“Intense” does not even begin to describe the competition witnessed this year at Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. No longer does, “Look! I’m actually wearing one!” cut it. Time, effort, money and an occasional outbreak of sweat or tears is necessary to emerge victorious.
Jaw-dropping, breathtaking, insanely entertaining “Woah! Look at THAT” sweaters make up the new winner’s circle. Theses sweaters beg the question, “How in the world, was that sold in stores? Who the h-e-double hockey sticks designed that?” It all boils down to how badly one wants the title. The highly-coveted “Ugliest Sweater” designation is a combination of guts and glory. The guts to wear it out in public and the glory associated with having the chutzpah in addition to having a very non-Jewish possession: The Ugliest Christmas Sweater.
The “New Ugly” is frequently adorned with bells, whistles, 3D objects be they trinkets, fake snow, jingle bells, shiny balls… Sometimes the “New Ugly” dazzles the immediate audience with a show: A musical jingle at the push of a button, a little light-up tree action, or even a dancing Santa affixed to the front of a festive frock.
The “New Ugly” may appear to be tormented with tinsel, overloaded with ornaments, or beadazzled with kitschy do-dads…but extreme gaudiness is key to success. Layering is also another tactic to secure the title of “tackiest:” A patterned turtleneck, topped with a vomit-inducingly cheerful vest or cardigan, further intensified by the addition of Christmas stockings, hat/headband and flair is where it’s at.