Ugly Christmas sweater (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

If you’re thinking that an ugly Christmas sweater would be just the thing for the office party this year, it’s time to start searching one out…after all, the uglier, the better. Be quick, as the fad that doesn’t quit means these covetable losers simply fly out the door. Venture into San Francisco’s newest vintage shop or one of these thrift shops for the best pickings.

The Golden Hour, San Francisco (credit:Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

The Golden Hour
12 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94118

What’s got flair and style…and ugly Christmas sweaters? Clement Street’s cool factor just got bumped up a notch with the opening of this excellent vintage shop (plus accessories, shoes and jewelry) for men and women. The owners started collecting vintage ugly Christmas sweaters even before the store’s mid-October opening, because everyone is asking for them. If you don’t see what you’re looking for straight away, do stop for a chat because they have even more curated inventory tucked away upstairs.

1580 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 575-2240

You may never have seen a Goodwill this big. Of all the 21 Bay Area Goodwill stores, the flagship location at the corner of Mission and South Van Ness is the best one for its selection of clothing. It’s clean, it has dressing rooms and the inventory is well sorted. So, you’ve got nothing to lose…besides, you won’t be able to shop here much longer, as (no surprise) Goodwill Industries has sold the 2.3-acre development site in Mid-Market.

Ugly Christmas sweater (credit:Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Community Thrift Store
623 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 861-4910

You can’t miss the pink building and you could definitely get lucky on your ugly sweater search in the Mission District. At this place, there are no guarantees you’ll find what you’re looking for. But there’s no harm in having a look. They’re nonprofit, so profits are directed to 200-plus Bay Area charities, and you can pick your own charity. They say ugly Christmas sweaters come in and out the door, so stop in when you’re hunting around in the Mission.

(credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

Mission Thrift
2330 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 821-9560

This inexpensive place is usually at the top of the list when a costume is required. You might even find a tutu or a skanky dress (that’s their own wording on the rack) to wear with your brand-new-old ugly sweater. Well worth a look, this used clothing treasure house is chock full of 80s stuff and open seven days a week until 7 p.m. There’s just one tiny dressing room, but that’s more than you’ll need when trawling for an ugly sweater.

Thrift Town
2101 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 861-1132

Many ugly sweaters eventually make it to ugly sweater heaven somewhere in the Mission District. Here’s another corner of heaven for your December search, where the best ones go quickly. Patience is a virtue — they say more than 4,000 gently used items arrive every day. When you find a truly ugly sweater, grab it, as price tags here cannot be beat by any other thrift shop and it won’t hang around very long on these rails. Open until 8 p.m., six days a week.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Bay City Guide, AXS, Examiner and more.