How to Choose and Accessorize a Festive Holiday Sweater

How to Choose and Accessorize a Holiday Sweater

If there is one type of garment that thrift stores like Goodwill® have an abundance of, it would have to be the sweater. Chunky knit sweaters are a playful way to keep warm in the winter, and thrift stores have everything from designer versions to handmade looks from grandma’s knitting needle. Re-fashioning a thrifted knit sweater takes a little creativity, but the result can be a unique look with a nod to the whimsy.

When searching for a great knit sweater at your local thrift store, don’t limit yourself to only your gender. The sweater shown here was actually a men’s sweater that just need a little accessorizing to become more feminine. The best way to look is with your eyes as well as your hands. First, search for colors or patterns that resonate with your personality. Then, feel the sweater to make sure it is in good condition. Stay away from itchy fabrics and fibers like acetate or acrylic, unless it’s light enough to layer a long sleeve cotton t-shirt underneath.

Stacey Kay models holiday sweater

When putting together your sweater outfit, pull ideas for accessorizing from the sweater’s color or pattern. The grey sweater seen here gave off a modern ‘tribal’ vibe, hence the funky necklace and colorful oxford. Thrifting chunky knits are an excellent alternative to a standard hoodie, and can even double as a major conversational piece at your next gathering or event. In fact, the prevalence of these funky sweaters at your local Goodwill thrift store have even inspired a new type of seasonal tradition – the festive holiday sweater party.

A festive holiday sweater party can be a fun alternative to a regular seasonal party, and one that can benefit your community as well. In the 1980s and 1990s, novelty sweaters were a big part of the retail scene, boasting everything from fringe to bells to full nativity scenes. The trend was widespread, but eventually these sweaters ended up cast aside and donated to local thrift stores like Goodwill. This time of year, it becomes almost a sport to find the most outlandish novelty holiday sweater and wear it proudly at one of these parties.

Stacey Kay models patterned sweater

Thrifting for your holiday sweater benefits your community because 84 percent of collective revenues raised through the sale of donated goods go directly toward supporting and growing Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. When you’re surrounded by family and friends donning their outrageous sweaters this season, you can feel good about the fact that the dollars used to purchase them are doing a greater good for your community.

Will you be attending a holiday sweater party this year? Be sure to share your photos on the Goodwill Industries International Facebook page, or tweet your photos to @GoodwillIntl.