Scandal’s Katie Lowes Throws a Surprisingly Stylish Ugly Sweater Party (PHOTOS)

12/21/2015 at 10:54 AM ET

Katie Lowes
Phil Eisen

Katie Lowes isn’t afraid to get ugly — when it comes to sweaters, that is.

When the Scandal actress and her husband, actor Adam Shapiro, offered to throw her brother Sean and his fiancée Meg Smith an engagement party last year, she knew just the theme to set the perfect tone.

RELATED: Hollywood at Home: Inside Scandal Star Katie Lowes’ 1920s Bungalow

“We said, ‘What if we did it in December, served a traditional Christmas dinner and asked everyone to wear ugly sweaters?’” says Lowes.

Lowes and Schapiro went all out for the 2014 bash, which doubled as Lowes and Shapiro’s first annual holiday party in their then new Los Angeles home.

“I enjoy doing DIY stuff, so I rigged together a photo booth with streamers and my laptop,” says Lowes, whose guests enjoyed s’mores roasted by the fire pit and Manhattans made using her great aunt Joan’s recipe.

Katie Lowes
Phil Eisen

But the true highlight of the party was the theme.

RELATED: 15 Super Creative Holiday Cookies That Are Surprisingly Easy

“Guests can get annoyed if you ask them to wear a full costume,” Lowes says. “But giving them just one rule sets the tone for a fun party. Everyone ended up trading stories about where they found their amazing sweaters.”

Katie Lowes
Phil Eisen

For more on Katie Lowes, other celeb soirees and more holiday cheer, check out PEOPLE’s subscriber-only Holiday Entertaining issue.

—Patrick Gomez @PatrickGomezLA

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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LilahK on

Awesome!