How To Style Your Ugly Christmas Sweater

by Katie Patton

Word on the street is that the ugly Christmas sweater has been around since the mid ’80s — when it was likely just referred to as a Christmas sweater — but the post-Millennium crowd has taken the sartorial icon to the next level. Fuzzy Santas with pom pom noses and woven elves with jingle bells are necessary accoutrements, but the real key to killing the holiday game lies in how you style that ugly Christmas sweater of choice. Bring on the month of appliqué and oversized fictional characters. We’ve got this.

When your top half is decorated to the nines with multicolored intarsia, real life ornaments, and a partridge in a pear tree, it can be difficult to decide how to round out your look. Sure, in consideration of the sweater you chose, it is quite obvious you are all in on the overt holiday cheer, but that doesn’t mean the entire outfit can’t be pulled together in way that gives seasonally stylish vibes. When properly paired, that beloved ugly Christmas sweater can be the definition of holiday realness.

Ready to commit to kitschy, over-the-top, heavily themed attire? Here are five ways to style your favorite ugly Christmas sweater that will have you opting for holiday novelty all season long.

1. Leather Midis And Luxe Loafers

Love By Design North Pole Christmas Sweater, $38, Nordstrom

This time of year, Santa is bae so sporting the jolly man in red is a super appropriate expression of your love. Since St. Nick is big and bright red, he pairs perfectly with a black leather midi skirt and a glitter shoe that matches the twinkle in his eye.

Faux-Leather Pleated Midi Skirt, $120, J Crew

Black leather one the bottom balances out the uber cutesy Claus that is stealing the spotlight on top.

Faux Leather Pleated Skirt By Melissa McCarthy Seven7, $108, Lane Bryant

A pleated leather midi so good, it may make Mrs. Claus reconsider that long red dress.

Cammila Pointed Toe Smoking Slipper, $70,

Sparkly flats round out the ensemble and are basically Christmas magic in shoe form.

2. Velvet Leggings And Brilliant Ankle Boots

Love By Design Elf Christmas Sweater, $38, Nordstrom

While there is no denying your love of Santa Claus, you have always been partial to those quirky, toy making elves. Naturally, your holiday sweater boasts a cute little pointy-eared helper and your pant pairing should be just as kitschy. Try rocking a longer sweater on top and a pair of velvet leggings on bottom. In lieu of pointed slipper shoes, rock a black boot with a bit of gold to match those jingle bells.

City Adventure Velvet Leggings In Merlot, $30, ModCloth

Velvet leggings are a must-have item this season and in a deep burgundy, you are putting a unique spin on traditional red.

Talula Manhattan Pant, $65, Aritzia

Merlot velvet enhances the quirkiness of your elf-centric ensemble in a way that is totally on trend.

High Heel Leather Ankle Boots With Metallic Detail, $139, Zara

Not everyone can pull off curly pointed slippers with a jingle bell topper, but these black ankle boots with a hint of gold metallic are the next best thing.

3. Tons Of Tulle and Chunky Heels

Jingle Man Misty Sweater, $138,

An artsy, geo interpretation of the main man with the bag is hard to turn down. He's adorable and carries an overt theme, yet there is something about him that still boasts holiday swag. As such, he deserves a pairing that is just as sugary sweet as it is stylish: a tulle skirt in a snow white or pretty pink color. To keep him cool, slip on a pair of chunky block heels in a matchy-matchy, yet unexpected color.

Tulle Midi Skirt, $168, Anthropologie

Fluffiness worthy of a North Pole style winter wonderland.

Studio Tulle Midi Skirt, $100, Eloquii

Pale pink knows no season and also compliments that bright Santa baby red.

Hint Pointed Block Heel, $155,

Chunky block heels are an unexpected choice and make the entire ensemble Christmas chic.

4. Track Pants And Gilded Sneakers

Filthy Animal Sweater, $69, Urban Outfitters

This sweater is borrowed from the men's department, but holiday humor — especially Home Alone hilarity — knows no gender bounds. If you're choosing to show your punny side this season, pair that menswear-esq sweater with athletic joggers and a metallic sneaker.

Melissa McCarthy Seven7 Jogger Pants, $69, Nordstrom

Relaxed trousers allow your sweater to do all the funny talking.

Jogging Trousers, $30, Zara

Choosing a textured jogger makes your outfit as easy going and relaxed on the bottom as it is humorous on the top.

Metallic Slip-On, $60, Vans

Shimmery slip-on sneakers carry the athletic look through from top to bottom while bringing holiday bling.

5. Lace Mini's And Criss-Cross Flats

Club L Plus Reindeer Holiday Sweater, $36, ASOS

As the natural leader of the pack, you have always had a kinship with Rudolph. His bright red nose is certainly attention grabbing, but he doesn't shy away from the spotlight and neither does the rest of your holiday outfit. A black lace skirt provides neutral with flair and a green flat with criss-cross laces for days finishes off the ever-popular red/green color combo.

Short Lace Skirt, $25, H&M

Black lace is one part sartorial spotlight stealer and one part neutral backdrop for Rudolph's red nose.

VInce Camuto Stretch Lace Pencil Skirt, $89, Nordstrom

A lacey pencil skirt brings va-va voom to any ugly Christmas sweater.

Billy Ella Lace-Up Flats, $178, Anthropologie

A little homage to the twisty green garland that decorates that famous sleigh and the perfect seasonal color pop.

Ugly Christmas sweaters aren't just for themed parties anymore — with these easy, go-to styling options, you can rock over-the-top holiday cheer the whole season through. Here's to wearing your holiday heart on your sleeve, Christmas queen!

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Images: Courtesy Brands