Monday, December 08, 2008

Tis the Season to be Tacky

Last weekend I saw a commercial for "What Not to Wear" in which Stacy implores the victim (errrr... guest) to trash all her holiday sweaters. Nothing with glitter, sequins, bells. "You can look festive without being tacky."


Stacy is never getting anywhere near my closet. Though I often agree with her and generally dress rather appropriately, there is one season in which all fashion reason is thrown out the window, and we're in the thick of it. There's a deep primordial reason for it, in my book.

We need light. We have to have light. And the shorter the days in the winter, the more people needed to have reasons to have more light in the middle of winter. The ancient Europeans had the pagan celebrations, many of whose traditions survive as our Christmas traditions (see Yule log, candles, etc.). The Jewish people had Hanukkah, a celebration of light. The Chinese had fireworks at their New Year celebration (usually in mid-January). I'm sure the folks in Australia and southern Africa had their midsummer celebrations as well.

And so, my usually rather conservative self (well, in dress anyway) throws caution to the wind. I dig out my jingle bell barrette. I pull out my Christmas earrings and pins. The bright metals, glitter, and sequins reflect the light, making more light. and I get my sweaters. I couldn't find a picture on the Internet that did them justice. None had quite enough sequins or glitter. Even when I narrowed my search to "Tacky sparkly Christmas sweater."

And an interesting thing happens. People smile when they see it. It's not because I'm a raving beauty. It's because I am providing and reflecting more LIGHT into our dark days.

Light! Light! Light! We seek it, we radiate it, and we reflect it.

So embrace your tackiness! Let your light shine!

"Deck your clothes with bells and glitter....Fa la la la la la la la la.
Tis the season to be tacky!"


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I am so with you! It's never occurred to me that Christmassy attire and jewelry is tacky. It's 'festive', and should be!

I also have a couple of 4th of July and Halloween sweaters for those special days. When younger, I always a nice Valentine's Day blouse and wore heart earrings.

Now, where is my Santa hat? Time to get it out of storage...

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I used to dress all tacky and wild. . . when I was in HS in the 60s.
Since then I've always been a very conservative dresser although, I am responsible for the fashion trend of wearing jeans with a coat and tie.
Other than that, I've always been strongly against creating any kind of spectacle around myself.
I have a very good friend who is into holiday sweater and such. We were having lunch one time and she told me she was wearing Christmas underwear. Of course I had to taunt her and she finally agreed to show me and sure enough, her bra and panties were all covered with santas, xmas trees and such. It was a long afternoon.

Lara said...

I used to have a Christmas sweater that my sister bought me off QVC (she was mildly addicted to QVC in the mid and late 90s), and it was so gaudy...but I loved it! It had big snowflakes on it made out of bugle beads, plastic rhinestones, and plastic pearls. The only reason I didn't wear it more than I did was because you can only wear something as obvious and memorable as that sweater once a week before people start saying, "Um, didn't you wear that the day before yesterday?" I wonder what happened to it...

Maura said...

AMEN! How can you belt out "joy to the world" in a smart grey Chanel ensemble?

Be loud and be merry!

MountainLaurel said...

Kit, I dug my Santa hat out last week. But unfortunately, the blinking lights on the reindeer antlers need batteries. When I say tacky, I mean TACKY.

SH, LOL! I don't have any holiday undies any more, but you can bet I'll not be sharing that info with anyone!

Lara, SURE you can wear it more often. Just look at them full in the face and say, "Don't you think I'd REMEMBER if I'd worn this that recently?" Then shake your head. (NOTE: only works if there are no spills, meaning I never use that trick.)

Maura, I'm glad you feel that way! Wait till you see what I'm wearing for lunch tomorrow!

rebecca said...

I'm going to be the lone dissenter. While I love the festivities, I am so not into the holiday sweaters. Maybe it's because I teach in a secondary school and almost every teacher over the age of 40 wears the things from the first day of November through January -- and they also wear the tacky "teacher" sweaters, sweaters with bears, sweaters with ducks and geese and any holiday motif you can come up with.

It's just not me, but I'm a grey/black/solid color girl for the rest of the year, anyway.

I do dig my festive accessories, though. :)