Jump for Knitted Joy
"Ugly sweater" mania is sweeping the nation, as people dress up in festive cheer for holiday parties, bar crawls and office get-togethers. Nothing says cheer like snowmen, Santas and bells in appliqué, yarn and sequins -- or even real working lights. If your ugly sweater ensemble outshines the Christmas tree, even better.
If you're like us, you probably have an old Christmas sweater or two hidden in your closet. By giving a second chance to clothes you already have, you'll avoid shopping for new holiday outfits. It's like toasting the Spirit of Christmas Recycling!
Click through for the best ugly Christmas sweaters around, and see how you can join the fun if you haven't already.
Tacky Holiday Sweaters for Two
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Sweaters for Every Holiday
Light up the Night
Crafter Anne Marie Blackman has made a cottage industry in Vermont refurbishing, embellishing and reselling ugly sweaters (order your own from her website myuglychristmassweater.com.) Blackman says all of her wares are "pre-worn, which makes them uglier." She adds, "Best are the sweaters from the 70s or 80s that have padded shoulders or bat arms or a wide waist band."
Blackman tells us that, this year, sweater dresses and pieces that she adds real working lights to are already proving popular. Anyone who puts on her big bow creation (pictured) won't get lost in the holiday shuffle.
Blackman makes custom-orders, as well as a range of designs from more traditional to more outlandish. She says those headed to office parties tend to prefer more conservative sweaters, while those who are anticipating a lively bar crawl tend to ask for the works. Some families also ask for "cuter" sweaters for holiday photos. There's something for all ages.
"I look at yard sales with a new eye," says Blackman. "I look at old holiday decorations that no one wants, and wonder how they would look as an accessory on a sweater." Now that some groups offer prizes for the "ugliest Christmas sweater," Blackman is often asked to push the limits of taste.
Blackman says she got into ugly sweaters after seeing some for sale a few years ago, and thinking she could do a better job. "I've always loved creating costumes for event parties," she adds.