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How to Find an Ugly Christmas Sweater: Simple and Cheap Ways to Locate Clothes for an Ugly Sweater Party

Published by Tanika Colorina

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Since sweaters with images of frolicking reindeer aren’t exactly in vogue today, most college students have to look outside of their closets to find clothes to wear to their ugly Christmas sweater parties. While finding the perfect “ugly” sweater can be a little tricky, there are several places students can look to find a very merry outfit. These places are described below in the following sections.

Borrow Old Holiday Sweaters and Accessories from Friends and Relatives

One of the easiest ways to locate a holiday sweater is to ask college friends and relatives if they have any clothes that you can borrow. You can send out a mass e-mail describing the clothes you need. Even if someone doesn’t have an entire outfit for you to borrow, you might be able to piece together an outfit with random clothes and accessories that you’ve identified from the responses.

Go to a Local Thrift Store That Sells Christmas Sweaters, Vests, and Turtlenecks

Many colleges have thrift stores on their campuses. Thrift stores are great places to check out when looking for cheap clothes for theme parties. Larger thrift stores, like Ragstock, often receive large shipments of holiday clothes in November. During this time, it’s usually pretty easy to locate the perfect Christmas sweater, vest, or even turtleneck to show off at your party.

Look Online for New or Gently Worn Holiday Clothes and Accessories

In addition to shopping online for Christmas presents, you can also shop online for ugly Christmas sweaters. Large department stores, like Kohl’s and Sears, often sell holiday sweaters and sweatshirts during the fall and winter months. These stores might also sell holiday socks and accessories, such as reindeer headbands and flashing-light necklaces. To save money, you can also check out sites like eBay for gently worn holiday apparel and accessories.

Make Your Own Holiday Outfit with Puffy Paint, Light Bulbs, and Bells

If you’re a creative student, then you could also consider constructing your own holiday sweater or sweatshirt. All you would need to purchase is a sweatshirt or sweater and whatever items you plan to decorate it with. Classic holiday sweaters often include puffy paints, glitter, bells, and ironed-on patches of holiday symbols. If you’re entering a sweater contest, then you might even consider using small, flashing holiday lights, too.


Even if a student doesn’t own a holiday sweater, it’s not very difficult to locate a fun and tacky Christmas sweater for a party. Students can borrow clothes from their friends and relatives, or they can purchase clothing from thrift stores, department stores, or online vendors. And, if those options prove to be fruitless, students can decorate their own holiday sweaters.

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