U-G-L-Y, You Don’t Have No Alibi!

As the days get short and the weather gets nippy, one article of normcore clothing slays all others and steals their power.

The Highlander.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater.

No longer relegated to grandmothers and elementary-schoolmarms, the sweater has been co-opted by hipsters. They openly mock the older generation’s veneration of this seasonal atrocity.

When the trend began, the sweater had to be thrifted. Fighting other desperate twentysomethings at Goodwill in December was a rite of passage. One needed a heinous example of the Genuine Article.

Now ugly Christmas items are generated by designers, on computers, and screen printed onto tees. Prefabricated ones in different themes are everywhere. You can get ugly Christmas sweaters with robots, dinosaurs, Birthday Jesus, or NFL teams. You can even get one that says “Shitter’s Full.” (It’s from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.)

I’ve spent the last week at work focusing my attention on crafting a Penn State themed one. I took tiny v’s and assembled them, v by v, into designs that looked like snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, trees, etc. Here’s the resulting hideous baby. I rather love it.

I bought one for my grandmother, and she told me with watery eyes that it was beautiful.

Here are some more things Nana would cry over.


Reindeer earrings, $28; Christmas fascinator, $45; Wine bottle holder, $27; Cat shirt, $12-20; Leggings, $15; Holiday Nikes, $250-300ish; and my Penn State Holiday Crew, $20-24.

I think mostly she would cry over the price of the Nikes. They’ve been discontinued, but still.

As Flight of the Conchords pointed out, Why are we still paying so much for sneakers, when you got them made by little slave kids? What are your overheads?

Shopping at the Goodwill is definitely cheaper.