Once home to only one ugly Christmas sweater pop-up store, Dallas is about to get a double dose, as two ugly Christmas sweater pop-ups prepare to open this week.
The original ugly Christmas sweater store, called the Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop, re-opens in the same spot at Mockingbird and Abrams on November 21. Owner Jeremy Turner operates VintageMobile, a vintage clothing store he runs out of a school bus. He's been in the Christmas sweater business for about four years.
This year, a second ugly Christmas sweater store called That Ugly Christmas Sweater Store opens in Inwood Village on November 20. It's taking over the old Le Creuset space, which closed in the spring. Owner Mindi Kahn owns Rich Hippie, another store in Inwood Village.
Suffice it to say that Dallas shoppers will have no shortage of ugly Christmas sweaters.
According to the Ugly Christmas Sweater website, the mass appeal of Christmas sweaters as a genuinely fashionable item peaked in the '80s. Fueled by nostalgia, they re-emerged as an ironic trend for a decade, with ugly Christmas sweater parties where attendees compete for the ugliest.
The hipsters have revived an item that was previously loathed for its tackiness. The popularity of Christmas sweaters has surged, with gaudy sweaters for sale at mainstream stores like Kohl's and Target. There are NFL versions and even Christmas-themed business suits for men.
When the store on Mockingbird opened in 2013, it made national news. Turner says he'll recreate the same setup, with his merchandise divided into sweaters and sweatshirts, vests, and a kids' section.
"We'll still do what we've done in the past, with a box of sweaters that are all under $20," Turner says. "Beyond that, they're priced by ugliness. There are some around $50 that are hideous. We call them Level 5 Christmas sweaters, but we also call them contest winners."
Turner has also forged an arrangement with Alamo Drafthouse, where he'll host some pop-ups during holiday screenings.
Kahn, his former partner, says she has 15,000 sweaters, which will be displayed around the circumference of the store, taking advantage of unique shelving left behind by Le Creuset. Other than a kids' section, the sweaters are unisex, priced from $8 to $68.
"The $68 is for the most ugly sweater possible, the most cheesy and overdone," she says.