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Fashion: Go wild, dress up ugly holiday sweaters the right way

Go all out this season and exaggerate your wardrobe with a tacky holiday-themed sweater, paired with simple black leggings or dark-washed jeans.  Credit: Courtesy of Mary Bebech

Go all out this season and exaggerate your wardrobe with a tacky holiday-themed sweater, paired with simple black leggings or dark-washed jeans.
Credit: Courtesy of Mary Bebech

There’s an age-old tradition that gets me way more excited for the holidays than buying presents, decorating the house with mistletoe or even baking tons of delicious cookies: ugly holiday sweater parties. That’s right, the point of these parties is to wear the tackiest sweater you can find — that’s what makes these parties such a beautiful thing. But too often, I’ve seen attendees sacrifice the stylishness of the rest of their outfits when it’s just as easy to put together an incredible getup that’s still perfect for this themed gathering. Read on for tips on how to create the perfect ensemble that’s just as adorable with that giant reindeer on the sweater as it is with a classic Fair Isle knit.

Keep it simple…

The rest of your outfit, that is. The sweater is meant to be the main attraction at these parties, so a monochromatic theme throughout the rest of your clothing is essential. Black leggings or dark-washed jeans are a classic choice that help keep your outfit out of childlike territory. If you want to have a little more fun with your clothes, you can even add stark red or bright green leggings. Forever 21 has plenty of colored legging options, and many don’t cost more than $5, so it’s easy to go with whatever your heart desires in terms of legwear.

…Except for the sweater

When I said you need to wear the tackiest sweater you can find, I wasn’t exaggerating. You should be pulling out all the stops for an event like this, and if that means you need to augment your sweater personally, you should do just that. Does your sweater look too dull and boring? Brighten it up with some battery-operated tree lights wrapped around your torso. Sew on some extra baubles where needed. You can even hang tree ornaments off of yourself if you want — there’s no such thing as too much with these items of clothing. Go wild.

Cozy up with your accessories

Because these events usually happen as the temperatures go from just bearable to absolutely frigid, your outfit’s accessories can be as comfortable and snuggly as you want them to be. Wrap a knit scarf that’s taller than you around your neck, throw on those thick and cozy socks, and settle in for some delicious hot cocoa and chocolate peppermint cookies. If you think it’s necessary, there’s also nothing wrong with a cute ear-warmer or a cap to keep your head just as warm as the rest of you. Just make sure you plan according to your environment so you don’t sweat your way through all of your adorable accessories.

Finishing touches

Makeup is just as important as the rest of your outfit, especially during the holiday party season. It’s the perfect excuse to go as glam as you can, so don’t be afraid of the classic silver or gold options on your face. If your skin is cooler in tone, silver eyeliner will add an icy touch while warm-toned ladies can get a hot effect with a gold eyeliner instead. If you’re especially daring, why not try mixing the two: silver shadow in the inner corners of your eyes and gold on the outside? A bronze powder or icy highlighter on your cheeks completes the look impeccably.

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