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September 22, 2016

Where to buy a holiday sweater on a budget

Flickr/shelisrael1

Whether you wear it for one day out of the year or for all 365, a festive sweater is for life, not just for Christmas. With the removal of all turkey or pumpkin-themed attire post-Thanksgiving, what better way to spice up your wardrobe for December than with some red, green or some down-right heinous woolly clothing that’s so bad it’s good?

Urban Outfitters features a variety of “Holiday Sweaters.” Although some quite puzzlingly feature dinosaurs embroidered on the front, the majority bear the traditional diamond and striped patterns that have come to scream the words “Joyeux Noël.” For girls and for guys, Urban Outfitters offers plenty of sweaters and cardigans with snowflakes, reindeer, cute polar bears or other kitsch Christmas emblems, with prices ranging from $24 for the “Vintage Ugly Vest/Cardigan” to $110 for the designer-made, with the nicest, most moderately-priced costing around $60.

For those on a budget, Walmart’s shelves are also stocked with festive goodies, including, but not limited to, a t-shirt with the slogan “Snow Much Fun” for the tender price of $5. How can you go wrong with that? Walmart also supplies $18 sleigh-emblazoned white sweaters, as well as festive turtlenecks for $10.
JCPenney, in close proximity to UMass at its location in Hampshire Mall, offers discounted chunky “Snowflake Sweaters” with fancy detailing for only $24. Slightly more expensive at $40, “Novelty Cardigans” look sure to provide warmth in the cold, winter months of Massachusetts.

An alternative to the slew of chain department stores are second-hand stores. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, along with stores in Northampton such as Roz’s Place Vintage & New are sure to hold some unique yuletide apparel. After all, when in doubt, thrift. Who knows? You may even pick up some Christmas gifts for others while you’re at it.

Unimpressed with these options? Then turn to the mighty kingdom of the Internet. One Google search for Christmas clothing and you’ll find yourself inundated with amazing, shabby sweater after amazing, shabby sweater. If you feel as though you’re drowning in the red, green and gold ocean of the commercialized, do not fear. Sites like thesweaterstore.com, tipsyelves.com and christmassweaterlady.com present a guiding light in the art of buying Christmas sweaters with easy to navigate webpages and a plethora of tasteful and not-so-tasteful designs to suit every need. Loveclothing.com, a U.K. company, with delivery to over 100 countries, also offers gorgeous festive sweaters to bring into the New Year with you.

So, when you’re feeling festive anticipating the Christmas countdown, sitting in front of the television watching “The Grinch,” or even when you’re studying for finals in the dining halls, gazing out of the snowy windows with a hot cup of cocoa in hand, spare a thought for the Christmas sweaters so easily bought and discarded, and make sure to make yours one you can wear for a lifetime. After all, you never know when you’ll be invited to an ugly sweater party, or when someone might run out of party ideas and throw a festive shindig in July.

Jenny Rae can be reached at jrae@student.umass.edu.

 

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