15 Fantastically Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater
Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater / Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater

Who doesn’t love a little ugly sweater action? We sure do—and so does Brian Howard, co-author of the book Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater. Brian invited us to take a look at his private collection of ugly sweater pictures on Flickr and we couldn’t be more excited to share them with you.

1. Stripper Claus

Image by Jessica Gabeler, Killington, VT

The first thing you'll probably notice about this gentleman’s terrible sweater is the lady with 3D breasts—but the more you look, the more you notice how horrible this garment is. From the three awkward and ugly Santas to the woman’s horribly mismatched and disfigured legs, this piece of holiday wear is a truly festive trainwreck.

2. Santa Moose

Image by Gloria Dawson

A Santa Moose handing out mini moose toys all covered in working lights? Yup, this sweater is an ugly Christmas miracle.

3. Good Taste Has Left the Building

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

Just looking at this couple is like a festive assault on the eyes. Together they should win a prize for worst dressed couple—which is a good thing at an ugly sweater party.

4. The Family That Uglies Together

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

This family’s matching ugly sweater photo shoot is pretty entertaining, but what really brings it over the top is the little girl’s teddy bear, which is also in on the bad taste parade.

5. Pick a Holiday, Any Holiday

Image by Jessica Gabeler, Killington, VT

I don’t know what’s tackier in this sweater picture—the Santa beard sweater with the felt paper chain, or the menorah hat covered in Christmas lights. Either way, this man certainly won the trophy in his hand.

6. An Ugly Hanukkah Sweater? Why Not?

Image by Brian Clark Howard

Just because ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage doesn’t mean those who don’t celebrate the holiday are excluded from the fun. As this man’s ensemble proves, a Hanukkah sweater can be just as ugly as a Christmas one.

7. Old School and New School

Image by Jessica Gabeler, Killington, VT

This picture celebrates the two schools of ugly sweater—the originals, which were created as a means to celebrate Christmas in a festive frock, and modern ones, which were designed with no other intention than to be tacky. While the originals are fun in that they were first worn without any hint of irony, the more modern ones are almost more fun because they really test the limits of how ugly a sweater can be.

8. Make It Your Own

Image by Mindy Parisi, FindingSilverLinings

As this young couple demonstrates, one of the great things about the modern ugly Christmas sweater is that it doesn’t actually have to be designed with a Christmas theme at first. In fact, if you want to win a prize at your next ugly sweater party without spending a fortune finding a classic one on eBay, try grabbing any old sweater and making it into a Christmas tragedy with garland, bows, bells, and trashy Christmas appliqués.

9. Use Your Imagination

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

Have a sweater party to attend and can’t find anything that will work? Well, if you have anything Christmas-y lying around the house and some clothing you don’t care about, you’ve got all you need to make an ugly sweater (or dress). Even a rug and garland can make an ugly Christmas dress in no time.

10. Express Yourself

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

This sweater is such an eyesore that it seems to have sent its wearer into a spiral of depression.

11. Go for a Theme

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

Don’t just be a man in an ugly Christmas tree sweater … be the hideous Christmas tree you always dreamed of being.

12. Don’t Be Afraid to Accessorize

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

Sure, this sweater is ugly, but it’s the matching Christmas tree hat and boa that really sell it.

13. Involve Your Furry Friend

Image by January Meyer

Ordinarily, we tend to frown on those who think of their animals as fashion accessories, but when those animals are so clearly depicted on your ugly sweater, you pretty much have no choice but to drag your pooch around with you all day.

14. Watch Your Back

Image by Anne Marie Blackman

Can’t bear to see yourself wearing such a hideous piece of clothing when you look in the mirror? Then turn your back on the idea … literally. No one said the ugliest part of your sweater has to face forward.

15. Capes Are So Hot This Year

Image by Jessica Gabeler, Killington, VT

Finally, there’s no reason to limit yourself to a sweater when you want to wear terrible holiday duds. In fact, an eccentric tree skirt can actually prove to be even more tasteless and hilarious when worn as a stylish cape.