This is How to Do An Ugly Sweater Party Properly

Odds are, the ugly holiday sweater pictures will start to roll into your newsfeed this weekend (if they haven’t already).

When it comes to the holidays, there are few things millennials appreciate more than throwing a good ol’ ugly sweater party…and documenting the hell out of it on social media.


Of course, ugly sweaters are made even better when booze is involved (eat, drink, and be ugly, right?). If you’re heading to an ugly sweater party this weekend, Robert Mondavi Private Selection has the perfect host or hostess gift for you: a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon rocking its own mini ugly sweater. Now through the holidays, each bottle sold will be adorned with a mini sweater.


Now that you have the wine picked out, Mondavi makes your ugly sweater party even easier by offering the following tips to create an ugly sweater that will leave a lasting impression (and hopefully live on for years to come)…

Step 1: Gather your materials (see: any materials)
Admit it, between odd art projects and home-wrapped gifts, you probably have ugly decorations hidden in a box somewhere. Dig them out and sacrifice a few of the best (worst) pieces for a worthy cause (that being having the ugliest sweater at the party). Anything goes. Literally. Fake candy canes and Christmas tree ornaments? Check. Ribbons and buttons? Yes and yes. Beads from that Mardi Gras vacation you don’t regret at all? Oh yeah.

Step 2: Ask yourself what Anna Wintour would do. Then do the opposite.
When it comes to ugly sweaters, the gaudier and less fashionable the better. Tinsel at the neckline highlights bone structure. Pinecones are most effective when they dangle in pairs. Glitter should never be used in moderation. Carefully consider the shape and print of the sweater, cover your eyes, and start gluing, baby. The more random, the better.

Step 3: The more the merrier.
There’s no such thing as an ugly sweater that’s too crowded. Ever. In fact, it probably needs another golden bell, or maybe a heavy hand with shiny ribbons. Can you see an inch of room? No good; fill it with a few too many pom-poms. This is a safe space, so go with what you feel. Don’t forget to design the back.

Step 4: Sweater the small stuff.
Now that your sweater is finished, don’t forget to include the little guy. Decorate your wine bottle’s sweater further with its own one-of-a-kind tiny ugly sweater. Accentuate your bottle’s ugly sweater with pom-poms, affix little beads, and glue miniature bells to add a festive (and not at all annoying) jingle. While you’re at it, your dog may look super cute in one too.

Having attended an ugly sweater party or two in our day, we thought we’d take care of the party details for you.

Step 1: Make it a contest.
Whether you’re the host or a party guest, it’s always a good idea to make a contest out of an ugly sweater party. The most hideous and ridiculous sweater takes home the prize (obviously).

Step 2: Document it.
What’s the point of putting so much work into an ugly sweater if you’re not going to take a ton of pictures? Trust us, they photograph well and are definitely Instagram “like-worthy.”

Step 3: Give back.
Encourage your guests (or the host) to include a charitable element for the party. In addition to their ugly sweaters, get guests to bring along an unwrapped toy for a disadvantaged child, or a non-perishable food item for your local food bank. Giving back gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling almost as much as your sweater does.

Step 4: Be Merry. 
If you’re not feeling the holiday spirit and just can’t contain that inner Grinch, by all means stay home in your ugly sweater alone. While an ugly sweater is always welcomed at an ugly sweater party, an ugly attitude never is.