I know you’re here for the ugly sweaters because, really, who can resist looking at ugly sweaters. It’s like watching a train wreck. You just can’t turn away.
Now back to the program…
It’s a fairly new trend I think. This Ugly Sweater Party idea. And it’s always centered around Christmas (although, let’s be clear, this phenomenon is not limited to the holidays). Perhaps Christmas is the time of all things merry and gay. Sweaters that light up and jingle and definitely sparkle. And if a little is good, a lot must be better. At least that’s how is seems for Christmas sweaters.
Here’s the problem with the Ugly Sweater Party.
Some people really like ugly sweaters.
(Notice the older woman over my shoulder admiring the Christmas bunny sweatshirt I’m checking out?)
And to be honest, I realize that participating in such festivities could be quite insulting to the people that would say, “Hey, I would totally wear that.”
But this was a neighborhood party and since my neighborhood is kind of awesome, I was really looking to wow the crowd.
I picked some of the obvious shopping spots:
Sure, I found some things. I just wasn’t prepared to pay $20 for something I knew I would hate.
(As you can see, these were not only ugly but unflattering as well.)
So I went on a quest.
Ross. Marshalls. Nope. Nothing.
So I headed to the place I like to call “the mall that time forgot.” A few of the stores are closed and the rest seem to be those off-brand kind of stores. But I thought it would serve it’s purpose.
First stop? Sears.
There was a selection but nothing that floated my boat. And absolutely nothing in the Christmas-tacky department for men. So I headed to a department store called Boscov’s.
I walked in and was blown away by the selection of embroidered and sequined sweatshirts, shirts, and vests. I even found an entire track suit that would fit the bill.
However, I will admit I felt bad. I was trying to pick out the worst of the worst and I was surrounded by little old ladies who were legitimately shopping for these pieces of clothing. Buying something at that point felt like I was mocking them to their faces. So I left for Belk’s.
Belk’s had a selection for the modern Christmas-loving woman. A woman who likes a little bling but doesn’t like to wear a sweater that makes it look like someone vomited Christmas all over them.
I carefully looked through the selections of snowmen, reindeer (my personal favorite), and more subtle designs like holly and cardinals.
In the end, I chose a long sleeve black shirt with a bejeweled Christmas tree on it that jingled just a touch when I walked. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy that mint green sweatshirt embroidered with Christmas kittens no matter how much I knew it would work.
(This was the very worst I could do. It’s not in my genetic makeup to buy shapeless ugly clothes.)
I felt like I chickened out. I just couldn’t do ugly. So I went for tacky. I paired my black bejweled shirt with my fuzzy black vest. I bought earrings made of red and green jingle bells. I wore socks with Christmas trees on them. And just to show people I was committed, I bought a Christmas cat pin and wore it on my vest.
I felt like I was bringing tacky back. Making it cool again. And trust me, at the party, I feel like the coolest (dressed) person there.
(Some of my favorites but since no one signed any release forms, I thought I’d protect the innocent.)
I finally found a way to ensure social confidence. Surround yourself with people wearing really, really ugly sweaters. And have a few glasses of wine.