10 Not-So-Ugly Holiday Sweaters Bringing Joy to the World

Warm, Handsome, and Just Festive Enough To Suit the Season

By Hadley Tomicki ·

Your office party is more like the ghost of Christmas past this year.

And your annual holiday bacchanal will have to be held at home, with the same people you've spent the last 250+ days with.

Meaning any and all ironically hideous sweaters will not see the light of day.


Instead you’ll rock normal nice-looking holiday sweaters like everyone used to do. The type that keep individuals both appropriately warm and devilishly handsome. Like the ten trunk-shielding garments you're about to encounter in UrbanDaddy’s Guide to 10 Not-So-Ugly Holiday Sweaters.

Not a single one features a reindeer with their antlers tangled in real Christmas lights. Or a biker Santa with a giant knitted beard that dangles below the navel. Instead, they’re rather minimal, elegant, well-made things with only the merest whisper of a hint of yuletide seasonality.

In other words, they have a way longer shelf life than anything thing grandma made. 

Check them out.

Sid Mashburn tapped the soft, fluffy powers of yak fiber to knit you this Nordic-style Merino-blend sweater that tells the world, “I'm actually fairly comfortable around Canadians.”

Rodd & Gunn’s lightweight Queenstown sweater blends cashmere and Merino wool into a simple looking crewneck that comes in a festive red. Which fortunately isn't, you know, too red.

Mollusk’s green wool Cambridge sweater looks suitable in the woods and equally at ease on the beach. It does look just a tiny bit out of place during cockfights, however. At least in our experience.

This holly-jolly knit jumper from Barcelona’s Desigual boasts that blithely inside-out look that says, “I’m either incapable of putting my clothes on correctly," or "I’m creating the next Kriss Kross-inspired fashion trend.” Only you’ll know the truth.

If anyone is going to make an ultra-soft Scottish lambs wool sweater look sort of tough, it’s Filson. But ultimately, it still needs people to function. Because it's really just a big softie when you get down to it.

DSTLD’s heather grey cashmere crewneck looks a little like a blanket of fallen snow gently layered over a city street. Or static on an old TV set. You decide.

Should anyone challenge you to defend the seasonality of your St. Laurent camel hair sweater’s muted color scheme, simply drop facts about how dromedaries were the Uber of ancient Bethlehem. Then quietly walk away.

This is the green chunky Merino wool Casina sweater from Want Les Essentials. Chunky is their word, not ours. We don’t sweater-shame.

Taylor Stitch deployed baby yak wool in this Donegal hardtack sweater with sheepskin elbow patches. Because they’ve been keeping an eye on you and think you have professorial potential.

But wait, you say. Where’s the whimsy? Where’s the representational iconography traditional to holiday sweaters? To which we say, here’s a holiday-esque wool sweater from L.A.’s Union with a detailed spine and arm bones. We might also suggest one of us is overthinking things.

Hadley Tomicki

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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