Since the inception of the “jingle bell sweater” in the 1950s, the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” has been a staple of the holiday season. In the same family as the graphic T-shirt—just thrown into aesthetic overdrive—the garment has established itself as an ironic icon; it’s a status cemented and epitomized by the rising popularity of ugly sweater-themed parties that round out the holiday season festivities.

Of course, the best Christmas sweaters aren’t all grotesque fusions of colorful yarn and an abundance of holiday spirit. Rooted in the tradition of intarsia knits and Fair Isle patterns, there’s plenty of graphic sweaters that should fit the bill when once you’ve received your ugly sweater party invitation—but will be worthy of attempts to wear it well after the inevitable holiday season hangover has come and gone.

That’s saying nothing of throwing the “sweater” portion out the window—reworking the prints and patterns into a completely different garment (a la Junya Watanabe Fall/Winter 2011 collection).

From A.P.C. to Ami, Gosha Rubchinskiy to Givenchy and Dries Van Noten to Thom Browne, plenty of the world’s best brands (at a variety of price points) have lent their hands to this holiday favorite; just because it’s an “ugly sweater party” doesn’t mean you have to take the theme… well, literally.

Tags: givenchy, thom-browne, a-p-c, apc, ami, ami-paris, ugly-sweater, holiday, saint-laurent, gosh-rubchinskiy, dries-van-noten, sweaters