‘Tis the Season to Be Gaudy

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

The Ugly Christmas Sweater has been in existence since the dawn of tacky clothing. When sifting through old pictures of parents and grandparents sporting strange patterned garb, it’s clear that unsightly sweaters have been around for quite some time. The Ugly Christmas Sweater originated in the ‘80s, which was the epoch of Zubaz pants, Bedazzlers, puffy shirts and other questionable fashion choices.

December is now in full swing, and the season of Christmas trees, decorations and cable knits adorned with poinsettias and reindeer is upon us. ‘Tis the season for Ugly Christmas Sweaters, which have become ubiquitous at this time year. These garish yet delightful sweaters are worn for ironic effect or for a kick of nostalgia. The garment that used to be dreaded at Christmas time– along with fruit cake–has become trendy once again thanks to the surge in “Ugly Christmas Sweater” themed parties during the holiday season. The trend has birthed a few innovative products and new spins on the old-school sweater, including sweaters with 3D elements and fully-functioning lights.

With stores now offering make-your-own Ugly Christmas Sweater kits, it’s easy to find a tacky sweater that is perfect for you. After rummaging through the racks of some Toronto thrift shops, including Black Market Vintage Clothing, F as in Frank Vintage and Goodwill, we gathered up some of the ginchiest options to suit your festive plans. Tip: For a really gnarly sweater, opt for one with a lot of glitter, sequins, garland, mistletoe, tinsel and candy canes.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #1: $10

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

As far as Ugly Christmas Sweaters go, this one is quite tame and tasteful.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #2: $8

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Photo: Sam Yohannes

A nod to your childhood Christmas memories.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #3: $20

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

A sweater vest featuring poinsettias galore.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #4: $20

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Ugly Christmas Sweater #5: $20

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

A punny Christmas sweater featuring two bears bearing gifts.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #6: $25

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Who said stockings were only meant to be hung by the chimney with care?

Ugly Christmas Sweater #7: $25

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Reminiscent of the sweater your elementary school teacher would wear at this time of year.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #8: $20

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Photo: Sam Yohannes

It’s a Christmas sweater for every month.

Ugly Christmas Sweater #9: $15

Photo: Sam Yohannes

Photo: Sam Yohannes

This one features a floating Santa head as well as a snowman. It’s a Christmas cluster of sorts.