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Winter Outfit Ideas: “Tacky Christmas Party” Attire

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Tacky xmas sweaters
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At some point in your college career, you’ll find yourself invited to a Tacky Christmas Party. I love any sort of themed party, but these are particularly fun because there’s no pressure to look super sexy or super trendy —  in fact, the sillier you look, the better!

This being said, none of us like leaving the house looking like a frump queen. The great thing about wearing cheesy knit sweaters, reindeer antlers, and other tacky holiday gear is that it’s easy to achieve a look that’s actually cute in a wholesome, fresh-faced sort of way. There are two main ways to dress up for these sort of parties — by wearing a loud sweater, or by dressing up a regular party outfit with kitschy accessories.

Ready to celebrate the holidays in style? I’ll break it down for you below!

Tacky Christmas Sweaters

Tacky christmas sweaters
Clockwise from the top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

It’s not a bad idea to buy yourself a Christmas sweater for “tacky sweater” parties – they’re huge on most college campuses right now! I picked one up six years ago, and I still bust it out every single winter! While department stores like JC Penney, Sears, and Dillards will definitely have a big selection, I’ve found that they’re pretty pricey. Check out Walmart, your local Salvation Army, or online vendors for more affordable choices!

Also, don’t limit yourself to just sweaters — I’ve seen sweater vests, embroidered pants, and pajama-like button-down shirts that will work perfectly for parties like this!

Tacky christmas sweater outfit
Sweater, Jeans, Bow, Shoes, Earrings | Hair courtesy of ELLE

The secret to looking adorable, not dopey, in a tacky holiday sweater is to embrace the “throwback” vibe of the outfit and go all out. Balance out a baggy top with tight skinny jeans or, if your sweater is long enough, leggings. Add a pair of cozy combat boots, too!

To look super cute, put on a few child-like accessories — like a big, frilly hair bow and themed earrings. As long as you fix your hair and throw on some make-up, you’ll look sweet and stylish instead of granny-esque.

Christmas Accessories

Tacky christmas accessories
Clockwise from the top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Maybe you don’t have extra cash to spend on a new outfit. Or maybe you’re party-hopping and need a fast way to pull a “costume change” and look party-appropriate for two different events. Either way, decorating a regular outfit with Christmas accessories is an awesome and versatile way to go!

Cheesy Christmas accessories can be found at any party supply store, as well as places like Walmart and Target. Department stores will have a great selection as well, but like we mentioned earlier, they’ll probably be on the pricey side. Also, check out online meccas like Etsy or eBay for really unique pieces!

Santa and elf hats are no-brainers, but try to think outside the box and come up with a few other fun ideas. A giant tulle bow would look adorable, as would jingle bell earrings, or bright red lipstick and shimmery makeup. The possibilities are endless!

Tacky christmas accessory outfit
Reindeer Ears, Dress, Shoes, Necklace, Clutch

This outfit can go from holiday festive to night club-ready in seconds!

To get this look, start with a basic dress — I love this boat-neck black number. Add a foxy pair of ankle boots and a glittery clutch. Before you head in to a Christmas party, throw on these cute reindeer antlers and a Christmas light necklace. When it’s time to hit the club, just take them off any leave them in your car. A win-win for both occasions!

What do you think?

Do you own a tacky holiday sweater? Where did you buy it at? What tricks to you employ to look cute in costume? What other activities do you look forward to during the holiday season? What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Leave a comment and tell us what you think! 

Posted on on December 6, 2012 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

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19 Responses to “Winter Outfit Ideas: “Tacky Christmas Party” Attire”

  1. 1
    December 6th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Love this post! My best friend and I want to dress up in tacky Christmas sweaters and take pics with santa this year!

  2. 2
    December 6th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Great Christmas sweaters.

  3. 3
    December 6th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Great ideas! Also, ask your mom or grandmother if they have a sweater you can borrow if you don’t want to buy one. My mom had some pretty hideous ones left over from the 80′s in our attic!

  4. 4
    December 6th, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Love this, so cute! I enjoy holiday sweater their so fun, I got mine at Goodwill. Also love the tacky jewlery look! I have snowmen earrings that I wear every year for most of December, I just love them! Great post!

  5. 5
    December 7th, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Nice idea :D i love the àcesoires ,i have rendeer ears and Santa Clause hat , my brother and i always love to wear one on xmass :D

  6. 6
    December 13th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Ok, I must have a thing for tacky sweaters – I am digging the candy cane sweater at the top of the post.

  7. 7
    December 30th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    An invitation to an ugly sweater party during the holiday season has potential to be nothing but epic! The fact that you are getting the permission to be as tacky and fun as possible, with the added bonus of actually going out in public wearing it amongst all your friends. Who would not accept? I feel proper planning is crucial, some of the examples you display are great, and I feel accessorizing can only bring more attention to your outfit. Great article!

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