Pull Out Those Ugly Sweaters From Your Closet And Get On Trend

In defense of the "ugly" sweater.

17/02/2016 9:47 AM AEDT | Updated 17/02/2016 2:34 PM AEDT
Courtesy Anthony Urbano

Bold sweaters get a bad rap. 

Loud and attention-grabbing, there's a good chance you'll look like a clown or The-Huxtable-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named if you wear them wrong. It's a bit of a gamble, so we understand why you probably leave them on the rack when you see them by themselves.

But when worn right, say, layered under a coat or worn with basics, you'll look really good. Like, really, really good. You'll stand out in a good way, like you know what you're doing.

We asked Megan Collins, the founder of the lifestyle website Style Girlfriend, how to wear them correctly.

"You don’t have to be a style blogger to wear it. Every guy can get away with it," she said.

Acknowledging that you, intrepid HuffPost reader, probably work in an office or someplace where it might be a little tricky to break the mold with a bold sweater, Collins said that there are still options out there for you.

"There’s a bold sweater for everyone, it just depends on the guy’s comfort level or office dress code -- it's nothing to steer away from," she said. "The biggest thing is to feel good in what you’re wearing."

As long as you do that, she said, "You’re going to look good. Even if your friends kinda haze you, or people turn on the street, it’s probably because they wish they could be as confident or as big of a risk taker as you are in your style."

Here's how to do it, featuring outfit selections by Anthony Urbano, the face and stylist of Oh, Anthonio.

  • Use It As A Statement Piece:
    Courtesy Anthony Urbano
    "It’s best to think of [a bold sweater] as counting as your one statement piece," Megan Collins, founder of Style Girlfriend, told HuffPost.

    Anthony Urbano, of Oh Anthony, pairs a busy, tricolored Ted Baker sweater with a blue blazer. They're great colors for spring, but just as vibrant (if not more so, and more needed, than when worn in winter).
  • Courtesy Anthony Urbano
  • Use Color, Especially During Winter:
    Courtesy Anthony Urbano
    "A solid bright sweater really works wonders in winter," Collins said. "Think about a solid canary yellow sweater. It's just as show-stopping and stylish [as a sweater with a loud print], but serves as a statement piece for the look."

    Here, Urbano wears a yellow cashmere crewneck sweater from J.Crew with a muted wool blazer and matching cap-pants combo to let the sweater shine.
  • Courtesy Anthony Urbano
  • Texture Can Be Just As Bold As Bright Colors:
    Courtesy Anthony Urbano
    "Keep in mind that bold is better with a blazer, something layered over the sweater," Collins said. "A great way to highlight and blend in a statement sweater is by layering with a wool or herringbone blazer. It gives you choice of texture but tamps down the wow factor of the sweater in a way that might make you feel more comfortable."

    Urbano anchors a chunky indigo dyed cable knit sweater from Nautica underneath a navy blue woven blazer, which stand out equally over his white slacks.
  • Courtesy Anthony Urbano
  • Stripes Can Be Just As Bold:
    Courtesy Anthony Urbano
    "Embrace broad stripes for a really simple way to wear a loud sweater," Collins said, adding that doing so in winter "is a little less expected. Think more of a sailor stripe, but you can still do it in a wintery color or in contrasting tones so that it’s a little more out there."

    Here, Urbano tones down a black and white striped Brave Soul sweater with a wide-lapeled leather jacket and pleated chinos. The wide lapels add statement to the stripes, and his blue shoes anchor it all down.

    Remember that "small prints generally look best on finer fabrics," she added, "and larger prints look better on thicker knits." For example, you can get away with more details on a merino wool sweater, and more abstract stuff on a turtleneck, or "something a bit more Drake-esque," she said.
  • Courtesy Anthony Urbano

Are you ready to start taking better care of yourself? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Look Good, Feel Good challenge to supercharge your beauty and grooming routine and develop healthy habits. We’ll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day.  

Also on HuffPost:

More On This Topic