It’s a love-hate tradition. Every December, in what can only be described as a bizarre ritual in which Christmas and alcohol are tenuously linked together via festive holiday knitwear and deemed a fitting celebration, the ugly sweater party is a yuletide tradition with questionable origins, unseeming relevance, and a ridiculous dress code. You roll your eyes when you’re invited to one of these ordeals, but inside you secretly look forward to the occasion earnestly. However, this year, maybe there’s a cute girl that you know will also be attending this festivity. Or, maybe you just want to look better than all your friends in the Instagram picture. We get you. While challenging, it is indeed possible to still look fantastic while rocking a less-than-favorable tinseltown knit. We’ve broken down every aspect of a GentleManual-approved ugly Christmas sweater ensemble so you can ace the style game this Christmas.
Go (Semi) All-Out with your Sweater Choice
Don’t be the guy that shows up in a faux ugly sweater. This is one of the few occasions for which you aren’t simply given permission to dress ridiculously, but it is practically required of you. Have fun with your sweater choice! Get one with lots of festive colors or some pun-filled verbiage, because why wouldn’t you? The sweater is the fun part. Go crazy.
Pair with Solid-Colored Chinos
It’s best to keep your pants on the simpler side to ground that sweater of yours. If you want to keep the fun going, go for a pair of red or green chinos! Otherwise, some neutral trousers or a pair of dark wash denim will suffice.
Add a Button-Down Shirt
One way to up the style factor and protect you from the uncomfortable scratchiness of your sweater is to add a button-down shirt underneath. A multi-colored plaid variation or a solid color (perhaps one that matches one of the accent colors in your sweater) will make your sweater look more polished and really pull your look together.
Throw in Some Dressy Kicks
To really amp up your fashion-forward approach to the ugly sweater party, you’ll want to seal the deal with some classy, somewhat dressy kicks. Opt for some black or brown boots, oxfords, brogues, or double monk straps. For added holiday cheer, a pair of festive socks are a great way to keep the theme going without overdoing it.
Finish with a Tie or Bow Tie
Like we said earlier, this is your chance to go a little nuts with your attire. Put a festive spin on a dapper accessory and add a tie or bow tie in a complementary color. If your sweater is excessively… visual… make sure to keep the bow tie/tie a solid color or very subtle pattern so as not to distract from the crowning glory of your outfit.
The Final Looks
GentleManual-Approved Ugly Sweater Look #1
GentleManual-Approved Ugly Sweater Look #2