When John Friia, 20, of Malverne, heard the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership was giving away a weekend in Manhattan to the person willing to strut in public in the ugliest holiday sweater Tuesday, he went on a mission.
"I went to most of the stores on Fifth Avenue near the Flatiron, and when I saw this sweater I knew I had a good chance of winning," Friia said of the winning piece he found at J.Crew.
"One of the things that I think makes it ugly is the mixture of colors," he said. "There is red, green, purple, brown and black . . . put it all together and it makes an ugly shirt."
Ugly sweater parties have recently given the tacky fashion statements a boost in popularity. Friia said he has never been to one, but that he's thinking of throwing his own this year in spite of the risks.
"I jokingly mentioned that if someone has one too many eggnog drinks they may not want to look at the sweater," he said.
Friia won a two-night stay at the Mave Hotel, a $100 gift card to O'Live Organic Spa and a $100 gift card to Green Square Tavern for his efforts, but he said one of the biggest perks was getting a good laugh.
"The holidays can be a stressful time of the year, and wearing an ugly sweater can put a smile on someone's face and spread the holiday cheer," he said.
Do you think you have an even uglier holiday sweater? Share it with us at exploreli.com/shopping.
Photo: Ugly holiday sweater contest winner John Friia of Malverne shows off his J.Crew sweater with contest host Lynn Favin in Manhattan. (Dec. 11, 2012)