Fashion & Shopping

Ugly Sweater 101

December 14, 2021

We have all experienced the excitement of scouting out and rocking an ugly Christmas sweater, but a lesser-known fact is that the tradition of the Ugly Sweater Party was started in Canada! And, with the resurgence of holiday events this year, Canadians are breaking out their festive knits – in fact, searches for Christmas sweaters on Poshmark are up 83 per cent this week!  We chatted with Poshmark seller Debbie Poh about the ugly sweater tradition, and got her top tips on making even the silliest sweater look incredible. —Vita Daily

Hi Debbie! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

I’m a Vancouver-based conscious fashion and sustainable lifestyle blogger. At the start of 2021, I quit my corporate finance job in pursuit of a meaningful, creative career—which ended up being digital content creation. Over the past year, I’ve greatly enjoyed my journey of self-employment and have been privileged enough to work with many wonderful brands. After realizing the true cost of the fashion industry almost two years ago, it has become very important for me to work with sustainably minded companies like Poshmark!

It’s so awesome that the tradition of the “Ugly Sweater Party” was started in Canada! Have you ever attended one of these events? What did you wear?

Yes, I attended one while working in the corporate finance world. Our entire team was required to wear them, so we had to search all over downtown Vancouver looking for work-appropriate ugly sweaters. At this time, I unfortunately didn’t care much about sustainability or ethical manufacturing and we ended up buying very cheap, ugly festive sweaters from a popular fast-fashion store. Now that I am more aware of online marketplaces like Poshmark, finding a great sweater will be much easier and align more with my values.

When it comes to ugly sweaters, why is Poshmark a great place to score?

Poshmark is a great place to shop for ugly sweaters as you can feel good about buying secondhand and supporting the circular fashion economy. As these sweaters often are only worn once and thrown away, this is the perfect way to ensure that such specialty pieces don’t end up in a landfill after one or two wears. Additionally, you can also use Poshmark to sell your ugly Christmas sweater next year if you’re no longer using it!

Can you give us some of your secrets to scoping out the best vintage and secondhand ugly sweater finds online?

When shopping on Poshmark, my best tips would be to properly utilize keywords and filters. For instance, using the keywords “Ugly Christmas Sweater” will help you find a multitude of choices for such items. However, if you are looking for something more specific or want to narrow down your choice, you can add more keywords relating to preferred colours or designs. I would also suggest widening your search to “all” genders as ugly sweaters will usually suit most individuals as long as the size is suitable. Lastly, I would suggest using a filter to ensure that the pricing is within your budget—you can even try to negotiate with the seller for an even better deal!

We want to make even the silliest sweater look incredible; any advice for rocking an ugly sweater with style?

As cheesy as it sounds, the best thing you can style with an ugly Christmas sweater is confidence! Other than wearing your flamboyant festive piece with pride, I would suggest layering your sweater with a classy collared shirt (Peter Pan collars are particularly trendy at this time) or a basic turtleneck top. Personally, I would also wear a chunky chain necklace to an extra layer of easy elegance. Lastly, I would add a festive Santa hat or reindeer antlers to perfect the look!

What are your top tips for styling up chunky winter knits for the holidays?

Other than layering your sweaters, I would also recommend considering the silhouette of your outfit for the best proportions. For instance, if you’re wearing a chunky sweater or cardigan, you want to make sure that your bottom attire balances out the outfit. I would wear something less bulky and opt for something more streamlined—such as straight-legged pants. However, styling a chunky sweater with a pleated tennis mini skirt and over-the-knee boots would also look extremely cute!

Do you currently have any ugly sweater contenders up for sale on Poshmark? Are there any from other sellers that you’re eyeing?

Unfortunately, I got rid of my ugly Christmas sweaters a while back and I haven’t been able to attend any ugly Christmas sweater parties since then (especially after leaving the corporate world). However, if I was invited to one this holiday, I feel confident that I would buy my ugly sweater from Poshmark as there are so many fun options readily available there! Just a quick browse on the platform allowed me to find great options at affordable prices. While I don’t have any specific sellers I’m currently eyeing, I would recommend choosing Poshmark sellers who have received positive feedback from their customers and who have an average shipping time of a day or less. As well, if you’re in need of the sweater on a tight deadline, ensure that the seller lives in a city close to yours!


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