While shoppers took advantage of Black Friday sales, our Swedish friends, Maggan and Anders, my twin brother Brent, Russ and I headed to Napa Valley. On our way to St. Helena, we stopped off in Yountville to check out Bardessono, what my friend Maggan aptly called an organic luxury hotel and spa. We were oohing and ahhing at the gorgeous art and beauty visible from the lobby when through the front door came what seemed like an endless stream of adults in knit holiday sweaters, sweeping past us like a herd of cats. “Well, that was curious,” I thought.
We continued poking around the hotel when we ran into them again, all huddled around a long table in the bar. I couldn’t resist approaching them. How dangerous could it be? “Alright, what’s going on with the holiday sweaters?” I asked. Jim, pictured here on the left with his sweater that has kitties all over it, told me it was a long-held tradition–starting in 2008–that the day after Thanksgiving, their party goes wine tasting. “But anybody can go wine tasting the day after Thanksgiving,” Jim said. To make it more interesting, they decided everyone needed to wear a knit holiday sweater.
Now, I’ve had long-held beliefs about holiday themed-sweaters and in my long career as an image consultant, I have come across drawers of them from time to time while working in a client’s closet. My rule of thumb is that the only person who should be wearing them are first grade teachers on the last day of school before the holiday break. When one woman in the sweater party told me that it was easy to find them because her mother had a drawer of them, I immediately knew what that drawer looked like. But for others, it had taken a trip to Goodwill to find the perfect sweater to wear on this Black Kitty Cat Friday.
By the time we were loaded back into the car, I had a change of fashion heart. Trends change from season to season. My mind can change too! Next year when our friends come from Stockholm, Sweden to enjoy their 8th annual Thanksgiving celebration with us, I think we should all head out for our Black Friday adventure in knit holiday sweaters. As this delightful group taught me, the trick is to do it as a group. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one by myself, but as a group, nothing could be more charming. Besides, it’s just for one day, right? Promise me it’s just for one day!
You sweater people rock! But watch out for us next year. You may have some competition!