Holiday-themed appeal has evolved to include the good, the bad and the ugly. In regards to the latter look: Are you a festive fashionista that boldly dons ugly sweaters, aka brightly-colored knit tops bedazzled with bells, tinsel, garland and glitter galore? I am! I typically prefer much more understated garments, but I sure hope the tacky trend of ugly, over-the-top seasonal attire never retires! Let me explain myself…
Big box retailers now sell a pretty wide assortment of ugly holiday sweaters. But when this outrageous outfit choice first began several years back, shoppers hunting for kooky Christmas clothing (self-included) headed straight to Goodwill, an international chain thrift store that sells gently-used clothing, furniture and household items at discounted prices.
To this day, Goodwill sells ugly Christmas sweaters and hilarious holiday pieces in every shape, size and degree of tackiness. And if you can’t find the daring, ready-to-wear pullover of your dreams, you could easily snag a basic sweater and go the DIY route to achieve a merry masterpiece like none other. In fact, Goodwill stores often sell ugly sweater crafting materials — like fuzzy balls, ribbon, felt, etc. — to eliminate a second stop for craft supplies.
Why Ugly Christmas Sweaters are Pretty Cool for Our Disability Community
As a cheerful customer exploring Goodwill’s racks filled with secondhand garments, you may not realize that your ugly Christmas sweater pursuit also engages your beautiful purchasing power in support of our disability community and other underserved communities. You see, giving to and/or shopping at the company’s 3,000+ retail stores and online auction (ShopGoodwill.com) empowers persons with disabilities and persons overcoming life challenges through job training, employment placement, career counseling, financial education and other related services. Goodwill has a longstanding commitment to operating an inclusive workplace staffed by employees with and without disabilities. And that’s why I never second-guess shopping at this secondhand store, especially during ugly sweater season.
It’s Game Time for Ugly Christmas Sweaters
If you’re more game to shop online for ugly Christmas sweaters, know that tech giant Microsoft is dabbling in fashion. Well, just a bit (in addition to all that software stuff). For the second year in a row, Microsoft is selling an ugly Christmas sweater. The 2021 design features a Minesweeper level shaped like a Christmas tree with mines masquerading as snowflakes. A portion of proceeds will benefit AbleGamers, a nonprofit creating opportunities that enable play in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Sadly, Microsoft’s ugly Christmas sweater is listed (as of our publish date) as “sold out.” But we do expect restocking by mid to late December (which is what happened with last year’s sweater sales and availability).
When to Dress the Part
Whether you’re attending an ugly sweater party, visiting Santa with the kids or tackling holiday shopping, ugly Christmas sweaters magically work for all occasions during the holiday season. Plus, there’s actually an official day of recognition for this beloved seasonal style. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated annually on the third Friday of December (which, this year, falls on December 17, 2021). So go ahead and dress ugly! Because this funny fashion statement is equal parts silly (igniting Christmas joy) and serious (supporting our disability community via purchasing power).
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