More are finding beauty in ugly Christmas sweaters

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Friday, December 12, 2014 4:24pm
  • Life

Ugly is the new pretty.

Otherwise, why would anybody dare wear a sweater festooned with tinsel, teddy bears, pom-poms, wreaths, bows, bells, gingerbread men, puppies and kitties?

It’s just plain wrong what goes on an ugly Christmas sweater.

It’s also quite fashionable, not to mention profitable.

Ugly sweaters are everywhere. There are about 9,000 “ugly sweater” results on Amazon alone.

Need a place to show off your hideous knit? No problem. There are ugly sweater pub crawls, fun runs, store events, parties and dog shows.

Yeah, even your favorite newspaper is getting in the act. The Herald is having an Ugly Sweater Contest. The best worst sweaters win a prize.

At one time, these gaudy garments were not ugly sweaters. These were holiday sweaters. School teachers wore them. Grandmothers wore them. Guys with no fashion sense wore them.

There really isn’t a clear definition of what is ugly, other than the more obnoxious the better.

Some people might be offended to have their sweater called ugly. Keep that in mind when offering an “ugly sweater” compliment.

“These are not ugly!” joked Sandra Albertson, of Marysville, who came as she was to the Everett Red Robin on the day the diner was hosting its “World’s Largest Ugly Sweater Party,” offering free appetizers to the aptly dressed.

Every day in December is ugly sweater day for Albertson.

“After Thanksgiving, I get my tote out of sweaters from the garage and I wear a different one every day,” she said.

Also at Red Robin to celebrate uglysweaterhood were best friends Liz Cooper, of Everett, and Bailee Scott, of Lake Stevens.

They started wearing ugly sweaters as fashion mis-statements long before it was hip.

“It used to be you’d have to go a thrift store and dig or go through your grandmother’s closet,” Scott said. “Now they have ones that are brand new and that take out some of the fun-ness. I like that they’re old. This one had huge shoulder pads in it.”

“I like the ones that have the pills and you know it has been to lots of parties back in the day,” said Cooper.

“People thought it was beautiful then.”

The vintage uglies can get pricey. At Value Village and Goodwill, most are under $10 but some go for $20.

Online site offers the option to rent an ugly sweater. After all, your other sweaters couldn’t stand having an ugly one folded up and placed next to it, right?

Another online company,, sold out of men’s ugly Christmas suits, complete with tie. No need to worry, guys, there are plenty of ugly sweaters available with sports team logos. Seahawks included.

There are ugly sweaters for dogs, cats and wine bottles. As if that’s not enough, it’s spread to food, with ugly sweater cookie kits to design your own pretty ugly treats.

Some people create their own sweaters. All it takes is a glue gun and a binge at the dollar store.

Abby Ortiz, of Monroe, outfitted the whole family with handmade ugly sweaters for a Christmas picture with Santa at Alderwood Mall.

She attached pot holders, candy, toys, lights and lots of holiday action to six once-boring sweaters.

Her son, Rey Corcino, 6, was a good sport about wearing his sweater plastered with an elf, bows, bling and baubles for the photo.

Will he wear it to school?

“No way,” he said. “I’m not wearing this again.”

Herald Ugly Sweater Contest

Rummage up your best worst ugly sweater and snap a picture of you wearing it. Enter Dec. 8 to 16. Online voting is Dec. 17 through 20. Winners announced Dec. 22. Prizes include Silvertips tickets, $50 gift card to Totem Family Diner and items from King’s Heating &Air Conditioning and Pignataro Volkswagen. Go to

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