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Thrift Trends: ’90s Coogi-Style/”Cosby” Sweaters

By Abby Blose

Staff Writer

’90s sweaters have been surfacing for quite some time now. Countless celebrities sported the wacky patterned and often colorful “Coogi” sweaters, especially in the ’90s hip-hop era. Rappers like Snoop Dogg, Biggie Smalls, Drake, and Mac Miller popularized the sweaters in streetwear culture throughout their music careers. The authentic Coogi sweaters sell on Depop from $75 up to $600, and lookalikes are selling at similar prices. Even Hillary Duff has been seen wearing a Coogi sweater. 

However, through thrifting, one can get the same look as the Coogi sweater without emptying their bank account. These similar styles are called the ‘Cosby sweater’ because of Bill Cosby’s huge collection of colorful funky sweaters. However, Cosby never actually wore a Coogi sweater. Instead, he wore sweaters similar to what thrift culture often sees. Similar to the Coogi sweater, this specific style is colorful and chunky with hundreds of differing patterns. Names for these sweater styles include grandpa sweater or dad sweater, simply named after the individuals who probably donated the piece to the thrift store!

With the diverse colors and styles of this knitwear, it’s no surprise that these ’90s pattern sweaters have made their comeback— even ones that look like they are straight from your grandpa’s closet. For many thrifters, vintage colorful sweaters have become a closet staple. Personally, I own far too many of these colorful ’90s Coogi knock-off/Cosby sweaters. While they tend to take up a large portion of closet space, I remain a fan. 

There is no denying these sweaters are a go-to; they are comfy and easy to style. The pullover sweater looks great paired with a simple pair of jeans or cargo pants. This general style also remains easy to come by. Thrifting a Coogi sweater would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity due to their high retail value and status of ‘Urban Luxury.’ However, almost every thrift store I have ever been to carries a vast array of ’80s–’90s sweaters. 

So, keep shopping or start dropping? My answer is definitely keep shopping. If you don’t have a ’90s-style sweater, get one! They will become a large part of your life this fall, and you will not regret it. And if you do have some of these chunky sweaters, keep confidently wearing them, because I don’t think they are going away anytime soon.

Bio: My name is Abreanna (Abby) Blose. I am a freshman studying journalism: news and information at Ohio University. In my free time, I love writing, reading, and painting. I also spend a little too much time at thrift stores. Through upcycling fashion, I am able to physically express myself. One day, I hope to pursue a career in which I can produce news and share information on a national level.

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