Ugly Sweater Party 101

The holidays are here and our blogs have talked about how to decorate your dorm room, what gifts to exchange with your roommate, and what gifts to bring to white elephant parties. What if you want to host your own holiday party? Finals are over and all your research papers have been turned in, so now it’s officially time to relax and enjoy your time off! Ugly sweater parties are funny and becoming a classic holiday theme party.

Whether you remember your Grandmother or Uncle wearing a hideous sweater every Christmas, or maybe your teacher in school wore one around the holidays- an ugly sweater party is sure to satisfy all. Hosting parties is no small task, especially one with the kind of hype surrounding an ugly sweater party. Check out the tips below for some suggestions on how to throw an awesome ugly sweater party.

Where can you find an ugly sweater?

Ugly sweaters are all over the place. You can find them in the closets of your own family members, or in department stores across the country. Because budgets are tight these days, thrift stores are great places to begin searching for the perfect sweater for the party. Many thrift stores even have an ugly Christmas sweater section during the holiday season as the popularity grows for the ugly sweater party theme.

Definition of an ugly sweater:

When choosing an ugly sweater for the party you have to remember that you’re shooting for the extreme. Ideally, the sweater will fit awkwardly. In other words, an ugly sweater can’t ever been too large or too small. The more puffy appliques attached to the sweater, the uglier it is- think penguins, trees, mittens, Santa, sequins, etc. Tacky printed holiday ties or socks are also great accessories to complete the ensemble.

Send out invitations!

Invitations for such a prestigious event should not be taken lightly. If you want your guests to take the party seriously, you’ll definitely have to bring it when it comes to the invitation- so sending out a Facebook invite definitely won’t work. Hand make or print off invitations and deliver them to your guests. Make sure you tell people that street clothes won’t be allowed into the ugly sweater party.

Set the mood with decorations.

The decorations should all be about getting your guests into the ugly sweater spirit. Mismatched light strands, tacky ornaments and holiday lawn ornaments (how about a lit flamingo?) are all winning combinations. Again, thrift stores are great places to find holiday decorations because many people don’t know what to do with that ugly item they received as a gift, so they just donate it hoping someone else will use it. One man’s trash is certainly another man’s treasure when it comes to ugly sweater parties! Be creative!

Activities and Contests

You don’t have to go over-the-top with planning out every moment of the party, but having planned activities or contests will definitely be a fun addition to the night. You can have everyone vote on “best sweater” or “itchiest sweater” and announce the winners throughout the night. If people know there are small prizes they are more likely to be competitive and go all out when looking for the perfect ugly sweater.


Have you thrown an ugly sweater party before? Have any other suggestions or tips to throw a theme party? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!




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