Sweater Party Calls for Your Holiday Worst

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Invitees to tacky holiday sweater parties are challenged to wear the most atrociously seasonal sweater they can buy or make. Reindeer, snowmen, menorahs and trees — with or without flashing lights — are all fair game.


Imagine wearing your ugliest holiday attire. Now, imagine wearing it to a party where everyone else is sporting something equally ugly. Now, it's not your worst fashion nightmare, it's the tacky holiday sweater party. Revelers wear their most hideous, most festive holiday-themed sweaters. Reds and queens abound, as do reindeer, menorahs and sparkly snowflakes. So if you're feeling brave, join us at a tacky holiday sweater party.

Unidentified Man #1: I just can't believe that people buy these things for real.

Unidentified Woman #1: This one is very bright because it's a checkered, like a checkered board, but it's white and red. And it's got some nice bead work on it, some trees. It just looks kind of bright and loud…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #1: …when you see it. I could see it on the rack from a distance.

Unidentified Woman #2: We made our sweaters ourselves with some craft materials and some battery-powered light for our Hanukkah sweaters.

Unidentified Man #2: Oh, god. So mine is full of textures, full of different themes. We have angels, some with a village theme, and some piece, a lot of colors, just pretty gross from Kosovo(ph).

Unidentified Man #3: JC PENNEY. It's actually from the women's department. And - at first, I went to Marshalls and a bunch other stores and I had a hard time. So my friends say, go to JC PENNEY. The store manager pointed me in the right direction. I go to women's section, and there's a door buster because the holidays, 1999 and I had to pick from, like, six different sweaters. And I went with this because it's a bell, and I look good in blue.

Unidentified Man #4: And there are four Santa Clauses. And I should also point out that it's a hideous lime green, some nice candy cane stripes is all over this thing.

Unidentified Woman #3 I heard Kmart had some (unintelligible). But people head up to Goodwill, but I think eBay's kind of the way to go.

Unidentified Man #5: You just - you do what you have to do. Tonight's just about not being cool. It's just about being in the theme of the party.

Unidentified Man #6: It's a - I would say a multi-color of stripes ensemble with ornaments and white (unintelligible).

Unidentified Man #7: They're just basic black sweaters with gold and blue menorahs, eight lights and a Shamash, a couple of presents glued to them, well, small ones, some snowflakes and one snowflake in the middle of the back.

Unidentified Woman #4: It's really fun to see (unintelligible), and go to craft stores and get the glue guns out and their beads, I'm really good at them. Or on another hand take sweaters from their parents' closet with (unintelligible).

Unidentified Man #8: It's embarrassing when you're buying a sweater in the women's department, and there are legitimate women who are walking up next to you, looking at the same sweaters like, what do you think about this one or this would be a great gift for grandma. And you just pretend and you hope nobody cares because you have the sweater in your hand, and you go up to the mirror and you hold it up in front of you and if it works, it works.

HANSEN: NPR's Alison Bryce collected the voices from that tacky holiday sweater party.

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