You are probably attending at least one ugly sweater party this holiday season, since it has become such a thing in the past few years. If you don’t already have a sweater in your closet for this purpose, it has gotten much easier to track down a bangin’ outfit. Here’s what you need to include.

The Accessory

It’s getting cold outside, so a head accessory as part of your outfit serves a dual purpose. 1) It keeps you warm while you are walking to and from your party and 2) it looks festive AF. I’m talking Santa hat, one of those elf hats with the ears on the side, reindeer antlers (though those will not keep you warm), or even something you make yourself. I crocheted a giant poinsettia and put it on a headband. You could also put a bow on your head like you are a present. Get creative with your head accessory. It could literally be the bow on top of the present (you!).


The Sweater

You have so many options with your sweater. You no longer need to hit up the thrift store in June (although June is when I found a GREAT cardigan with Winnie the Pooh and friends decorating a tree) because stores like Target and even Wal-Mart sell a wide variety of sweaters, sweatshirts and t-shirts for all your festive needs. You could also raid your mom’s closet (especially if she is/was a teacher. Teachers love holiday-themed outfits.) You can also find great ones online (but account for shipping times. Amazon Prime is amazing.) Pick a sweater that fits your personality, the theme/vibe of the party, make it match or clash with your head accessory, etc. If you are particularly crafty you could even make a sweater. My mom sewed me and my siblings Christmas vests as kids, and has picked up that tradition again. So I will be rocking one side of a reversible vest for one party and the other side for another party.

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The Pants

You can get pretty wild with your pants in this situation. Remember that pile of Christmas pajamas you have in your dresser drawer? They finally have a use other than Christmas Eve night! So put on those Santa print pajamas and eat, drink and be merry. This is basically the only time wearing pajamas in public will be acceptable, AND you’ll be so comfortable. You can also dress up your outfit with a cute pair of leggings or a sparkly skirt.


The festive after-thought: Gifts

Now that you’re probably not AS broke as you were right after graduating, you can probably spare a few bucks for a bottle box of wine or maybe a nice seasonal six pack of beer. ‘Tis the season for giving, so bring something for the party hosts. If baking is your thing, a plate of cookies is a nice touch (even if they’re those slice-and-bake kind) or even a box of candy canes. Who doesn’t want a cookie with their wine?


Even if you aren’t into the ugly sweater idea, it is imperative that you participate. Nothing makes you stick out like a sore thumb more than looking cute while everyone else is donning ugly get-ups.



Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.

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