Every guy should own a Christmas sweater. Sure – a lot of guys will tell you they're too loud, ugly and down right awful – but hear me out for a second.
These days, there are many different styles of Christmas sweaters available for men who want to stay stylish and look festive. You just need to know what it is you're looking for!
In today's article, I'm breaking out some tips on how to choose the right Christmas sweater for you and still look sharp.
Avoid A Christmas Sweater With Mismatching Colors
Let's be frank: Christmas sweaters aren't exactly known for being subtle and muted. Most sweaters that suit the festive season take full advantage of the range of colors you see this time of year:
- Cherry Red
- Holly Green
- Brilliant White
- Silver & Gold
However, trust me when I say that these colors don't always make a man look stylish.
In fact, if you're not careful, it's all too easy to look like a walking Christmas decoration. That's right – you look less of a man and more of a bauble every time you decide to sport your grandma's hand-knitted Rudolph sweater.
It's got a lot to do with color and how you match your sweater with the rest of your outfit.
A general rule of thumb is to stick with one or two colors from the sweater in the rest of your outfit. For example, if you're wearing a green and red sweater, you could pair it with a pair of dark jeans and a red scarf. Or, if you're wearing a white and silver sweater, you could wear it with black pants and silver jewelry.
Put simply: just don't go overboard with the colors. You want to look festive without looking gaudy… so keep your color palette under control!
Stick To Timeless Patterns On Your Christmas Sweater
Another way to make sure your Christmas sweater looks stylish is to stick with timeless patterns.
You know the deal, gents.
Classic = timeless.
Timeless = stylish.
Classic patterns like stripes, plaids and solids are always a good bet. Think about it – guys have been wearing these patterns for hundreds of years, and they're not going away any time soon!
The best thing? Most classic patterns can be dressed up or down according to the situation you find yourself in. So not only are you getting timeless style, you're also getting versatility in your wardrobe. It's a win-win!
Look, I'm not saying you can't wear sweaters with Christmas patterns on them. After all, stripes are great, but they're not exactly festive.
Instead, you might be tempted to opt for tiny snowflakes or reindeer. Great – but, if you're going to go down this route, make sure the pattern is small and subtle.
Avoid Too Many Pictures
Another tip for choosing a stylish Christmas sweater is to avoid sweaters with too many pictures on them.
I'm talking giant Santa Claus faces or reindeer that take up the entire front of the sweater.
The simple fact is these types of sweaters look tacky. There's no other way of looking at it. Tacky patterns that are really hard to pair and style with other clothes – not exactly a recipe for a well dressed man!
Unless you're actively trying to look like a walking Christmas card, make sure your sweater has a simple design with minimal pictures.
As I mentioned above, it's all about subtlety! I'm not saying you can't wear a Christmas sweater with Christmas imagery on it – 'tis the season, after all! However, I am saying that you need to be mindful of the size and style of those images!
A sweater with tiny Santa heads on a muted gray background is VERY different from a bright red sweater with Santa's headshot plastered across the front.
Make Sure Your Christmas Sweater Is Well Fitted
One of the most important things to think about when choosing a Christmas sweater is the fit. Remember, your sweater should flatter your figure, not make you look like a marshmallow.
How should a sweater fit? It's simple: not too baggy, not too tight.
A big mistake many guys make is thinking that a baggy sweater hides their rounder torsos. Guys who are packing a bit of extra weight around the middle try to cover it up using baggy clothing.
Sorry gents, but I'm here to tell you that you're not fooling anyone. In fact, baggy clothing actually makes you look fatter than you are!
On the other hand, many guys try to opt for skinny-fit sweaters that fit their bodies like saran wrap. And, while these sweaters do show off your physique, they're not always the most flattering.
When it comes to sweaters (and all clothing, really), you want to find something that strikes a balance between fitted and baggy.
The best way to determine if a sweater is too baggy or too tight is to ask yourself this question: can I comfortably move my arms and shoulders without the sweater riding up or feeling constricting? If the answer is no, then the sweater is either too tight.
Alternatively, ask yourself: do I look like I'm wearing a 5 man tent as a shirt? If the answer's ‘yes' then chances are the sweater is too baggy.
Keep Slogans To A Minimum
Another tip for choosing a stylish Christmas sweater is to keep any slogans or sayings to a minimum. I'm talking about sweaters with things like “Ho Ho Holy Night” or “Baby It's Cold Outside” written across the front.
While these sweaters may be festive and fun, they're not exactly stylish.
That being said, I think it really depends on where you intend to wear your Christmas sweater. If your office runs a Christmas sweater day, then it's a good idea to opt for a classic sweater without any slogans.
Trust me, your boss doesn't want to read ‘Kiss Me Under The Mistletoe’ on your sweater. That's a workplace drama waiting to happen.
However, if you're visiting family at the weekend and want to bring a bit of Christmas fun to the event, then opting for a timeless slogan isn't the worst thing in the world. I'm talking about slogans like “Jingle All The Way” or “Let It Snow”. These are phrases that everyone knows and loves, so they'll definitely get a few laughs.
Just make sure you don't go overboard – one slogan plenty.
When all is said and done – it's Christmas! This is the time of year when you can get away with brighter colors and novelty patterns without looking like a strange person.
So I'm not here to tell you never to wear loud and proud Christmas sweaters. If you want to wear a bright green sweater with a giant Rudolph on the front, then go for it! Just make sure you only do it on specific occasions (like Christmas parties) and that you balance it out with more low-key clothing the rest of the time.
Above all else – have fun with your sweaters and enjoy the holiday season!
Looking for more cold weather style advice? Check out my guide to cold weather fragrances for men.