The Punchline

‘The Dude’s’ cardigan up for auction

Katharine Crnko May 11, 2011

Since its 1998 debut, The Big Lebowski has been a cult classic — from an entire movie of quotable lines (“Obviously you are not a golfer”), to the fashion stylings of the film’s main character — The Dude (aka Jeffrey Lebowski).

Known for his own unique style, The Dude tends to bring a little flare wherever he goes. Offer him a drink, he’ll order a White Russian. The plot of the movie is to take back The Dude’s favorite rug that “tied the room together.” And when The Dude is not wandering grocery store aisles in shorts and a full length bathrobe, he is often seen wearing his favorite outer layer — a distinctive, chunky-knit, zip-up sweater.

And beginning on Saturday, that very sweater will be part of a Hollywood memorabilia auction in Beverly Hills. Starting bid? Between $4,000 and $6,000.

But, given the movie’s large fan base and cult status, the cardigan is expected to go for much more.

According to costume designer Mary Zophres, there were four sweaters made for the production — the vintage sweater and three modern copies. But “Bridges wore this vintage sweater exclusively during the entire production, preferring to wear it all the time and thus delve deeper into the ‘Dudeness’ required of the role,” says the auction listing.

If you love The Dude, but a four-figure price tag is out of your budget, you’re in luck. The original manufacturers of Lebowski’s sweater — Pendleton Woolen Mills — is bringing back a tribute sweater in September for $188.

So, like The Dude himself, the cardigan abides.

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