Ironic fashion gone too far?: Ugly Christmas sweaters gain popularity

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It’s ‘Better Off Dead’ — the ‘80s John Cusack film in which the loony mother makes hideous Christmas-themed outfits for her family — come to life.

The Wall Street Journal reports that ugly Christmas sweaters (the more ornate, the better) are making a comeback among irony-loving city dwellers, who are hosting holiday sweater Christmas parties and wearing the offensive knits out to bars and clubs.

Writer Rachel Dodes reported: ‘Searches for ‘ugly Christmas sweaters’ are up 30% in December compared with December last year, according to Google’s research tool Insights for Search. ... Brian Philippoi, a 26-year-old employee of a Web design firm, wore a bulky cream sweater with a bright alpine print along with dark skinny jeans and sneakers to a recent party. He describes the sweater as ‘very 1960s Swiss ski resort.’ ‘It’s like walking a Great Dane,’ he says. ‘You have to show it who’s boss.’'

And thrift stores in New York are apparently running out of the tacky knits -- the best of which feature battery-operated light shows and actual ornaments sewn onto them.


‘Many thrift stores were caught empty-handed this season,’ Dodes wrote. ‘Seeing it was late to the holiday-sweater trend, Buffalo Exchange, a chain of 40 vintage boutiques, put out an APB on its website and on Facebook. Customers at the store’s East Village location were ‘desperately seeking goofy Christmas/Holiday sweaters for men and women,’ wrote the company’s marketing director, Michelle Livingston. ‘You know the ones ... snowmen, wreaths, sequins and bows. The flashier the better!’ ‘It’s disappointing that we haven’t had them for our customers,’ says Amanda Garrett, manager of the East Village store.’

Looking to score an ugly Christmas sweater this year? Arguably the best (or worst, depending on your viewpoint) examples are on the website, where fringed Santas and stuffed reindeer heads go to die.

-- Emili Vesilind