ugly holiday sweaterWhich came first, the Ugly Christmas Sweater or the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party?

Now before you go hopping all over me for using the term Christmas, simmer down as the title could certainly have been ‘Are You Wearing An Ugly Holiday Sweater Intentionally’, but seriously, it just doesn’t have the same pop does it?

It does however inadvertently point out that an ugly sweater is an ugly sweater no matter the holiday and no matter who wears it! Ugly is just ugly and it could be for all the opposite reasons that I give for something being a closet keeper or a wardrobe wonder – does it fit, flatter and function?

Most often the UCS’s usually don’t fit as it seems it is a requirement that they be 3 sizes too big. They definitely don’t flatter as what could possibly be flattering about Rudolph’s red nose being dead center on your left boob. And function? I don’t think so – these babies are the most dysfunctional things in your wardrobe.

Why then do we own them, keep them and wear them? Here’s the caveat…oftentimes a good 10% of a woman’s sweater inventory falls under the UCS category simply by tweaking the verbiage used to describe them – Unnecessary Crappy Sweaters.

Truth be told, women hang on to sweaters too long and for all the wrong reasons:
My grandmother made my 30-pound scratchy wool Irish knit sweater that requires an entire dedicated drawer. I paid a fortune for this furry piece of sh*@! My mother bought this and she must see me wear it once so her life can be complete.

The definition of an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” is any sweater with a Christmas theme that is considered in bad taste, tacky, or gaudy. My God, have you been to the Mall lately? Where do these people even find these sweaters? We can only assume that these ugly sweaters were designed with the intention of being relatively attractive. Well, somehow here we are in the ugly sweater cottage industry with friends, Romans and countrymen hosting and attending Ugly Sweater Christmas parties all over the world!

Here’s the glitch – what you deem as just your regular sweater could be deemed an UCS by your co-workers, peers or passer-bys 24/7. That worn, cozy, dirt colored Mr. Rogers cardigan that you wear every Monday just might be your ticket into the next UCS party.

So pay attention! Let’s do a sweater cleanse before you unintentionally become the next viral video.

This is a huge category because of all the places that we can store sweaters, and store sweaters we do! Closets, shelves, boxes, bins, drawers, and cedar chests…the list goes on. When I ask a client to gather this category I hear them go upstairs, downstairs and every place in between.

So go hunt, gather and bring all your sweaters to one meeting space, I recommend your bed! Stack them on the bed by type. Start with cardigans as they tend to be the biggest, floppiest and oftentimes the most outdated as we tend to say, “Oh I will just keep this for house lounging days…”but alas they are never moved to the lounge chair and seriously how many days do you spend lounging around in Grandpa’s sweaters? (Do you even have a lounging chair?) This is how you turn into the lady who wears the UCS’s! AKA – The Ugly Cardigan Sweaters!

Within each type and color stack assess each sweater for fit, flattery and function. Do they require repairs from moth nibbles, missing buttons or open seams? Are they out of shape, possibly stretched beyond reason? Are they too small to button or so big you look like a linebacker? Are the ‘v’s so low your belt is showing? Is the ‘knit one purl one’ so bulky you can be mistaken for the Michelin Man? Are the sleeves so long you don’t need gloves? Do they smell like mothballs or a cedar closet? Are they functioning or dysfunctional?

Who knew sweaters could have so many issues? Your observers that’s who! The people who see you everyday and perhaps think, oh she just likes to be comfortable. What they are really thinking is let’s be sure to invite her to the office Ugly Christmas Sweater party, she’ll be a hit, she has plenty of options, she’s dressed perfect right now, let’s just start the party and make sure it is on a Monday so Mabel can come!

Need more actionable style advice? Check out my recently published book
Confidence Is Always In Style.



Are You Wearing That Ugly Christmas Sweater Intentionally? was last modified: by

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