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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tacky Holiday Themed Clothes Are Back!

Ugly holiday sweaters are making a comeback. Really? I have been pitching out holiday sweaters and shirts in client’s closets for years! I have seen some doozies over the years, too. How do you evaluate something that may have sentimental value and say ok, time to go. That is a common theme I hear from clients.

I personally don't have any of holiday themed clothing floating around my closet, but I do understand the feelings and emotions of what a garment may bring to a person. Oops, come to think about it my husband does have some old Rutgers t-shirts floating around on his side of the closet, but they are definitely not holiday themed!

Back to ugly holiday sweaters. The shirts and sweaters I have seen over the years in closets were hand painted, bedazzled, embroidered and appliqued. In the 1980's, I found an artist that hand painted dresses and shirts. I think she sold her wares at the big flea market in Boca Raton near where my grandmother lived, and I often visitedmy grandparents during the winter to get away from the cold of Philadelphia. I was constantly amazed by the number of people purchasing from her.

The designer I remember most distinctly is Michael Simon. Michael got his start in 1979 in NYC, using his lifesavings for a batch of colorful yarn and weaving them into oversized sweaters. His signature look was bold creations with appliques, embroidery, sequins, beads, and crochet accents. Michael’s statement knits could be seen at all the better stores with most holidays celebrated on the entire sweater. Over the top was clearly the theme, but just like any good designer, Michael’s creations have evolved over time and are current with today’s looks.

Years ago, when I worked with Macy's, that was the big ticket item. The sweaters came to the hip, generally had three large buttons and were suitable for anyone that looked like a line backer. But they sold! Over the years, I have seen knock-offs and last year’s styles at Steinmart or TJ Maxx.

Last week on the NBC Today Show, they did a segment on ugly holiday sweater parties being the rage. They showed a typical party, with the guests all wearing tacky holiday tops and sweaters. The old adage that what is old, once again becomes new!

Fashion does come full circle over time, but I am not sure this is one of those cases where it’s appropriate. The tacky holiday fashion belongs more to a vintage theme party, than every day wear. I love the concept because I expect for many it wasn't too hard to find a top or sweater to wear. It takes the pressure off having to pull together a fabulous holiday outfit, and certainly is a major conversational topic. At this point as a stylist, I can't make a recommendation on what to pair your tacky top with besides a simple colored bottom. If you have tacky, tinsel ball earrings or jewelry, you may as well go for it!

On a personal note.....I hope the New Year’s party I attend has some of that action going on, as I would love to snap some pictures and add it to my collection of pictures for my upcoming book!

Happy Holiday's ya'll!

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