Holiday Sweaters! The Outrageous, The Designer, And The Super Cute

It’s officially Holiday Week! As we countdown the mad rush to 2012, we’re anticipating celebrations galore—from cocktail soirees to family gatherings—that don’t necessarily require but would certainly benefit from festive attire. Yes, we’re talking about the ubiquitous “ugly Christmas sweater,” which has become a sort of thing with theme parties now being thrown simply to showcase the best of the worst. While we do think there’s a plethora of musty ’80s sweaters depicting teddy bears trimming trees or Snoopy chilling out inside of a holly-festooned wreath just waiting for your ridicule, we’d like to offer sweaters of a different sort. We’ve got outrageous sweaters (for the ironic laugh factor—but they’re also pretty cool), mega designer holiday sweaters, and cute sweaters you might actually consider wearing all normie-style. Also, since 2011 could be considered the Year of the Cat, we’ve included a kitty version in each category. You’re welcome.


This 1980s Cat-Tastic Ugly Christmas Sweater is more of the quirky and cute variety than the ugly. Look at these two snow-kittens playing with a mini balloon atop a Christmas present that’s just waiting to be scratched to pieces. It’s adorbs! Pair it with black pants, a white collared shirt, and red suede heels. This totally weird 1980/1990 Vintage Green Crazy Ugly Christmas Sweater looks like pixilated Christmas camouflage. It’s kind of cool, right? Throw it over some skinny blue jeans, add a slouchy hat and some Doc Martens, and it’s 1996, but the CK One model version. OK, this Elf Sweater is ridiculous. She’s wearing it as a dress, and we can guarantee you that if you did the same EVERYONE would come up to you at the holiday party (just ask our own Rory Rockmore, who wore it to the annual MTV Holiday Party *hat tip*). We’d pair this with black tights, patent booties, and some bright red lipstick.

Next up in the outrageous category is a white 1980s Light-Up Christmas Sweater. It’s exactly what it says it is—a Christmas tree sweater with prezzies and a bunch of lights sewn in. This vintage beauty would go nicely with black velvet shorts, tights, platform heels, and a loose updo (trust us, it’s verging on cute). The Leg Lamp Ugly Christmas Sweater pays homage to A Christmas Story, of course, and comes complete with a felt leg lamp appliqué as well as train tracks and “Fragile” (fraaa-geeee-laaaay) thrown in lest you forget every single line of the film.


Designers have even jumped on the holiday sweater bandwagon this year and are offering their own (ridiculously priced) versions. We think this Moschino Snowman Sweater is hilarious. Frosty’s losing it just like the rest of us while trying to shop for gifts at the last minute. This gray intarsia wool sweater has a cowl neck and would look great with black skinnies and combat boots. Stella McCartney’s Polar Bear Sweater is very chateau lovely with its wool and alpaca-blend bear scene, and we’d love to pair it with giant snow boots and a babushka hat. Sadly, with a price over $1000, we’ll be pairing it with visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in our heads instead. But for all that is HOLY, look at this Markus Lupfer Wreath Sweater! This is necessary, right? It’s got a puppy and a kitty getting all cozy in the sequined Christmas wreath, and dear Santa, have we been good enough to find this $475 wonder under our tree?!


OK, now we’re talking holiday sweaters that are totally cute and not being sold for Scroogetastic prices. (Really, who wants to spend a thousand bones on a sweater you wear once a year? Sorry, Stella McC, but NO.) This PJ by Peter Jensen Polka Dot Bow Sweater is on-trend with the dots and festive-centric with the red bow. We also think it looks cute with this white lace skirt. All in all, a sweet holiday look perfect for Christmas Eve. We have a particular fondness for this Pretty Snake Kitty Sweater. Admittedly, there’s nothing inherently holiday-ish about this cropped mock-turtleneck sweater other than the color, but it is the reddest of Santa reds and would look incredible with a high-waisted black midi skirt and platform booties. Throw some green liquid eyeliner up in there and you’re good to go (caroling). Last but not least we come to the Grey Antics Holiday Headline Sweater, which says, simply, “Holiday Sweater.” Need it say more?

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