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Ugly-sweater racks have made there appearance for the holiday season across downtown Columbia.

Emil Lippe /Senior Staff Photographer

The “nice list” of ugly Christmas sweaters in Columbia

Embrace the good, the bad and the ugly.

By Nat Kaemmerer | Dec. 10, 2016

Tags: Downtown Columbia Holidays

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One of the best parts of the Christmas season is the ugly sweaters. They’re so ugly, and in some cases just completely over the top, but you can’t help but love them.

Entire parties during the holiday season are dedicated to being the tackiest person in the room. You can be gaudy or go super retro and sport a vintage sweater for a more toned-down, everyday holiday look. Luckily, Columbia provides holiday shoppers with plenty of options on either end of the spectrum.

Maude Vintage

This is where you’ll find the promised land of ugly Christmas cheer. As soon as you walk in, three racks and one wall section slap you in the face with ornaments, garlands, stockings, lights — you name it. The ones on the racks are usually more toned-down, while the ones on the wall are handmade and wild.

“We have little elves who make them for us,” employee Gabrielle Parish said.

Maude is the place you’ll want to be if you need to win an ugly Christmas sweater contest. Try on the dress covered in garlands and ornaments (which comes complete with a tree topper hat). Or, if you’re looking for a full-body experience, try a pair of Christmas jeans, the sweater with the teddy bear sewn onto it, a Christmas tie, some ornament earrings and the Christmas shoes.

Find Maude at 818 E. Broadway, noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Target

Target is a surprisingly great place to find wacky Christmas wear. This year, they have everything from socks to sweater skirts to actual sweaters. There’s even a small selection of pet sweaters and accessories.

It might not be the wackiest selection, or the most “authentic,” but it does the trick for bringing the ugly Christmas trend to the masses. The puns, which include a gingerbread man saying “Oh snap!” and a cat in a Santa hat dubbed “Santa Paws,” leave something to be desired, but you can also find Star Wars and Disney sweaters, so it evens out.

Target is located at the Columbia Mall, 2400 Bernadette Drive, and open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Muse Clothing

Muse has a good mix of intense and relaxed Christmas sweaters. Like Maude, they have the gaudy selection — there’s a vest with a snowman-shaped pouch and a garland wrapped around it — but there’s also a good selection of T-shirts, vests and other sweatshirts. If you want to extend the ugly, there are some winter-themed sweaters and T-shirts.

“We decorate some of them, but some other people do them,” owner Nickie Davis said.

Muse is located at 22 S. Ninth St. and is open Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lizzi and Rocco’s Natural Pet Market

Furry friends can join in on the Christmas cheer, too. This pet market on Broadway has plenty of Christmas-themed pet toys and a couple sweaters. They have a grey one with a reindeer and a red and black one with a snowflake design, as well as little hooded dog sweatshirts that say “Noel” or “Joy.”

Lizzi and Rocco’s Natural Pet Market is located at 1020 Broadway and is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Absolute Vintage

You know you’re going to find a treasure trove of lovable ugliness when multiple Christmas sweaters are displayed in the window of the store. Absolute Vintage previews their selection with two wonderfully ugly displays in the door window.

You won’t find garlands or tree topper hats, but there are plenty of less gaudy sweaters, and a helpful selection of flannels near them in case you want to layer the cheer. Their selection is on a rack right at the front, and the prices are very reasonable.

“They’re everywhere now,” owner Jennifer Johnson said. “It used to be that you could only find them in vintage stores.”

Absolute Vintage is located at 923 E. Broadway and open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Edited by Katherine White | kwhite@themaneater.com

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