How To Not Look Ugly In Your Ugly Sweaters

When going to an ugly sweater party, there are a few outfit-planning strategies to employ. You could just take the invitation to go ugly and run with it, pairing your tacky sweater with weird holiday pants, novelty socks, a reindeer headband, and Santa suspenders. Or, you could try to balance it out by going hard in the other direction (that's how pantsless oversized sweater outfits unfortunately happen). Here's our take: Ugly sweaters aren't actually all that ugly. Far sillier, stranger things have been worn. If anything, sweaters are safe. So, treat the thematic ones as you would your other pullovers and put together a look that's true to your style.
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Ahead, we've highlighted the five types of ugly sweaters you might already own, and how to dress them up without looking like you went shopping after hitting the nog.
1 of 5
The Traditional Ugly Sweater
If your sweater lights up, features glitter snowflakes, yarn pine needles, or foil bags, you've got yourself a traditional ugly sweater. Keep the rest of your outfit simple with a pair of neat blue jeans and a fun crossbody bag. Subtly up the glitz factor with sparkly boots and minimalist pearl earrings.

H&M Knit Christmas Sweater, $34.95, available at H&M; Need Supply Co. Pearl Drop Earrings, $20, available at Need Supply Co.; Uniqlo Women Pure Blue Japan Relaxed Skinny Fit Tapered Jeans, $79.90, available at Uniqlo; Laurence Dacade Pete Studded Suede Ankle Boots, $905, available at Net-a-Porter; Coach Surrey Satchel, $495, available at Coach.
2 of 5
The Ladylike Ugly Sweater
If Taylor Swift would wear it in her day-to-day, that's a ladylike sweater. Keep things pretty by wearing it with a long, flowing slip dress, pumps, and festive accessories.

Dorothy Perkins Snowman Face Jumper, $44, available at Dorothy Perkins; Zara Studio Strapy Dress, $99.90, available at Zara; French Connection Camleigh Suede Polka Dot Heels, $84.99, available at French Connection; Vita Fede Jumbo Double Cubo Stone Earrings, $898, available at Intermix; Lizzie Fortunato Sushi Bun Port of Call Clutch, $475, available at Shopbop.
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3 of 5
The Minimalist Ugly Sweater
If your normal wardrobe doesn't veer too far afield of black-and-white, this is your opportunity to go really ugly...well, at least what ugly means to you. Green! A seasonal sweater is outside your comfort zone, but make it you with an on-trend mini, great oxfords, and a sleek bag.

Topshop December 25th Sweater, $80, available at Topshop; French Connection Fantastic Metallic Bar Cuff, $28, available at French Connection; Isaac Mizrahi Audrey Crossbody, $158, available at Macy's; Dieppa Restrepo Joe Black Patent Shoe, $345, available at Dieppa Restrepo; A.W.A.K.E. Navy Plaid Wrap Skirt, $495, available at Avenue32.
4 of 5
The Fashion-Forward Ugly Sweater
This very special sort of ugly sweater will get you photographed at Fashion Week and laughed at during family dinner, but you've put up with worse abuse for your fashion fanaticism. Really go for it with a full-skirted dress, tall boots, and a faux fur clutch.

Saint Laurent Sequin-Embellished Check Sweater, $1990, available at mytheresa; Whistles Vanda Cleat Knee High Boot, $560, available at Whistles; ASOS Faux Fur Cuddle Clutch Bag, $66.33, available at ASOS; H&M Flared Dress, $59.95, available at H&M; Marni Runway Bracelet, $280, available at Marni.
5 of 5
The Monster Ugly Sweater
While Cher Horowitz might have considered mohair chic, most people think of the material as patently muppet-like. If you've got one of those fuzzy, furry sweaters, wear it with a midi skirt or culottes, and color-coordinating metallic accessories.

Zara Mohair Sweater with Back Tie, $129, available at Zara; Michael Kors Gold-Tone Choker, $145, available at Michael Kors; Topshop Satin Back Crepe Culottes, $80, available at Topshop; Forever 21 Pointed Metallic Booties, $34.90, available at Forever 21; Bao Bao Issey Miyake Lucent Clutch, $404.23, available at Tessabit.
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