25 Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas to Try This Holiday Season (Including Some DIYs, If You're Feeling Crafty)

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You’re almost all set for the holidays. You’ve made a dent in that gift list and checked it twice, your stockings are hung (by the chimney with care, of course) and you’re blasting Mariah’s version of ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ on repeat. Now all you need is the true icon of the season: the ugly holiday sweater.

These light-up knits, pun-covered pullovers and tinsel-strewn cardigans have become a December tradition we look forward to almost as much as the Starbucks holiday cup reveal or binge-watching Elf over and over again as we eat gingerbread by the handful. Here, 25 ugly Christmas sweater ideas—from the good and the bad to the truly hideous, including five to DIY—to help spread the holiday cheer.


5 DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas to Try

ugly christmas sweater ideas studio diy
Studio DIY

1. Studio Diy Christmas Lights Sweater

For those in the mood for a more involved project, Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY has instructions on how to crochet a string of brightly-colored lights you can affix to any cozy sweater (or one you knit yourself, if you’re feeling really ambitious).

ugly christmas sweater ideas aww sam tropical diy
Aww Sam

2. Aww Sam Diy “ugly” Tropical Christmas Sweater

This island-inspired design by Sam Ushiro is a bit more advanced (those palm trees are actually crocheted on), but you can always glue on some felt shapes if you’re more of a beginner crafter.

ugly christmas sweater ideas the spruce craft
The Spruce Craft

3. The Spruce Craft Diy Ugly Christmas Sweater

Add a little bit of all your holiday favorites—candy canes, ornaments, ribbons, gingerbread cookies—to a red or green sweatshirt with contrasting tinsel trim with the help of this easy DIY from Megan Graney.

the samantha show ugly christmas sweater ideas
the samantha show

4. The Samantha Show Diy Light Up Ugly Christmas Sweater

Turns out it’s not nearly as complicated as we thought to turn just about any knit into a light-up sweater. So whether you’re hoping to design your own ugly Christmas knit from scratch or just want to add an extra pop to one you already own, The Samantha Show's fun and easy DIY can get you there.

ugly christmas sweater ideas diy snowglobe the craft patch
The Craft Patch

5. The Craft Patch Snow Globe Ugly Christmas Sweater

This pom-pom adorned design requires no sewing whatsoever, making it an excellent option for those who want a more low-key project. All you need is felt, scissors, pom-poms, fabric glue and a sweater or top you’re willing to transform into a festive winter wonderland.

20 Ugly Christmas Sweaters to Buy

star wars christmas sweater
Ugly Christmas Sweater

6. Star Wars Yoda Light Up Christmas Sweater

May the force eggnog be with you.

Available in sizes S to 3X

grinch christmas sweater
Ugly Christmas Sweater

7. I Love Christmas Grinch Light Up Sweater

Take a fashion note from the grouchiest holiday icon around and wear this bad boy to your next Whobilation.

Available in sizes S to 4XL

light up christmas tree sweater

8. G&j Lightup Tree Sweater

You haven’t celebrated the holiday season to the fullest unless your Christmas tree sweater lights up and twinkles just like the real one in your living room.

Available in sizes XS to XXL

turtleneck sweater dress

9. Pink Queen Turtleneck Sweater Dress

Is it a sweater? Is it a dress? Either way, this knit with a googly-eyed Santa and penguin is sure to be the cutest one at the party.

Available in sizes S to XL

dancing santa christmas sweater

10. Sovoyontee Christmas Sweater

What could be more jolly than mini Santas playing in the snow?

Available in sizes S to XL

gingerbread christmas sweater

11. Celebrate Together Tossed Gingerbread Christmas Sweater

Stay on theme for your friend's annual gingerbread house decorating party.

Available in sizes XS to XXL

sheep christmas sweater

12. Celebrate Together Christmas Sweater Cardigan

This red cardigan peppered with fluffy white sheep reminds us slightly of a festive version Lady Diana’s iconic pullover.

Available in sizes S to XL

mean girls christmas sweater

13. Mean Girls You Go Glenn Coco Graphic Sweatshirt

We’ll just go ahead and say it: This festive pullover is so fetch.

Available in sizes XS to 3X

pom pom christmas sweater

14. Holiday Pom Pom Graphic Cardigan

If you’re searching for a more, shall we say, understated option, this textured knit embellished with colorful pom poms is definitely the way to go.

Available in sizes XS to 3X

asos christmas jumper

15. Asos Design Curve ‘christmas Jumper’ Sweater

Sweet, simple, straight to the point and in our opinion, actually pretty stylish.

Available in sizes 14 to 24

ugly christmas sweater ideas tipsy elves wine stocking
Tipsy Elves

16. Tipsy Elves Christmas Wine Stocking Tacky Sweater

Who needs a bag when you can carry a full bottle of wine in your sweater?

Available in sizes XS to 3XL

fuzzy santa christmas sweater

17. Kiapeise Santa Claus Print Crewneck

Pay homage to the man of the hour with this baby pink pullover accented with fuzzy white Santa beards.

Available in sizes S to XL

boden reindeer christmas sweater

18. Boden Christmas Sweater

OK, so this one is actually pretty cute and gives us major snuggled-up-next-to-the-fire kind of vibes.

Available in sizes XS to XL

aerie christmas sweater

19. Aerie Festive Feels! Crewneck Sweater

Sure, you could pair this patterned crewneck with some plain jeans, but why not up the ugly factor by pulling on some festive houndstooth or sequin pants, instead?

Available in sizes XXS to XXL

llama christmas sweater

20. 33 Degrees Llama Sequin Graphic Pullover Sweater

A llama + sequins + pom-poms = a spectacular holiday sweater. Interestingly, this combo also equals a spectacular holiday party (just for future reference).

Available in sizes XS to 3X

modcloth ugly christmas sweater ideas

21. Modcloth Rawr Ambition Dinosaur Sweater

Because nothing says “Christmas” quite like snowflakes, traditional Shetland Fair Isle detailing and a string of ferocious Tyrannosaurus rexes.

Available in sizes XXS to 4X

flamingo christmas sweater

22. 33 Degrees Flamingo Christmas Tree Graphic Pullover Sweater

For those who prefer to spend their holidays in a tropical locale, perhaps a flamingo-, parrot- and frond-covered knit is the way to go.

Available in sizes XS to 3X

tipsy elves ugly christmas sweater ideas

23. Tipsy Elves Cute Wrapping Paper Christmas Sweater

Be sure to fill out the gift tag with a clever combination like “To: E. Scrooge, From: J. Frost.”

Available in sizes XS to 4X

ugly christmas sweater ideas tipsy elves cardigan

24. Tipsy Elves Green And Red Tinsel Ornament Ugly Christmas Cardigan

For those who want something a little fancier than your typical oversize knit try this glittering argyle-inspired cardi.

Available in sizes XS to 3X

woman within ugly christmas sweater ideas
Woman Within

25. Woman Within Holiday Pullover Sweater

There are eight adorable wintery animal designs to choose from, but we’re partial to this cozy kitty sporting a festive knit all her own.

Available in sizes M to 5X