Archive for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas: A time for ugly sweaters

Corey Sievers, manager of Arizona Trading Company, talks about the mad rush of customers looking for that perfect tacky holiday sweater. This year, Sievers says they've sold hundreds and can't keep them in stock.

December 20, 2011


For 11 months during the year, they sit neglected and unwanted in closets and on the shelves of secondhand stores.

But come December, those tacky holiday sweaters — featuring garish reindeer, snowmen, Santa and Christmas trees — are all the rage. There are websites, such as, and books, such as “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On,” dedicated to the phenomenon.

“We can’t hardly keep a sweater,” said Dave Blackburn, store manager at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, 1601 W. 23rd St.

Blackburn thumbs through the now sparse men’s sweater section that’s been picked through heavily the last few weeks. He said that on a given weeknight, dozens of college students comb the racks, looking for the perfect sweater for any assortment of holiday sweater parties.

“Parties seem to be really big this year,” he said.

The demand for tacky Christmas sweaters has increased the past six or seven years, said Corey Sievers, store manager at Arizona Trading Co., 736 Mass.

And it’s growing.

“I’ve burned through more this year than I have ever before,” said Sievers, who stocks up on the sweaters year-round. He estimates that about 200 sweaters have come in and out of his store this season.

It’s pretty slim pickings at his store as well. Sievers shows off what’s left: a snowman mock turtle neck and a couple of generic, but nonetheless tacky, sweaters.

But even the bottom of the barrel will get snatched up, Sievers predicted.

“We always sell every last, single one,” he said.

Sievers’ advice for getting that perfectly ugly sweater? Start early.

“Keep your eyes open all year,” he said. “If you see a good one, nab it.”


riverdrifter 6 years, 6 months ago

I occasionally cruise Ebay for the more "homely" Pendleton sweaters for use afield while hunting. A well-built Pendleton is always a good thing for layering in the duck blind, deer stand or wherever. Sometimes you can even find a great looking one for only a few bucks.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

Wild Man Vintage on Mass St. had the best selection in town when I was in there last week.

Waddetreestudio 6 years, 6 months ago

There is no such notion of an ugly sweater Just a ugly pattern.

dwendel 6 years, 6 months ago

You are absolutely correct! Fear, reprisals, discrimination, inequality under the law - these are what made the Real America great! I'm so tired of the America-hating, socialist, Big Daddy-worshipping (you know he's really a Muslim don'cha?), commie Lawrence liberals loons and their stupid liberal equal protection laws. Way to shove their liberal hypocrisy down their big government-loving, God-hating, scrawny, tax-mooching liberal throats, consumer1! They'll all switch to being conservates now for sure.

asixbury 6 years, 6 months ago

They are not making fun of people who buy the tacky sweaters....did you read the same article I did? Whoever bought the sweater when it was new probably bought it for the same reason; humor. Something you might need more of.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, I saw the Target "flash mob" video. You're wrong on this one. :)

sinkorswim 6 years, 6 months ago

I love my Christmas sweaters (as well as socks, bracelets, earrings, necklaces)! I wear them often starting the day after Thanksgiving. Not sure why they're called "ugly" or "tacky?" I see them as cute holiday-wear (most of them, anyway).

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