By Chelsea Bailey, Staff Writer —
The holiday season is finally here, and that means everyone is officially decking the halls, hitting the malls, and fa-la-la-la-ing, all while dressed in the finest festive attire.
Over the past decade, ugly Christmas sweaters have seen an incredible rise in popularity. Those which were once dreaded gifts from grandma are now considered coveted works of art.
This time of year, it seems there are ugly sweater parties and competitions thrown left and right, awarding the most hideous garments with trophies, gift cards and bragging rights for being the best of the worst.
Putting a little twist on tradition, Sarah Griffith, a senior marketing major from Mount Juliet, hosts a DIY sweater get together.
“Every year I throw a Christmas sweater decorating party,” said Griffith. “Everyone brings a sweater and we all paint and sew on decorations.”
While Griffith’s may be a fun and thrifty way to sport her holiday spirit, there are some holiday-themed sweaters that come at a much steeper cost. Just last year, a nearly $30,000, Swarovski crystal-covered jumper was sold by Tipsy Elves.
Though a fan of the trend, Hannah King, a senior communication major from Knoxville, said, “I wouldn’t pay more than $10 for one, if that.”
Still, not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Many shop by the philosophy of “the tackier, the better,” but this trend can be quite divisive. There are some who say “bah-humbug” to the fad and believe ugly Christmas sweaters are a thing of the past.
“Honestly,” said Andrew Barber, a senior PAMN major from Chattanooga. “This seems like a ploy of the hipsters and millennials to make a mainstream fad out of something that should stay in the family yearbooks from the 90s.”
It seems that the expression “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” rings true in the case of holiday apparel, but no matter which side is taken, everyone can come together on one thing: fruitcake is nasty.