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It's Ugly Sweater Season, Again

If you’re headed to an ugly sweater party this weekend, retailers say there’s a good chance you’ve spent more on your outerwear than in recent years.

Back in Billy Brand’s early days in the restaurant business, he and his coworkers would take bets on how many Christmas sweaters they’d see in a given night. Now, he’s throwing his own ugly sweater parties. He says it’s a way for young people far from home to create a corny family tradition of their own.

"Friendship groups want to have a sense of family within themselves so this become an odd, not quite mockery of that, but an acceptance and inclusion of it," Brand said.

Doug Rosen, who owns the Hot House Market vintage store in Lafayette, says he stockpiles the garments throughout the year and can’t keep them on the shelves. So far this season, they’ve sold 150:

"No matter how many we amass throughout the year, we continue to run out," Rosen said.

The most prized knitwear is authentically vintage, preferably with dangling embellishments or the ugly sweater holy grail: lights. But stores have started offering up new, copycat versions of originals. You can buy a Colts sweater from the NFL store for 50 dollars, and an ugly – but officially-licensed -- Purdue sweater will set you back 70 bucks.

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