This article contains explicit material and may be NSFW.
National Ugly Sweater Day is a real holiday. Observed every third Friday in December, the celebration promises to relieve your boring existence of the “common maladies” associated with living your damn life when you’re not looking like the quarter rack at a thrift store. It’s this enterprising spirit that has actually brought a little bit of good to the world—and not just because the Internet already broke the ugly sweater concept to begin with.
The folks at the helm of National Ugly Sweater Day encourage participants to not only buy some tacky knitwear but do a bit of good with it by donating to Save The Children’s Make the World Better With a Sweater campaign. Dive even deeper into the ugly sweater rabbit hole and you’ll see that there are even dedicated 5K runs purely for the sake of sporting your most hideous garb—while, once again, contributing to a good cause.
But the faux holiday and Christmas itself are equally unforgiving when it comes to attire. If you’re doing anything this month, you better be doing it in an ill-fitting, itchy, hideous sweater. For those of you whose closets are barren and without, we say: Let the Internet be your ugly sweater sherpa.
Together we make football… delightfully hideous and uncomfortable. We’re not even to the playoffs yet, which means ugly NFL sweaters are an item you can sadly sport for months to come. Silence your politically-incorrect older relatives bitching about the important issues facing this fabulous nation with a Cleveland Browns ugly sweater in “just let me bleed out already” crimson. Or horrify your friends with a mottled Russell Wilson/Seahawks sweater louder than the organization’s famed 12th man.
Turn your playful take on the ugly Christmas sweater into—ahem—foreplay. The handmade and vintage haven that is Etsy offers up a whole lot of ugly in one convenient location. Like many other purveyors of fine tackiness, their offerings run the gamut of knit sweaters to those basic, lazy sweatshirts erroneously marketed as real-deal ugly sweaters. And then there’s the one-two punch combo of the sexy sweater and Rudolph pasty. Note that this particular sweater isn’t for breastfeeding; if you think babies can handle their shit around googly eyes, then think again.
The Big Ugly Christmas Sweater Industrial Complex is all pretty much interconnected, so it’s no surprise that TipsyElves are the National Ugly Sweater Day folks’ online shop of choice when it comes to buying and subsequently donning some gay apparel. Oh, and they both support Save the Children! TipsyElves is great about getting their message out there, recently partnering with Uber to deliver their wares for a measly $10. These garments are a little pricier and sans “Uber elves” but come with free shipping and a 30 percent discount (for now). Don’t forget to build out your booze budget for when you inevitably buy this drinking game sweater, fall asleep on a couch, and start losing the game like hell.
Overkill might be the best way to describe the rich bounty of ugly sweaters flooding eBay like shit in an RV toilet on Christmas morning. Either this sweater actually comes with plush toys for some type of hostage situation chic, or there’s a sick underground sweater mod society whose preferred vendor of choice just happens to be one of the O.G Internet’s last strongholds. Either way, Santa’s steering clear of anyone who wears it.
Illustration by Max Fleishman