After gaining traction as, essentially, a large-scale inside joke, the ugly sweater made it’s way up to the world of high fashion. In 2010, Italian designer Riccardo Tisci debuted a series of angora pullovers with Givenchy. As part of its 2011 fall collection, Dolce & Gabbana unveiled its collection of so-ugly-it’s-beautiful sweaters. Over the last few years, the ugly Christmas sweater has become a mainstay of fall and winter runway fashion, and it has become common in retailers like H&M, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s. Just as the “jingle bell sweater” was during its inception in the 1950s. Even the NBA produces self-described “ugly sweaters.”

So, you could pay thousands of dollars for a designer ugly Christmas sweater, you could snag the Shaq-a-Claus sweater that Shaquille O'Neal is selling, you could hit up a thrift shop and get one cheap, or you could just rummage through your grandfather’s old clothes to find the dopest ugly sweater known to man.

What is it about the ugly sweater that we love so much? Is it simply a sarcastic take on holiday excess? Does the goofiness of everyone’s outfits help people let their guard down? All we know for sure is that the ugly sweater is as stylish as it was in its ’80s heyday. So pull out the corniest gift your grandma made for you and don’t be that guy at the holiday party.

Pharrell in an ugly Christmas sweater.
Image via Frederick M. Brown / Stringer / Getty Images