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How To Style A Chunky Red Sweater For Every Kind Of Holiday Event

How To Style A Chunky Red Sweater For Every Kind Of Holiday Event

Yes, you can wear the same thing for a night out in your hometown as for your BFF gift exchange.

by Olivia Marcus
Elite Daily/Olivia Marcus/Shutterstock
The Pleasure Of The Holidays
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This holiday season, everyone is ready to paint the town red; the different shades are taking over the latest trends on TikTok (think cherry cola lips and strawberry girl makeup). In particular, red Mary Janes, red formalwear, and chunky red knits are dominating holiday dressing. The best part about the latter, though? You could wear them to every kind of holiday event. As an early gift to you, I’m going to detail how to style a chunky red sweater for basically any end-of-year activity so you can make the most of your new fave closet staple.

Red is equal parts trendy and classique. The color has longevity and is worth adding to your rotation if you don’t already own a lot of it. If you want to start incorporating more red into your wardrobe, I’d recommend buying a basic piece that you can wear multiple ways. By styling an item you’re bound to wear often, like a classic red sweater, you’ll be able to increase your comfort level with the statement hue. This will also help you incorporate the trend into your pre-existing personal style.

The crimson color is bold, looks incredible on everybody, and adds an element of luxury to any look — and you don’t even have to have a lux, Sofia Richie-esque budget to get in on the trend. You can find plenty of incredible red sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, and cardigans for less than $50.

For most people, the holiday season translates into a jam-packed calendar. Between gift exchanges with friends, work happy hours, and family gatherings, you’re bound to have plenty of occasions to dress up for, which means plenty of opps to wear your fave knit. Below, I’ve styled five realistic budget-, family-, and — most importantly — *fashion*-friendly red sweater looks for you to copy this holiday season. ’Fit inspo is, after all, the gift that keeps giving.

For Your First Office Holiday Party

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Seeing your co-workers at a party can feel like seeing your co-workers in an alternate universe. Everyone shows up as the best version of themselves, and it’s a special time to bond as a team outside of the confines of an office or virtual Slack channel. You can dress sleek, sparkly, and festive, but it’s important that your outfit, no matter how chill your team may seem, is still work appropriate. Luckily, there are so many party-ready outfit options that fit the bill. Use a red sweater as your base and then start to layer in the fun.

For my holiday party this year, I plan on wearing a red sweater with a satin maxi skirt, black kitten heels, and a big hair bow. A satin maxi skirt is work appropriate but still feels more formal than something I’d wear on any regular work day, especially when paired with heels.

Hair bows are everywhere right now. It’s an affordable accessory that will easily add a touch of balletcore magic to your ’fit. Consider Clara from The Nutcracker your outfit inspo.

For Your Traditional Family Gathering

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Family gatherings can either be the most wonderful or the most stressful part of the holidays (and sometimes it’s a little bit of both). Having a cute outfit ready to go will take one thing off of your plate. If your family gatherings are anything like mine, they can be a bit unpredictable. One second I’m decorating cookies with my mom and the next I’m filming a TikTok trend with my brother. I need an outfit that’s as ready for anything as I am.

If your family gathering is more casual, you can’t go wrong with a Canadian tuxedo. Denim-on-denim is a huge trend this season — the look is versatile, comfortable, and effortlessly cool. The key to nailing it is to make sure your top and bottom pieces of denim are the same shade. This will give your outfit uniformity and elevate your overall ensemble. You can wear a denim shirt buttoned for a full denim look, layer it over a black or white T-shirt, or add a pop of color. I love how adding a red sweater to this look instantly makes it festive. If you live in a colder climate, you can easily layer a long black coat or puffer over the lewk for chilly outdoor moments.

Since my family events are low-key, I added a pair of simple white sneakers (because LBR, I’m going to end up taking my shoes off and sitting on the couch). For accessories, you can go in any direction since everything goes with denim. An LBB (little black bag) felt like the perfect pick.

For Your New Partner’s Own Family Festivities

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First impressions are important. If you’re meeting your partner’s family or attending their big holiday gathering, you’ll want your outfit to be casual enough that you’ll feel comfortable but dressy enough to show that you put in a special effort for the event. A red sweater is a great base to build your outfit around because it’s seasonally appropriate without being obnoxious, plus it’s a memorable, bold color.

When it comes to a cute day-to-night winter outfit, you can’t go wrong with a skirt and boots. I love this short pleated skirt because it’s mini without being short-short (aka I won’t have a wardrobe malfunction). You can easily add tights to this look if temps are low and layer on a warm jacket over the sweater. I added a multi-tone red scarf for a monochromatic look and wore a pair of trendy moto boots to give it some urban flair.

For A Night Out In Your Hometown

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In my hometown, it’s an unspoken rule that everyone meets at the local dive bar on the night before Thanksgiving (aka Black Wednesday). This is always my opportunity to see old friends and acquaintances, which really just translates into wearing something fabulous. IMO, the hometown outfit has to show how cool you are without looking like you’re trying too hard. After many years of experience, I’ve determined that the best thing to wear is some form of a leather jacket.

I absolutely love the look of a brushed brown leather jacket with a soft red sweater — the color combo was made to go together. You can wear a cropped biker jacket or a longer trench like the one I chose. A leather jacket is also great because it isn’t too heavy to wear indoors but will keep you warm during any spontaneous outdoor moments.

Jeans and loafers will complete your look. Pro tip: Match the leather of your loafers to your jacket. I picked a brown leather jacket, so I wore my brown penny loafers. Since this is a relatively simple outfit, there’s room to have fun with accessories. Layer on gold necklaces, an ear cuff, or a stack of bracelets to add a little bling.

For Your BFF Gift Exchange

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A telling sign that you’re hanging with your true besties? An elastic waistband. If you’re hosting or attending a gift exchange or get-together with your friends this season, suggest a casual dress code. Putting on a festive pair of pajama pants is just as fun as getting all dressed up and makes for the cutest IG pictures.

Wearing a red sweater on top and patterned pajama bottoms or sweatpants is a winning formula for a cute and comfy ’fit. Choosing a sweater instead of a PJ top is key to making it look like you actually got dressed. Make sure you put the “party” in “pajama party” by adding fun earrings, adorable socks, and your trendiest pair of UGG boots or slippers. Bonus points if you coordinate your pajama bottoms with your friend group.