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Published: Sunday, December 9, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

It's sweater season -- make the most of it

The good, the bad, the kitschy. A "seasonal sweater" is one way to start a conversation at a holiday function.
It's a look that can mean all sorts of things: sequins, bows, Fair Isle patterns, bunny rabbits and bird motifs, or even antlers. There's a fine line between a good seasonal sweater and a good one gone bad.
Even those have a place, though. Yup, there are Ugly Sweater parties and Ugly Sweater blogs.
But before we go there, fashion insiders say there's a way to have your novelty and fun with style: Wear it in the right spirit.
They bring a smile -- and they're a good icebreaker, style commentator Suze Yalof Schwartz said.
Who could resist commenting on the glitzy giant bow sweater? she said. But wearer beware: You will be the center of attention.
Anu Narayanan, Old Navy's vice president of women's merchandising, says you don't have to wait for the party invite.
"In my opinion, a seasonal sweater is anything that signals the change in weather," Narayanan said. "It's the iconic, go-to item that makes you feel like being cozy near a fire with a cup of cocoa. For some it may be a chunky cable, for others a holiday motif or a bit of shine."
Narayanan puts antlers, snowflakes and sparkle on her list of seasonal-sweater dos. Just don't wear them all at once.
Take your one novelty item -- making sure the sweater is a long, lean shape and in a thin knit -- and pair it with something simple and slim on the bottom, maybe skinny jeans or leather leggings, says Schwartz, editor-in-chief of the blog TallSkinnyRich.com.
Narayanan envisions these sweaters with a pencil skirt and tights, maybe boyfriend jeans rolled at the cuff with a heel, or slim cords with ballet flats.
Kids and teens could get away with something a little more outrageous; they have a knack for making kitschy cool, said Tara Ryan, head of design for Mini Boden.
"Tween girls, especially, really like quite cheesy things done in an amusing and clever way," Ryan said.
"They like the scale to be unexpected or add an unexpected twist. They maybe would wear reindeer antlers (on their sweaters) instead of the reindeer face."
Story tags » FashionChristmas

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