The Hunt for the Perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater

As we near the end of the first week of finals, we can take comfort in the fact that winter break and Christmas are only a few weeks away! With the holidays rapidly approaching, now is the perfect time to shop for the notorious ugly Christmas sweater to wear to those holiday parties. Finding a Christmas sweater with just the right amount of tackiness is a difficult task, complicated further when you’re operating on a student budget. Luckily, Montreal offers a plethora of thrift shops where we can find all sorts of vintage items at cheaper prices. I explored a few of these options myself and was very pleased with my findings.


I began my hunt at the Fripe-Prix store located near the De l’Église metro station. Budget-wise, Fripe-Prix is the college student's dream store because the prices are extremely low! Sweaters are all $6 each, and purchases made at Fripe-Prix stores are not charged sales tax, which is another great plus for student budgets. However, since the store is stocked purely from donations, finding a sweater to your liking mostly depends on luck.

Fripe-Prix has a lot of sweaters to choose from, though not all of them are winter-themed. My advice for shopping here is to sift through all of the sweaters and pick out any red and green ones you see, even if they don’t have distinct holiday themes. The colours automatically make the sweater holiday-themed, but you can add an extra Christmas touch by attaching some tinsel or red ribbons from Dollarama. Another effective method of finding holiday sweaters is to search for snowflake patterns. These sweaters may not necessarily be holiday-themed, but they will be winter-themed!

Continuing my hunt, I also took a stroll down Saint-Laurent Boulevard, which is known for its numerous funky shops and restaurants. I stopped by a number of consignment stores, but the stores whose sweater stock stood out the most were Cul-De-Sac and Kilo Frip, located at 3794 Saint-Laurent and 3800 Saint-Laurent, respectively.

Conveniently located side by side, these thrifts stores offer a wide variety of sweaters, flannel shirts, jackets, pants, and accessories. Prices at both stores are higher than at Fripe-Prix, varying between $30 and $50 per sweater, but the variety of Christmas-themed sweaters is much larger than at Fripe-Prix. Cul-de-Sac in particular has an entire section of clothing dedicated to extremely tacky Christmas garments.


Another secondhand store worth checking out is Eva B, also located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. If you would prefer to buy your holiday clothes at a retail store, I recommend checking stores like Forever 21, Garage, Target, and Winners. In any case, the hunt for an ugly Christmas sweater is definitely worth taking a break from your studies. There's just something about tacky Christmas sweaters that spreads holiday cheer like nothing else. If nothing else, they make people smile.


Happy holidays, everyone, and good luck on your exams!


Images are the author's own.