After ugly Christmas sweaters, other trends to watch for

Show of mittens. Who has a fuzzy snowman sweater shoved in the closet?

If you scored an invite to a Christmas theme party in the past few years, the odds are good. Holiday sweaters have ruled hard over December's party scene, ascending to power via total irony.

See, no one with an iota of coolness would dare sport a three-dimensional Santa sliding down her chest chimney. At an ugly sweater party, though, it's absurd, and you are a hilarious cultural critic.

But ugly holiday sweaters are coasting more and more into the mainstream. They're in marketing campaigns at Finish Line in the mall.

They're sold at Urban Outfitters, layered with skinny jeans and messenger bags. Goodwill store managers have reported a huge run on sweaters this year, and it makes sense because of all the parties featuring them.

Ugly sweaters will undoubtedly lapse in favor of fresh techniques to socially mock the holidays. To have our fingers one beat ahead of the yuletide pulse, we've predicted the next big Christmas party crazes, woven and otherwise:

-- Hilarious ski pants party: Your mother stuffed you into these padded pants with the canvas buckle-lock suspenders warm enough to withstand a stranding in Alaska. Now fast-forward and imagine the ladies' night potential. Big booty snow pants on bottom, bra on top. You're welcome, local club promoters.

-- Awkward holiday food party: Everyone has to bring a repulsive dish, something they eat only to be polite. Ambrosia is a good start. Canned fruit cocktail with a side of dry fruitcake works. Maybe those little pickles on toothpicks? Anything with an inordinate amount of artificial cheese will suffice. Bonus points for every stray hair.

-- Twisted Santa suit party: Santa Claus is inherently creepy. Old man, velvet suit, invites you to sit on his lap, sneaks into your house at night. He's kind of ripe for the picking on, isn't he? At this party, everyone dons a twisted Santa suit. Hipster Santa. Ronald McDonald Santa. Drag queen Santa. As long as there's a pom-pom hat involved, you're golden.

-- Dashing turtleneck party: Nothing says "It's rather chilly, but I need to examine my mutual funds" quite like a turtleneck. The tighter, the better, especially in the region between your face and shoulders. If you want to take it further, consider adding ascots and dickies to the list of options.

-- Infantile holiday pajamas party: Adult footie pajamas are replacing the Snuggie as the must-have self-loathing device of the year. There's the Forever Lazy, which has a butt flap for easy bathroom access. At Macy's you can score adult footies in character motifs including Minnie Mouse and Snoopy.

Blasphemous Bible character party: No, by all means, you go first. Surely you won't be struck down.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service www.scrippsnews.com.)

Source: St. Petersburg Times

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