Mike Buzzelli

The real yarn bombs

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I have two reindeer frolicking on the front of my sweater. It’s OK. It’s not some sort of fashion faux pas. I’m going to an ugly sweater party. In the last few years, wearing ugly clothes on purpose became popular. It’s OK to wear unfashionable clothes as long as you wear them ironically. Urban Outfitters was invented for this very reason.


Ugly sweaters are in. It’s like Bizarro World. Everything bad is good and vice versa. To quote Huey Lewis (and no one ever does), “It’s hip to be square.”


In 2001, Colin’s lip curled while wearing an ugly sweater in “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” and a new tradition was born. Walking around looking like Dr. Huxtable became a thing.


My theory is that the ugly sweater party was the brainchild of a marketing executive at Goodwill Industries to move some of the most garish garments off their shelves. Then, I thought, “Does Goodwill have marketing executives?”


There are private ugly sweater parties and public ones.


Tonight, Whim Nightclub in Station Square is having an ugly sweater party. It’s on the South Side, so there will be girls who will somehow manage to make their ugly sweater ensemble sexy. This Halloween, I saw a girl on Carson Street who managed to make the world’s most innocuous costume, a big, round jack-o’-lantern, into a skimpy, orange outfit. She was dubbed “The Slutty Pumpkin,” a homage to an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” If you haven’t seen it, HIMYM (as it is affectionately called) is a show about a guy who is holding his children hostage telling an impossibly long and pointless story about how he met their mother, but after several years of captivity he hasn’t even mentioned the mom one time. My editor told me I should write for the show because I’m an expert on long, pointless stories. Hey, I just got that.


This August, the Warhol Bridge was yarn bombed. The entire bridge looked like a Cosby sweater for a whole month. In retrospect, it was a strange summer. We had a knitted bridge, a giant duck and a winning baseball team. Talk about Bizarro World!


I have rummaged the rummage sales. I have scoured the thrift stores. I have unearthed unearthly treasures from a church basement. I found the perfect ugly sweater. Turpis vestem! The kind I would have thrown away 10 years ago. Once, I had a multi-colored monstrosity that looked like someone gave Picasso knitting needles. It lived on a coat hanger in my closet for years until I finally realized I would never, ever wear it unless someone broke into my house and stole all my other clothes. Honestly, I’d probably fashion a suit from a roll of Charmin before pulling that pullover over my torso. One day, while cleaning the closet, I finally took it to Goodwill. Then, what seemed like only days later, ugly sweaters became a thing. Isn’t that always the way?


Next time I am caught in some unsightly apparel, I’m just telling everyone I am starting a new trend.



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