’re thinking something cool and high tech, you might want to think again, though. Such sweaters are nothing but regular ugly things that come with part of a reindeer attached to your front and your back so that you can look like one of Santa’s companion is riding right through you.
The style of the sweater may dictate your choice, as well. You can opt for the usual sweater style, but know that there is no reason to feel limited to only this solution. Cardigan sweaters are, in a way, more convenient, because you can open them in front, in case you get too hot after a few drinks.
In case you want to come across as more fashionable, choose a jacket-style sweater. There are plenty of these available for sale, and you may find something that is exactly what you would like to wear. It is important to compare different options before reaching for your wallet.
Oversized sweaters and those that look pretty much like jumpsuits for kiddos are among the options you will be offered when you browse through the stores offering you ugly Christmas sweaters. Depending on how atrocious you want to look, and how many comments and kudos from your closest friends, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Gender and age
Do you want to hit the next Christmas party dressing up the entire family with such sweaters? Then you will have to think for something appropriate for each member of the household. Kids can wear ugly sweaters just like anyone else, and at least they will have something to talk about with their friends when they share the latest holiday experience.
The women and girls in the family may prefer more than the usual reindeer pattern and opt for more colorful options. The guys, on the other hand, will seek something manlier, something to show off they are cool enough to wear an ugly sweater and still be proud of their choice.