In the phrase "ugly Christmas sweater," the word "ugly" is a term of art, a description rather than a put-down. One wears an ugly Christmas sweater precisely because it is so over the top, crammed with images of weighted-down Christmas trees, cartoony reindeer, red-cheeked Santas, and leering snowmen. Sequins are encouraged, as are lights. And if the sweater is three-dimensional, all the better.

Though these sweaters have their roots in the relatively sedate Christmas cardigans and pullovers that were popular in the 1950s, in recent years the ugly Christmas sweater has become something of a cultural phenomenon. People parade their sweaters at ugly Christmas sweater parties. In some cities, these events have become so popular, they have been transformed into fundraisers for local charities, proving that even people with a taste for ironic humor understand the meaning of the holiday.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Papa Teds Place

Papa Teds Place

The late Theodore H. Althof, Jr's beautiful collection of vintage dimestore cardboard Christmas 'putz' village hous… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Antique Christmas Lights Museum

Antique Christmas Lights Museum

George Nelson's incredibly detailed chronicle of vintage Christmas tree lighting. Browsable by decade and special t… [read review or visit site]

Bohemian Christmas Decorations

Bohemian Christmas Decorations

This simple site showcases over 500 artistic Gablonz glass bead antique and vintage Christmas tree ornaments, made … [read review or visit site]

Old Soviet Christmas Cards

Old Soviet Christmas Cards

This site showcases over 1000 old Soviet Christmas and New Years cards from 1950 to 1990. Browse through page after… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Christmas Sweater-- Perfect For Ugly Sweater Contest; Womens Size MediumBonnie Jean Girl Ivory Red Gingerbread Christmas Holiday Sweater Jumper Shirt 6Festive Michael Simon Ugly Christmas Sweater Size Small, Winter Skiing ThemeRare Michael Simon Designer Event Christmas Sweater Medium Frosty The SnowmanVineyard Vines Lot Boys Christmas Pant Sweater Whale L (16-18)Women Hoodie Sweater Christmas Snowflake Jumper Pullover Top Blouse TracksuitBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift ZBnwt Alex Stevens Men's Jurassic Park Santa Toilet Ugly Christmas Sweater XxlTiara Women's Ugly Christmas Sweater Large L Blue Snowflakes Frosty SnowmanGirls Abercrombie Kids Red Ivory Reindeer Moose Christmas Holiday Sweater Sz XlBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas GiftQuacker Factory Beaded Sequin Snowman Sweater Women 1x Pink Christmas V PlusUgly Red Cardigan Christmas Sweater Women's LBobbie Brooks Christmas Winter Woven Sweater Cardigan Snowflake Beaded Sz LGirls 2 2t Boutique Holiday Princess Christmas Sweater Shirt Red W/ SequinsVintage Ugly Tacky Knitted Christmas Sweater Red Vest White Maltese Dog Large LDisney Mickey Mouse Christmas Festive Black Pullover Sweater 2xl (19) Women^755Womens Berek Christmas Sweater Sz S Small Santa SnowmanUgly Christmas Red W/ Reindeers Sweater Xl-ramie Cotton Blend-full Zip W/ BellWomens Sz M Ugly Tacky Christmas Sweater Party Snowman Throwing Snowballs BeadedUgly Christmas/holiday Red Zipper Sweater Women's L SnowmenB.p. Design Christmas Cardigan Sweater Women Size Xl,snowmen,snowflakesWomen's Ugly Christmas Sweater Liz & Me Plus Sz 1x 18 20 CardiganGirls 3t Tiara Christmas Sweater Zip Up Snowman CardiganBetsey Johnson Crystal Fawn Deer Pendant Sweater Chain Necklace Christmas Gift ZJustice Girls Acrylic Sweater Cute Sequence Sparkle Holiday Christmas Red 20Chic Blue Christmas Dragonfly Retro Sweater Charm Chain Jewelry Pendant NecklaceThe Quacker Factory Womens Medium Red Snowman Christmas SweaterVintage Red Holiday Christmas Scotty Dog Pullover Sweater Plaid Bows Plus Sz 20wChristmas Sleeveless Cardigan Sweater Women Size Xxl/2xl(20)Christmas Sweater Vest, Woman's 16w, White Stag, Dark Blue, Ramie/cotton BlendTalbots Kids Girls Size 8 Red Holiday Christmas Sweater With Snow Globe DetailsMen's, Ls Tee, Red, "the Roots Christmas Sweater", Size S, OkayplayerToddler 2t Sweater Zip Up Cardigan Holiday Christmas Ugly Cute Girls Santa ClausStyle Studio Womens Ugly? Christmas Tree Sweater Size 1x