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3 Stylish Alternatives to the Ugly Holiday Sweater

Unless an ugly sweater party is on the agenda, skip turtlenecks, reindeer, and anything bright red, and opt for one of these more modern looks instead.

Ho, ho, ho… that holiday sweater has got to go. You don’t have to dress like Father Christmas to look festive at seasonal shindigs (unless you're hitting up an ugly sweater party, of course). If you’re stopping by a gathering of friends or family, aim for a casual, yet pulled-together look—and save bright red for Santa and reindeer sweaters for aunt Margaret. These up-to-date, easy-to-find men’s styles will keep you warm and comfortable without breaking the bank (prices range from $40 to $120).

Shawl Collared Sweaters
Perfect for a cold day or night, shawl collars are cozy without being constricting like turtlenecks. And we’re happy to report that the trend has safely crossed from women’s wear into mainstream men’s fashion. These shawl collared sweaters from J.Crew and H&M would really pop with a red or burgundy t-shirt underneath. Or layer one with this affordable red striped long-sleeved offering from Uniqlo.

Cardigans
Button-down or zip-up sweaters have evolved since the days of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Take a look at Topman’s cardigan with a sharp pattern that evokes icicles (or barbed wire). Either way, it’s a big improvement over the lame snowflake sweaters that you always see this time of year.

Another cool cardigan is this argyle sweater from Banana Republic. With contrasting burgundy and light gray, it’s like a subdued version of Santa’s bright red and white. Leave the top and bottom buttons undone for a more casual look.

Pullovers
Want to look decent without sacrificing the comfort of that ratty college hoodie? Pullovers, like this striped one from J.Crew, are an upgrade to your favorite sweatshirt.

Like hoods, shoulder patches also add something extra to a plain long-sleeved top. They’ll also draw attention to traps and delts that are otherwise hard to show off under layers. This lightweight cream-colored sweater from Topman and this dark raspberry crewneck from Armani Exchange are both handsome choices.

Need something to wear over your sweater? Check out these 10 winter jackets under $200

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