I’m ditching party dresses for embellished sweatshirts this year because I’m over being uncomfortable


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Photo: Nicole Miller

I was trying on dresses the other week for my cousin’s upcoming New Year’s Eve wedding, and I thought I had come across the one. It fit perfectly and was emblazoned with festive AF emerald sequins—but I could tell it was going to be uncomfortable… just like every other sparkly dress I tried on.

I’ve spent too many otherwise enjoyable functions being slowly lacerated by the sequins on my dresses.

As I stared at my reflection, I realized I could not—nay, would not—shove myself into another uncomfortable dress for a holiday occasion. I’ve spent too many otherwise enjoyable functions being slowly lacerated by the shiny disks on my dresses. (One time a strapless, sequined sheath gave me such bad, itchy marks that it looked like a had a weird rash under my arms for weeks.)

Enter: embellished sweatshirts and sweaters. Sure, they aren’t foolproof (get some sequins too close to the neckline and it’s game over), but in my humble opinion, I’ve found them to be, on the whole, much more comfortable than sparkly dresses/blazers/pants/you name it. And they come in so many different options—you can go for an oversized zip-up hoodie á la this Nicole Miller one that’s so shiny it would make The Rainbow Fish jealous. Or, go for a monochromatic look that plays with texture like this DVF crewneck that I would probably Rumplestiltskin my first child for. (I know that’s not very festive, don’t @ me; it’s called hyperbole.) If you like sparkles but hate sequins, try a sweatshirt woven with metallic threads. Bonus points if it’s an interesting shape like this Zara one.

It’s not an overstatement to say that this will be what I wear to every holiday and holiday-adjacent function I have to attend over the next month. Because that’s the true beauty of an embellished top. They’re cozy, and they work for literally any occasion. An oversized one plus over-the-knee boots (AKA lampshading) feels peak Ariana Grande festive for an event where you need to show that you’re all: “thank u, next.” (Just maybe don’t try this one for events at home—take it from me, your mom will be concerned about you.)

For a casual holiday dinner, a sequined sweatshirt brings festive cheer while also hiding the fact that you had to unbutton your jeans after that second slice of pie. For events where I need to be a bit dressier (like the aforementioned wedding), I plan to artfully tuck a sparkly sweatshirt into a structured skirt and add killer heels (that are still comfortable, of course).

Should one of the boys I’m dating decides to invite me to his office holiday party—if you’re reading this, hi lmk—I’ll pair one of said sweatshirts with a cool pair of trousers (faux leather, perhaps?) and either heels or booties. I won’t be meeting any potential boo’s family this year, but if I were, guess what I’d be donning? That’s right, an effing embellished sweatshirt.

If you want to get real festive, try pairing your statement sweatshirt with a pair of these holiday-ready earrings. Also, you should definitely be embracing ugly nail polish colors—here’s why.

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