Ugly Christmas Sweater Craze

Ugly Christmas sweaters are as synonymous with the holidays as Santa Claus, reindeer and fruit cake!

I remember as a child seeing my great aunt wearing these on holidays and wondering what exactly was in that hot cocoa she was drinking. Even worse than seeing someone else wearing one was receiving one as a gift from grandparents who expected you to not only wear them but take photos in them!

Oh how times have changed, these once unwanted gifts have become one of the hippest and hottest in demand holiday items!

Hipsters and trendsetters scour thrift stores and the internet trying to nab the most unusual and original “ugly” sweater to wear to their holiday festivities.  It becomes a sort of competition on whose sweater spurs the most conversation and laughs.

This year you won’t have to wear yourself out hunting for the perfect “ugly” sweater!

THE place to go when it comes to unusual, tacky, naughty, humorous and sweaters that are so wrong they are  right is

I sat down with Skedouche founder, owner and CEO John Kaplar to find out more about this tacky-chic trend.

Q: “Ugly” and “Tacky” Christmas sweaters have become all the rage in the past few years.  They have shown up on TV shows, Christmas Cards, Pub Crawls and entire holiday parties are themed around them!  Why do you think the hip, fab and fashionable have become so obsessed with them?

JK: In the 80’s and early 90’s, what we consider to be “ugly” Christmas sweaters was the norm.  It’s incredible how bad some of these sweaters were!  I think they are back in style because people just want to have fun during the holidays and you can’t help but smile or laugh when you see a truly hideous Christmas sweater.  And the fact that they are hard to find these days makes them rather exclusive and rare.    

Q: Skedouche delivers a very specific type of product.  Who is the Skedouche shopper? 

JK: We don’t target one particular type of shopper – we offer products that range from G-rated to the naughty sweaters you can’t wear to church.  Families buy our tacky sweaters for their Christmas cards, and college students and young adults buy our naughty sweaters to wear to their parties and pub crawls.  Overall the Skedouche shopper is one that just wants to have fun during the holiday season by wearing festive holiday clothing. 

Q: What inspired you to create the brand?

JK: I was frustrated with the lack of tacky Christmas sweaters in men’s sizes both in retail stores and online.  I thought to myself that if I was looking for these sweaters, there must be others looking as well.  The light bulb went off!

Q:  How do you come up with these crazy and wacky design ideas? 

JK: I have a creative mind, and sometimes that can be a bit scary.  I was inspired to make my Reindeer Threesome design by looking at old pictures from my high school days when my friends and I would go to neighborhood houses and arrange the plastic reindeer in “adult” positions.  I thought it was a funny concept and blending that image with a traditional-looking Christmas sweater pattern was something that just worked on so many levels.  Many of my other designs are just images that I think are comical, different, or creative.  How many times in the past have you ever seen a black Santa sweater?   I also gauge my designs on what I call the “Megan factor”.  Megan is my fiancé and if I create a new design that she feels is crossing the line, it usually means that it will be a hot-selling item .  J

Q: Tell me about your annual Skedouche Sweater contest.

 JK: The Skedoucherrific Photo Contest is our annual contest for all our customers where they can send us their pictures of them wearing Skedouche products.  There is a first place, second place, and third place prize for the best photos.  Our customers are extremely creative and also quite hilarious, so the pictures they submit are priceless.  It’s really my favorite part of running this business – seeing my sweaters playing a part in other people’s holiday fun makes all the hard work worth it!

Q: For someone who wants to throw a “tacky” or “ugly” sweater holiday party, what are your top tips?

JK: Easy – Get a Skedouche sweater!  But seriously, dress festive – the more accessories you have the better.  Make sure you have plenty of eggnog, a good Christmas music playlist, and a copy of “Christmas Vacation” playing on repeat on your TV.  Oh, and bring a camera so you get all the festiveness on film!

Whether you are feeling naughty or nice  Skedouche will have you wrapped in a perfectly chic combination of “ugly” and “tacky” this season!  Here is a look at some of Skedouche’s wacky designs:

(Skedouche Excited Snowman Sweater)

(Skedouche Reindeer Games Sweater)

(Skedouche Nutcracker pullover sweater)


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  1. OMG! This is such a great contest! I would LOVE to win the Santa Pimp Cardigan to use in the UGLY SWEATER RUN coming up in December! Oh the pictures that we will have! You know I love my races and this is going to be an unforgettable race in my new Reindeer Games Sweater that I hope to win!

  2. Lighted Winter Wonderland Vest – Oh yea, that is awesome. I have the perfect UGLY turtle neck to go underneath it.

  3. Love it! I just stumbled upon Skedouche a couple of days ago and my holiday excitement went through the roof! I NEED the Prancing Reindeer sweater dress (or the matching sweater)! I noticed they had dog sweaters on their site too and…I love to dress my dog up! So my boyfriend, my dog, and I wish we could all match for the holidays in these awesome sweaters!

  4. I am excited as my new snowman sweater. Can’t wait to sport it around at the upcoming ugly sweater party.your products on your website was exactly what I was looking for.keep UP the gret work. Thanks Charlie

  5. These are glorious. Incredible that the inspiration for the Reindeer Threesome came from something I may (or may not) have done myself as a teenager… Another “why didn’t I think of that” success story!

  6. This is AWESOME! Especially since I have a closet full of Christmas Sweaters, of mine, from the 80’s! Great insight into his website and contests. What a fun thing! Thanks for sharing this so I can have a place to send people who are looking for the perfect holiday ensemble.

  7. These are great. lol. My husband bought the snowman one last year, and I was thinking of buying, maybe winning, him another this year. Great article!

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