Every year I co-MC and lead the "All I Want for Christmas is you" dance at the Original Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at the Commodore Ballroom. The first two years I did this party in 2013, the sweaters were INSANELY amazing! One person had a working train track on their sweater with a literal train riding around their waist all night, another participant knitted and made every sweater she wore and won the contest every year, yet another participant made themselves into Schroeder from the peanuts with a piano sticking out from his sweater and Snoopy dancing on top of it! After the first year of poor sweater choice and badly executed costume, I went to the second hand store to find a zombie costume for Thriller and found an adorable pink dress which I used for the zombie costume and also for my "Ugly Sweater" ensemble and came out looking like an adorable version of Cindy Lou Who.
Photo credit Dwight Simon
The next year I recycled that costume but the year after that I was ready for something new so I went again to the thrift store and found these INCREDIBLE vintage snow pants that I dressed up with over the top hair and a custom printed ugly T-Shirt.
Photo credit Dwight Simon
Well that one was a major hit but the next year I had "outgrown" those pants and was not sure what I was going to do. Years ago I had vowed to turn myself into a Christmas Tree but had never done it and given my crazy schedule leading up to the event teaching, I did not feel like I was in a place to really go above and beyond and make myself into a tree. Then I checked myself and was like HOLD UP... you have been wanting to do this for YEARS and it could be as simple as going to the thrift store again and looking to see what you find! So I did... I went to the thrift store on my way home from work and found the mother load of perfect Christmas tree making stuff. And so my Tree turns into a Tree saga began.
Above is all the stuff I collected. I went to visit a friend who makes costumes and he gave me a long thin PVC pipe like a disconnected hula hoop to work with and his industrial glue gun.
I covered the PVC pipe in Christmas themed duct tape and used the wired tree garland to make a lederhosen and wreath base to the costume to which everything else is fastened. 6 hours later I had an incredible Tree costume to rock at the party!! Everyone loved the costume so much and I felt very proud bringing back the old school craftsmanship of the "Ugly Sweater" and inspired everyone to up their game for next year! This ignited a whole new side of costume design for me and I am really excited for what is next! (Cannot wait to show up to school in this for the Ugly Sweater contest this year!)