There are many ways to tackle Ugly Sweater Season. After three years’ worth of Christmas Parties hosted at my parents’ house, I consider myself well-seasoned in the new millennium’s trend that often ends in a once-worn sweater covered in a variety of festive drinks and food.
The first (and most obvious) factor in festivities is the sweater itself, and it would be naive to assume all sweaters are created equally. There’s the classic, genuinely ugly sweater — it’s more than likely very bright, its material all but filled with embroidering and it (naturally) itches like hell. The Sweater Store will be one of the first links discovered for those on the hunt for the sweater that will perfectly represent “you” this winter. While its collection appears extremely ugly, yet somewhat endearing, the true ugliness rests in vintage stores and poorly designed e-stores further down.
The second type of “ugly” sweater is just the opposite — cute. Often, while still brightly colored and overwhelming in design, the cuter sweaters seen under the mistletoe stem from more mainstream roots — Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, Amazon to name a few. Cuteness aside, mass-produced “ugly” sweaters are problematic on their own — if cute is what you aim for and you would like to stay in the tongue-in-cheek spirit, then Ebay, with its seemingly endless pages of vintage sweaters, is just the place to find the perfect paradoxical cute ugly sweater for you.
Funny sweaters are, truly, the end-all-be-all of holiday parties. You can buy them from the pros at Tipsy Elves or the masterminds of Etsy, where I purchased this gem two years ago (10/10 would recommend). But ultimately, the largest feat of Sweater SZN is the ideation and implementation of bomb sweater ideas. (Pinterest is always fair game.) Screwing Reindeers and pissing Santa Clauses are hilarious and always welcome, but more than often it’s the three-dimensional DIY sweaters that will always be remembered best. For example, my mom (whose name happens to be Joy) made this competition winner last year.
Other clothing is simply there to support the aura created by your sweater. Sweaters nearly across the board can be paired with dealer’s choice of jeans or leggings (or no pants at all, if your sweater is longer). Reindeer antlers, santa hats, festive socks and shoes are all extra credit. There’s no shame in building a flattering, cohesive outfit around your sweater. And similarly, there’s no shame in dressing to the north pole and back in holiday-themed accessories — someone’s got to do it, right?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what style sweater-outfit suits you. Look online, craft away, borrow from friends, but no matter what your choices are, just wear a damn sweater. If you don’t, it’s been confirmed — we are more fun than you.