8 Genius Ways To Wear The "Gee, Thanks" Sweater

Not to freak you out with our eerie psychic powers, but we're guessing you received at least one sweater this holiday season. And, while there's a small possibility this pullover was exactly the one you'd been writing to Santa about, it's far more probable that it was plucked from a haphazard pile of knits and purchased in an eleventh-hour gifting frenzy. Which means that, most likely, it's not exactly "you."
But, before you march it straight back to the mall, read this. Chances are you can make even the most unfortunately patterned or size-too-big knitwear work for you. Read on for the eight most clever ways to make your "gee, thanks" sweater into a downright adorable wardrobe staple. Because Boxing Day was meant for lounging around and polishing off Christmas cookies — not standing in the returns line.
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Take it back, and size it up.

A mock-neck sweater can easily slip into dorkitude. To save it, take the pullover back to the store, and exchange it for the largest size you can find (this is a great time to scan the men's racks, too). A little extra room makes all the difference between a piece that feels skimpy and one that feels rich-lady luxurious.

J.Crew Collection Cashmere Mockneck Sweater, $268, available at J.Crew.
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Keep it in the family.

So, you got a gray sweater — try to contain your excitement. When paired with your go-to work trousers or, better yet, a mid-length skirt in the same color, the gray jumper becomes one half of the new cool-girl suit.

Zara Cowl Neck Rib-Knit Sweater, $59.99, available at Zara.
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Treat it like a blazer.

A bright, thigh-length knit can look a little juvenile — but when you use it to top your crispest white shirt and black pants, it's pure, grown-folk fancy.

Acne Rue Mohair Sweater, $320, available at Acne.
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Tone down the crazy.

Sure, Peter Pilotto can make clashing, Lurex knits look amazing. But, if the sweater your significant other's family picked out for you is flat-out funky — without the fabulous — try this trick: Pair it with the most basic, demure black pieces you've got. We're talking plain flats and an Amish-approved skirt. Suddenly, the sweater becomes crazy-on-purpose instead of what-is-she-wearing?!

Peter Pilotto Boyfriend Fine-Knit Sweater, $583, available at My Theresa.
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Embrace the slouch.

'Tis the season to receive oversized knitwear. Make the size-too-big sweater work for you by pairing it with your favorite luxe sweats. It's the day after Christmas, people — let's not bother with buttons and zippers until we absolutely have to.

Vince Colorblock Luxe Cashmere Sweater, $325, available at Vince.
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Knits on knits on knits.

Before you dismiss the hippie-dippie scarf you received from your world-music-loving aunt, reconsider: Worn with a chunky-knit turtleneck, it's just the right amount of over the top and will make you look like the kind of girl who gets all her key pieces from Parisian flea markets instead of the Galleria.

Angel Of The North Fringed Jacquard Wrap, $148, available at Anthropologie.
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De-Plain Jane it.

Even the most basic, staid sweater becomes understatedly cool paired with a mini and baseball cap. The latter can be easily stolen, er, borrowed from your dad's or little brother's closet. It's great being home for the holidays, ain't it?

H&M Knit Sweater, $10, available at H&M.
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Don't be afraid to blush.

Steer clear of seasonal colors for the freshest look. Off-white, beige, or blush accessories breathe new life into a relaxed knit — and they're not quite as scary to wear as winter whites for the spill-prone among us (guilty).

Stella McCartney Color-Block Cashmere Sweater, $1,040, available at Net-A-Porter.