The phenomenon of Ugly Sweater Parties is fast becoming a holiday staple, but the demand for hideous sweaters may have exceeded supply in one San Francisco neighborhood. Mission District shoppers looking for an acrylic sweater decorated with a giant glitter reindeer head and whimsical antler sleeves, or a sweatshirt with a puffy-painted sunglasses-wearing Santa decorating a palm tree in Los Angeles, were greeted by near empty racks at neighborhood stores yesterday.
|The Meta-Sweater: not available at local stores.|
At Thrift Town, located at the corners of Mission and 17th Street, the rack usually reserved for seasonal wear offered only one sweater, a fairly inoffensive navy blue knit decorated with snowflakes. While it easily lent itself to hilarious jokes about going "skiing," its ugliness was minimal. The remainder of the rack was occupied by red T-shirts, some of which didn't even have Christmas slogans on them. At least one shirt was for a Thanksgiving fun-run. Two women who were both shopping for something to wear to the same party were debating the purchase of the lone Christmas tree decorated vest. "If you don't buy it, I will," said one cheerfully, through gritted teeth.
|Thrift Town: This perfectly nice sweater sucks.|
Down the street at Goodwill, on Mission and 19th Street, the situation was even grimmer. A plastic banner strewn across the front of the store promised discounted holiday goods while "supplies last." Supplies were not lasting. There was not a single sweater depicting a pair of cowboy reindeer lassoing renegade elves. The rack reserved for holiday wear was strewn with things that were simply red or green, which can basically be worn anytime of the year.
|Nothing says "Christmas!" like flamingos.|
Walgreens, on Mission at 23rd Street, and discount clothing store Factory2U, on Mission and 22nd Street, also had scant offerings, although the first offered Santa hats and the last had a suitably hideous zip-up sweater depicting reindeer caroling, but for the prohibitive price of $16.99.
Mocking the holiday that their parents loved and cherished, and ridiculing the sweaters that they were too stupid to realize are dumb, has become a cherished holiday tradition for many jaded twenty-somethings. This year, many will go without.
|Peek-a-boo, ice see you!|