Ugly Christmas Sweaters on the Cheap

It is the time of year for festive holiday parties and gatherings.  Many of the parties and gatherings that I attend are themed:  Christmas pajamas, Christmas movie (everyone dresses as a character) or the infamous ugly Christmas sweater.

In recent years, the popularity of the ugly Christmas sweater has risen.  Many stores are carrying a variety.  Guys, these sweaters are ranging from $15-$30!!  My daughter was determined to get one of these pricey sweaters, but I thought better of it.  Who better to come up with an genuine ugly sweater than me (who is a pro at finding things at the thrift store)??!!


I’m going to share some tips to help you score the ugliest Christmas sweater without breaking the bank!

  • Check Goodwill or your local thrift store.
    • Some thrift stores will group holiday themed clothing on a rack, so they can be easily found.
    • If the holiday items aren’t grouped together, think like an elf.  Just kidding…but seriously think like Christmas.  Hunt for clothing in green, red or a holiday plaid.
  • If you can’t snag a ready-made Christmas sweater, find a plain sweatshirt (in green or red preferably).  Then, hit the holiday decorations isle at your local thrift store.  Many will have bags of ornaments or tinsel for little cost.  Pin these decorations on your plain sweatshirt, and voila an ugly Christmas sweater is born.
    • If you can’t find Christmas tree decor at the thrift store, dollar stores provide a great option.  Dollar stores almost always have poster lights, and these make great additions to your home made ugly sweater!  Grab a reindeer antler headband or a Santa hat while you’re there!
  • Ask your friends to borrow one.  I have at least one friend who has a parent who keeps EVERYTHING!  She always comes in handy in these situations.

I think that scoring a legit vintage ugly Christmas sweater from a thrift store is the best!  I was able to get two Christmas sweaters at my local thrift store for $2 a piece (way better than the $20 that Walmart was asking).  The only other thing I had to do to the sweaters was to cut out the shoulder pads (totally 80’s, right?).  My daughter (who is 14) asked, “Why would anyone want their shoulders to look like that?!”

I’d love to see what ugly sweaters you can come up with!


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