So you’ve received your first (or 20th) ugly holiday sweater party invite of the season. Congratulations, or something.
Thanks to Brian Clark Howard you don’t have to wade blindly into these snowflake-filled waters.
Howard, who co-authored Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater, a printed homage to the tackiest of holiday parties, has some tongue-in-cheek guidance for the uninitiated.
Through his research, he’s gleaned the best sweater trends with the help of his co-author, Anne Marie Blackman, who sells ugly sweaters via her site, myuglychristmassweater.com.
Here in no particular order are Howard’s tips for standing out amidst a mass of brightly-colored wool.
1. Twinkle: “I think people are sort of rocking it uglier this year,” Howard says. “The arms race of ugly...if you want to compete in that, you really need lights.”
Howard has seen everything from basic white lights to colors to flashing lights. But if you really want to take it to the next level of obnoxious, “you want colored flashing lights.”
2. Accessorize: “Ugly hats are really good,” Howard says. What I often wear, I got really cheap online— its an ugly sweater trucker hat.” He adds that a Santa hat or a Menorah-inspired hat is always a crowd-pleaser.
3. Embellish: For revelers who want to avoid spending money on an outfit, Howard suggests embellishments in the form of safety pinned ornaments or holly.
Finally, Howard has good news for devotees of the ugly sweater party. He says from his perspective the tradition, “has been growing exponentially,” since he first wrote a story about it for a lifestyle site, The Daily Green, in 2008. And Blackman’s traffic is up nearly four times over last year’s, Howard says.
For more inspiration, see Blackman’s photos below. And contribute your best shots to our tacky sweater gallery here.