You may know it as The Dude's cardigan or The Big Lebowski sweater, but Pendleton debuted the Original Westerley cardigan in 1972 as part of their Westernwear line. In 2011 Pendleton sourced their archives and studied the movie to bring back the Westerley in its original color and weight. It is a faithful reproduction featuring the Greek key pattern, zip front, ring zipper pull and ribbed shawl collar. The Original Westerley abides in all the right ways.
The Westerley drew inspiration from beautiful Cowichan sweaters that are hand-knit by Pacific Northwest tribes. Heavy enough to work as outerwear with only two knit stitches per inch, Pendleton’s version was machine-knit by Winona Knitting Mills of Minnesota, a two-facility company owned by the Woodworth family.
Super thick and warm, the Westerley was one cozy sweater. Pendleton carried it for more than ten years. Throughout those years, the Westerley's zip front, ring zipper pull, shawl collar and Greek key pattern all stayed the same, although the color variations were surprisingly wide. The sweater went out of production in the 1980s, but found popularity again in the early 2000s, thanks to an obscure movie that didn't stay obscure for very long.
The Big Lebowski
This Coen brothers' film was released in 1998, but quietly grew into a cult favorite. Jeff Bridges wore his own clothes for this role, and though there were two sweaters handknitted as backups, he preferred wearing his personal Pendleton Westerley.
The Big Lebowski continues to grow as a cultural phenomenon. It's not a movie anymore, it's a lifestyle. Its fans, the Achievers, have conventions and their own documentary. And as the movie's audience has grown, so has the demand for a recreation of the Westerley sweater.
- Pendleton The Original Westerley Cardigan
- 100% Lambswool
- Ribbed Shawl Collar
- Zip Front
- Ring Zipper Pull
- True To Size Fit
- Dry clean
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