It's that time of year again, and I've found myself on the hunt for the perfect plus size ugly Christmas sweaters. This year, however, I'm somewhat conflicted. Is the ugly Christmas sweater really ugly anymore, or has the idea of wearing an ugly sweater to a holiday party moved beyond the realm of ironic and into the land of the routine?
Years ago, ugly Christmas sweaters were something that only my fifth grade history teacher would've been caught dead in; shockingly bad acrylic nightmares constructed from tinsel, pom-poms, and maybe even a flashing light or two. Somewhere along the way, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater became the ultimate ironic hipster move, with bearded Brooklynites parading them around loft parties where the egg nog was served in a mason jar and Santa was a huge Father John Misty fan. Now, we just accept them as part of the Christmas party scene, and retailers have followed suit: There are dozens of ugly Christmas sweaters on the market, even in plus sizes.
That being said, after all of my hemming and hawing, I've realized that no matter how popular they get, ugly Christmas sweaters still stay true to a couple fundamental truths: They're really fun to wear, and they're really, really hideous. Check out some of the best-worst offenders below.
1. A Christmas Journey
Eyeshadow Plus Believin' Holiday Santa Sweater, $49.99, macys.com
It's your favorite song to belt during a drunken karaoke session, and Santa has been a Steve Perry fan since the '80s. This is the only Christmas sweater for the small town plus size girl, livin' in a lonely world.
2. Two Snaps For This Snap
Oh Snap Holiday Sweater, $39.99, ashleystewart.com
Because you love gingerbread men, you love sass, and you love when gingerbread men get sassy.
3. Dreaming Of A Blue Christmas
Lady Elf Pullover Sweater, $34.30, avenue.com
Sure, the little lady elf body on this sweater is cute as a button, but what really sells it is the unusual shade of sky blue. In a sea of greens and red, you're sure to stand out in this number.
4. Kiss Me Quick
Kiss Me Under The Mistletoe Sweater, $34.95, simplybe.com
Getting your fill of Christmas sugar isn't just about eating a bunch of delicious cookies. Hopefully your crush will see you in this sweater and give you your Christmas wish — or maybe you'll just get a peck from your grandma, and that's totally cool, too.
5. A Whole Lot Of Love For The Big Man
'This Girl Loves Santa' Holiday Sweater, $40.50, asos.com
Declare your love for the man up North with this romantic Christmas sweater, because beards (even big, white, fictional beards) are so hot right now.
6. It's About To Be A (What?) Deer Fight
ASOS Curve Holiday Sweater In Rainbow Fair Isle, $40.50, asos.com
Sure, these deer are probably meant to look like they're about to kiss or embrace, but I love the fact that they could also be interpreted as being about to fight. The scene is adorable on a sweater, even if in real life this likely wouldn't end well.
8. And A Pepperoni New Year
Merry Crustmas Ugly Pizza Sweater, $19, etsy.com
Pizza. Christmas. Pizza and Christmas. Nothing else matters, and this sweater is perfect.
9. A Bevy Of Classic Snowmen
Christmas Snowman Sweater, $29.49, simplybe.com
This ugly Christmas sweater is classic, and perfect for the plus size woman who wants to be festive without making too much of a statement. Plus, if your friends get too drunk at the holiday party, you can distract them by making them count the snowmen.
10. For Those Who Love To Ho
Plus Size Sequin Christmas Sweater, $27.90, forever21.com
It's Santa's siren song, and it's one of the rare opportunities to use the word "ho" three times in a row. Plus, the ho's on this sweater are made out of sequins, just as a ho should be.
11. Elf On The Shelf
Plus Size Elf Bell Sweater, $27.90, forever21.com
Recipe for a perfect Christmas Eve: Wear this sweater, drink too much egg nog, and find yourself a shelf to sit on. You are the first ever plus size Elf On The Shelf, and you are magnificent.
12. Home Alone Perfection
Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal Slouchy Christmas Sweater, $20.95, etsy.com
It's a classic holiday greeting for all of us who spent our youths wrapped up in Kevin Mccallister's antics. Plus, this greeting is a bit nicer than, "Look what ya did, ya little jerk."
13. Merry Pugmas
Bongo Plus Ugly Christmas Sweater, $15.99, sears.com
Because the only one that looks cuter in a Christmas sweater than you is the pug on your sweater who looks like he's been forced into the whole thing.
14. An Elf Homage
I'm Sorry I Ruined Your Lives Sweatshirt, $26.00, dentzdenim.com
Admit it: No matter how many times you've seen the movie Elf, this line makes you crack up for at least 10 minutes. Why not put it on a sweater and make someone else smile?
15. Emoji Santa
Emoji Santa Ugly Christmas Sweater, $21.99, amazon.com
At this point, I'm pretty sure I express myself in like 87 percent emoji, so it makes sense that I'd want one on my holiday sweater. Bonus points if someone is hypnotized by this Emoji Santa's dead-eyed gaze.
16. The Sweater We All Knew Had To Happen
I Know When Those Sleigh Bells Ring Crewneck, $17.99, bewild.com
It's been a big year for Drake, and after he released "Hotline Bling," it was a rousing few months for the Internet. This is just one of the many fruits of the "Hotline Bling" aftermath. It's almost like Drake planned for sleigh bells to be Photoshopped into his hands.
17. For The Festive Feminist Killjoy
All I Want For Christmas Is The Destruction Of The Patriarchy Sweatshirt, $44.95, feministapparel.com
Because let's face it: The patriarchy needs to be crushed all year round, and you're the plus size feminist killjoy who's happy to do it. This sweater is for the unrelenting feminist who doesn't care if she harshes the Christmas dinner mellow. Or at the very least, pisses off a great uncle or two.
These are some of the best plus size ugly sweaters I've seen all season, and there's one for every style and sensibility. Now go forth and be ugly as hell this holiday.
Images: Rick Jones Photography/Amanda Richards (1); Courtesy Brands