For centuries, mankind has relied on sweaters for winter layering and autumn-night warmth. But beyond that, they’ve been something of an afterthought. Until today.
Because today we’re celebrating the venerable garment in all of its forms by counting down the 70 greatest moments in sweaterdom—from lumpy cardigans to clingy cashmere hugging the shapely, we’ve found them all. And we’ve assembled them in full splendor.
The Cosby Sweater. Never before have a man and an article of clothing been more intimately linked. But it’s also important to remember that Cliff Huxtable’s Fruity Pebble patterns were confined to the 1980s—and a fictional character. Sartorially, young Coz (the standup comedian, the jazz drummer, the track-and-field star) made some strong (to quite strong) style choices, combining Malcolm X’s formality, Barack Obama’s collegiate ’fro and Johnny Carson’s panache. The result was (and remains) a very good thing.
Congressmen: While we did not elect you for your fashion sense, and we understand that you are not Senators, please remember that you are representing us in all capacities. So might we respectfully suggest that you ease off the Cosby cardigans and, you know, class it up a bit? (Mr. Frank, we understand you were wearing a cast in the above photo, but that is no excuse for standing in the House Chamber looking like a chilly American tourist.)
As we discussed yesterday, one of the most stylish guys in the House has decided against seeking reelection, so the rest of you are going to need to pick up the slack—and bring it to a decent tailor.
“Delightful Accidents and Fortuitous Blunders”
Friends, The Jack Benny Show, Seinfeld
On a cold morning in 1930, Ruth Graves Wakefield, the innkeeper/chef at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, was preparing her famous Butter Drop Do chocolate cookies when she realized she was fresh out of baker’s chocolate. Improvising, she found a semi-sweet chocolate bar (that had been given to her by Andrew Nestle) and cut it into little pieces, expecting the pieces to liquefy and absorb into the dough.
To Ruth’s chagrin, though, the tray she (carefully) removed from the oven did not contain Butter Drop Do chocolate cookies. It did, however, contain butter cookies stuffed with slightly softened chocolate chunks. And so began America’s braying waddle toward childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Two and a Half Men was the most popular sitcom on television last year, averaging 13.1 million viewers. In the 1987-1988 season, The Cosby Show averaged 30 million viewers. In fact, 19 sitcoms that year had more viewers than Two and a Half Men, including Night Court (20.2M), Kate & Allie (15.9M), My Sister Sam (15.2M) and ALF (14.4M).
With thousands of cable and DirectTV channels to choose from, along with Netflix streaming and AppleTV and the ever-expanding World Wide Web, fewer people watch the same shows.
Bill Cosby is a pretty unlikely style icon, but we’re willing to bite. He’s put three of his iconic sweaters up for auction on eBay, and so far no one’s taken the bait.
We have to admit, we’re a little surprised. These jazzy numbers pack more 80s baggage than all the Members Only jackets and guyliner in SoHo. And it’s to benefit the Cos’s education charity, so high-rollers shouldn’t balk at the four-figure price tag. Maybe M.I.A. wants one?
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