PLATTSBURGH - Is your closet getting cluttered with sweaters that are so ugly you know you'll never wear them again? Well, don't throw them out just yet.
With the holidays at the helm, "ugly sweater parties" seem to be growing in popularity. To get on the bandwagon with these creative and comical parties, simply take your ugliest sweater and wear it to a holiday party.
"We had one last year for the first time," explained ugly sweater party-goer Laura Dominianni. "Not everybody understood the concept, but the ones who did wore their ugly sweaters."
"Chris and I dressed pretty tacky," Dominanni added of her and her husband.
Dominianni first about ugly sweater parties after receiving an e-mail from a green living Web site.
"They had some feature on it about ugly sweater parties, so I clicked on it and then it took me to all these other sites and the pictures were just so hysterical," she laughed. "Mostly guys dressed in women's sweaters."
This year, Dominianni is planning her party with the focus of the sweaters being holiday-related.
"We thought that would present a challenge to people," she explained.
To add to the fun, Dominianni has also planned for some festive games based on the idea of ugly sweaters.
"I bought two extra extra large sweaters in an ugly color," she said. "We're going to have two teams and two of the men are going to put on these sweaters and then the team members are going to decorate these sweaters with all these appliques and Santa Clauses, sparkly things. And then we're going to vote on who made the ugliest sweater."
During last year's party, Dominanni held other contests to keep the party interesting, including handing out prizes for the most ill-fitting sweater, oldest sweater, and of course the ugliest sweater.
However, this year she's also using the party to do good for the community.
"We're also collecting warm mittens and gloves," she said. "We're asking people, instead of bringing a gift or whatever, bring a pair of warm mittens or gloves and we're going to donate them to charity."
More and more ugly sweater parties seem to be popping up around the country. Not sure how to start planning yours? Simply search "ugly sweater party" and have fun searching through photos and ideas from thousands of Web sites.
Don't have an ugly sweater? Then, check your local consignment store!
Julie LaPier, owner of Dresscode on Bridge Street, said the consignment store is now collecting ugly sweaters, including ugly holiday sweaters.
"A lot of my friends had been invited to a lot of Ugly Christmas Sweater [parties] and was like 'Where can I get them?' and I'm like, 'You know what, I'm just going to have a rack of them.'"
Although never having been to one herself, LaPier said she understands what the draw is to ugly sweater parties.
"I just think it's just something different to do for Christmas," she said. "There's so many of them out there, to the point where people just take a red sweater and sew some tinsel on it and say it's an ugly Christmas sweater."