The Cosby Sweater Is Back!

comments (4) November 12th, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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Urban chic Diesel clothing typically caters to the hip and trendy crowd. What do you think?

Urban chic Diesel clothing typically caters to the hip and trendy crowd. What do you think?

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Planning on crafting a sweater for the man in your life? Take a cue from the '80s and go for bold and bright! Recently, New York Magazine announced that the loud and colorful sweaters that Dr. Huxtable wore on the beloved TV series The Cosby Show are making a comeback. Bill Cosby has recently brought the sweaters back in the spotlight by auctioning off some of the famous TV character's sweater collection for charity in June. Bet he wishes he didn't do it now!

If you want to try your hand at making a Cosby-inspired sweater for yourself or the man in your life, begin with an sweater pattern from the 1980s. Some of us actually have a few vintage lovelies buried in our stash. If you were watching the Smurfs rather than knitting in the '80s, a wealth of patterns can be found on eBay, at thrift stores, and sometimes garage sales. Ask some of your knitting buddies who were knitting back then and I bet they could dig deep enough to uncover a winner.

Another way to achieve the look is to use a current pattern but select a yarn that is wild and unexpected. Check your LYS for a self-striping yarn that knits up loud and proud. Do an intarsia pattern with large repeating color blocks. Make it oversized to capture the '80s feel.

The quickest way to achieve the Cosby look is to take a trip to your local thrift store. The men’s section is chock full of hideously beautiful examples of that era. In an age where recycling is the way to go, you can save the planet and be on the bleeding edge of fashion.

For a modern twist, take it one step further by restyling one of these neglected classics. Finnish fashion artist Tietoja Minusta rejuvenates the outcasts creating stunning one-of-a-kind pieces dubbed “Trashion.”

Knitting and restyling sweaters from the '80s is a fun way to work with color and design in unexpected ways. Let your inhibitions run wild and you will have a sweater that is pure fun.

Please share your 1980s-inspired knitting projects with us and post your 1980s sweater pictures on

The Bad Sweater Guy project was the brainchild of journalist Stephen Lynch. His friend Kevin really owns a couple dozen of these “novelty” sweaters.

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Comments (4)

Craig27Jannie writes: It is great that we are able to take the personal loans moreover, that opens up new opportunities.
Posted: 4:11 am on July 26th
Love_it writes: Where is the recipe for the Cosby Sweater. The argyle design ing red and grey at the top of this page??

the heck with a man wearing this sweater it would look great on me with a mass of victorian ruffles.
Posted: 2:34 pm on December 17th
Tina_Hilton writes: You are right about choosing favorite colors and easy care fibers for the guys. They are not yarn snobs who shy away from man made fibers. They want it soft and easy.
Posted: 8:05 am on November 13th
Jen1964 writes: Actually, this reminds me of the British flare for color and loud pattern, except you have done it better! If you make a pattern too memorable, it limits how often it's going to get worn; but if it's in their favorite colors, or they help design it, it may get worn lots. To me that's success. Some guys don't care as long as it's soft and doesn't shrink when they throw it in with their jeans on laundry day. (My son) Thankfully there's washable wool and super soft manmade yarns. This is the kind of project you get to let your creative side run wild... or not! Sounds like fun. So my opinion on sweaters going out of styles? There's no such animal. Tailor it to the individual. Bill Cosby was lucky to have so many fun sweaters; and Mr Rogers really did have the most comfortable sweaters in existence. By now we should be calling them classics!
Posted: 2:14 pm on November 12th
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