Knit Picking: 9, No, 12 Famous Sweaters Drawn From Pop Culture

Another week brings another curious list, in this case, one spotlighting famous sweaters and cardigans from film, television, and music.

Featured below are 9 12 memorable examples of the form, as illustrated by our crack squad of graphic artists (and conceived by yours truly with a nod to the NYT).

And for the record, we have no plans to reproduce any of these distinguished garments (see our: 80’s movie t-shirts). For now…

UPDATE: by popular demand, we’ve refreshed our sweater initiative with three additional entries! And printed them on t-shirts!!!

12 Famous Sweaters
12 Sweaters, 12 Stories

The original graphic:

Nine Famous Sweaters
9 Sweaters, 9 Stories

On a torso:

Twelve Famous Sweaters
12 Sweaters, 10 Screens, 1 Tee Shirt.

Editor’s note: click on the thumbs below to see larger, more detailed images.

Let’s lend some context to each.

The ribbed turtleneck was worn by Steve McQueen in 1968’s Bullit, gaining a measure of refined, sartorial cool as a result. It was also featured prominently in promotional materials and poster art.

''Look, you work your side of the street, and I'll work mine.''

Cosby sweaters: now with their own Tumblr feed! The one featured below, a spectacularly garish confection, stands as a relic of the ’80s and the fashion excesses said decade spawned. We think this sweater debuted in an early episode of The Cosby Show, but haven’t been able to confirm as yet.

Bill Cosby
''I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.''

Compare with the genuine article here.

Coraline’s distinctive star sweater is shot through with a glowing twinkle.

”So sharp, you won’t feel a thing…”

The Dude’s chunky, rib-knit sweater was to hit the auction block earlier in the year (with a minimum bid of $4,000), but questions about its authenticity tabled those plans for the immediate future. To complete the outfit, don’t forget Kaoru Betto, the Big Lebowski Japanese Baseball shirt.


The Dude
''I like your style, dude.''


Let’s correct one popular misconception: Ferris Bueller’s sweater vest is not an animal or leopard print. A closer inspection reveals that it’s designed around a two-tiered, interlocking pattern.

Ferris Bueller
''Ladies and gentlemen, you are such a wonderful crowd, we'd like to play a little tune for you...''

The original is currently on display at the Planet Hollywood in Times Square. If you’re looking for a way to channel the spirit of Ferris, check out our Save Ferris shirt.

The sweater of your dreams nightmares.

Freddy Krueger
Frayed and slayed.

Grunge isn’t a dirty word, but chances are Kurt Cobain’s striped sweater was. This short-sleeved design was worn by the late rock star in the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and is housed through 2013 at the EMP in Seattle.

Kurt Cobain
Come As You Are

Mr. Rogers’ signature accessory, his red zip up cardigan.

Mr Rogers
Hey neighbor...

Hidely-ho, Neighborino!

Ned Flanders Simpsons
Just add mustache.

Velma’s sweater is a simple knit, rendered in a pumpkin hue. True to form, we’ve included the boob swoosh.

Velma Scooby Doo
”I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”

Overlooked the first time around (funny how that works…), we’ve included famous Waldo’s candy-cane sweater on the second go.

Where's Waldo
Found him.

Technically, this isn’t a real sweater… (Our Wyld Stallyns shirt is real and looks kind of similar, but the Wyld Stallyns aren’t technically a real band.)

''If you want to destroy my sweater...''

The source material:

And finally, one honorable mention – John Belushi’s Animal House College Sweatshirt.

Conceived, researched, curated, and written by Travis Rand Greenwood; illustrated — with total aplomb — by Allegra Westfall.

Any of these sweaters would be great 80s costume ideas! Be sure to take a look through our wide selection of 80s t-shirts.

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