Where did all the ugly sweaters go? (w/video)

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:18 a.m.
Updated Dec. 19, 2013 at 6:19 a.m.

Ugly Christmas sweaters at Mid-Coast Family Services Thrift 'N Gift in Victoria

Ugly Christmas sweaters at Mid-Coast Family Services Thrift 'N Gift in Victoria

Thumbing through all the racks at most thrift shops this time of year, it's rare to find an ugly Christmas sweater among all the outdated and worn threads.

It's this time of year when shoppers and partygoers start snatching them up to wear for holiday gatherings or, in some cases, prizes.

Jennifer Henry, owner of Encore Resale Shoppe in Victoria, said she's seen a lot of sweaters come and go before they've even had a chance to put a price on them and hang them on the rack.

"There are so many parties," she said. "It's a fad and not just in Victoria."

Liz Oehlke said her daughter, who lives in Austin, was searching for ugly Christmas sweaters to wear for work but couldn't find any where she lives.

Oehlke went to a thrift store in Cuero and said she found the mother lode there and cleaned the store out.

"I grabbed about 10 of them for her to pick up for about $2 to $3 a piece," she said.

Her daughter has a whole slew of sweaters and just hangs on to them now.

That's something Henry said people must be doing more of these days. Encore Resale Shoppe is a consignment shop, so they do have a lot of seasonal and trending clothing, she said.

"If people have clothes for us, we'll ask if they have anything we're looking for," she said. But there's still a shortage of ugly Christmas sweaters.

The Mid-Coast Services Thrift 'N' Gift had a few sweaters left in the racks, but for some customers, they weren't exactly what they were looking for.

"I had someone come in and say they (the sweaters) were too pretty," said Veronica Villarreal, sales clerk at the store. "So I helped her make it ugly."

In the store, they found ornaments to hang off the sweater and some tinsel to glue around the neckline.

People can buy plain sweaters, too, she said, and add their own touches to them to make them ugly.

Christmas trees, reindeer, bows, ornaments and wreaths make for good materials to start off with.

Henry is going to start stockpiling early in the year for next year's ugly-Christmas-sweater shoppers.

"Start shopping early, too. The Christmas shopping season starts November," she said. "But there's still a couple of weeks left to find them."

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