Nov
12
2013
By
of Valet.
Enduring Classic
 
 

An original sweater and advertisement from the 1970s,
part of the brand's Western line.

The Westerly Cardigan

Inspired by the hand-knitted Cowichan sweaters worn by the native tribes of the Pacific Northwest, Pendleton's Westerly sweater was first introduced in 1972. It was a thick, heavyweight cardigan crafted by Winona Knitting Mills of Minnesota and proved so popular that Pendleton just kept making it year after year. And while it would eventually be made in nearly a dozen different colorways, the signature pattern, slim shawl collar and zippered front always remained the same. Decades passed and then in 1998, the sweater found its way onto Jeff Bridges as the Dude in The Big Lebowski.  The film became a cult classic and the sweater became something of an icon—to be unearthed in vintage shops and on eBay. But recently, after Pendleton found a mill oversees that could recreate the weight and gauge of the original sweater, they began turning them out again. Based on the archival design and knit from a heavyweight lambswool, not much has changed in terms of the design, except this version zips with a leather pull tab instead of the original metal ring. But it's still the ideal sweater for bowling, driving around and the occasional acid flashback.

$198 (with free shipping), by Pendleton

 
  •  
    Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes in the film. And while three copies of the Pendleton sweater were created for production, costume designer Mary Zophres said Bridges insisted on only wearing the authentic vintage sweater.
 

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