Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Christmas is whistling toward us with no chance of stopping, the temperature is dropping, and the sweaters are — blissfully — getting uglier. 

Out of these three things we know to be true come this time of year, I want to talk about the underrated, disrespected and, dare I say, glorious winter staple of the ugly holiday sweater. For reasons that I have never understood, this wonderful form of winter wear has received undue mockery and ridicule. I’m not OK with this. You can say what you want about me, but don’t ever speak ill of my holiday sweaters. I cherish them, which is why I feel compelled to defend their honor. Thus, I present to you four reasons that ugly holiday sweaters deserve our deepest reverence. 

1) They’re warm

Although this might seem the most obvious argument, there's no denying the benefit of cozy, soft, glitter-smothered fabric on a cold winter's night. For days when a standard long-sleeved shirt isn’t enough to brave the weather, and perhaps you’re feeling too classy for a hoodie, you can always count on an ugly holiday sweater to do the job. These babies are sure to warm both your body and your heart.

2) They’re comfortable

Yes, it’s true. Don’t believe the nasty rumor going around that ugly sweaters are all uncomfortable and itchy. These are lies. As tragic as it sounds, yes, itchy sweaters do exist in this world. It's a reality we must face. But, thankfully, ugly holiday sweaters are frequently feather-soft. To ensure optimal coziness, pay close attention to the material when you're sweater shopping. I’ve had luck with both acrylic and cotton. Experiment and find what works best for you.

3) They’re fun

Admittedly, other clothing items can, in fact, provide warmth and comfort. But where the ugly sweater truly shines is in its element of fun. So many things related to winter weather are supposed to be fun but are secretly terrible. For example, a snowman is cute, but the process of building one involves fairly intense labor done in frigid temperatures. Another example is sledding. Do you realize that the vast majority of sledding is just walking up a hill? Wearing an ugly holiday sweater requires no physical labor other than to lift the corners of your mouth and smile proudly as you flaunt your bold apparel.

4) They allow for individual expression

Your sweater can say a lot about you. Maybe you prefer only a moderately ugly sweater. Or maybe you go for the most outlandish one you can find. Or maybe you want to choose one with dogs or Santa Claus or Star Wars. The options are limitless, so don’t settle until you’ve landed on that sweater of your dreams. You might be lucky enough to receive compliments from total strangers when wearing it.

Who knows when the sweater trend started, but it's still going strong based on the cotton catastrophes that are everywhere this season. Take this quiz to figure out what holly jolly jumper you should don before you open presents and decorate the tree.


Jared will complete his master's degree in Journalism in May 2019 with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. Contact him at or via Twitter @JaredAndrews3.

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