What To Wear To An Ugly Sweater Party If “Ugly” Isn’t One Of Your Style Words

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Listen, I am not above going all out for the holidays. Gifting is my love language, and I’m always looking for a reason to wear sequins, so you will not catch me budgeting this time of year. Where I draw the line, however, is purchasing a brand spanking new “ugly sweater.” Like, what should I wear to an ugly Christmas sweater party if I don’t like ugly Christmas sweaters? Don’t get me wrong, I love the theme and that it allows people to dress down a bit while still being festive. BUT in the last decade, we as a society have really lost the plot on this charming tradition. Stealing a kitschy Santa knit from your grandmother? Perfect. Thrifting a snowflake-printed cardigan? Chic. But spending my hard earned dollars on a highly flammable sweater specifically labeled “UGLY”? I think not. 

So where does that leave you when the Ugly Sweater Party invite inevitably comes? I personally don’t want to look like a Scrooge by ignoring the dress code entirely, but Nutcracker puns and wearable drinking games have no place in my wardrobe or my credit card bill. Lucky for you, I’ve rounded up a selection of sweaters that are festive enough to get into the holiday spirit but not so festive that you’ll never wear them again. Your wallet and your wardrobe will thank you.

A candy cane cardigan

PMVFHDE Striped Cardigan Sweater

For the Swifties in your life

I'm The Present Crew

If you only wear black all year

Knox Rose Women's Holiday Pullover Sweater

Am I…Princess Diana?

H&M Jacquard-knit Sweater

A cozy snowflake knit

H&M Oversized Jacquard-knit Sweater

“Where’s Waldo?” But make it fashion

NA-KD Striped Oversized Sweatshirt

For the minimalist girlies

Banana Republic Fair Isle Mock-Neck
 $45 (was $150)

A subtly sparkly moment

& Other Stories Rhinestone Embellished Wool Sweater
 $79.99 (was $199)

For a little bit of edge

Topshop Metallic Cable Stitch Sweater

The perfect oversized knit

L.L. Bean Men's Signature Organic Cotton Rollneck Sweater

Shiny *and* cozy

By Anthropologie Eyelash Pullover Sweater

A chic knit option you’d wear on a night out

COS Sparkly Ribbed-Knit Shirt

Because you’re the gift

Lisa Says Gah Cece Turtleneck

For the après skier

Target Women's Crewneck Graphic Pullover


Maddy Paul
Maddy Paul
Maddy Paul is a Senior Content Manager at Betches, a self-proclaimed professional shopper, certified yapper, and 2x marathoner (brag).