Drake loves sweaters, but can he beat Bill Cosby?

There's nothing like a quality sweater to make you feel creeped out. Sweaters are oddly avuncular, snuggly yet dangerous, like Uncle Frank at Christmas after four glasses of Franzia.

Drake knows. The Canadian rap star loves all things woven, from cable-knit crew necks to natty cashmere cardigans. Vibe called Drake "the first rapper to make grandpa sweaters a fashion statement." And a New York Magazine reporter recently asked him 11 — yes, 11 — sweater questions in one interview.

"I like textures in fabrics," explained Drake, 25. "So like night sweaters, dinner sweaters. Then you've got a sort of, like, light afternoon sweaters, all right? Airport sweaters and college sweaters."

Drake will headline the Last Damn Show 13 on Friday at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, fingers crossed, in a sweater. It got us thinking: If one man's sweater stock has become a toasty cultural tome, surely others have, too. Here are the most influential sweaters in history, ranked by warming power.

Cher Horowitz in 'Clueless'

The 1990s wrought a wrath of shrunken angora. Cher Horowitz, the lovable ditz played by Alicia Silverstone in 1995's Clueless, exemplified the tiny sweater trend. Cher paired fuzzy cropped sweaters with mini skirts and argyle sweater vests with knee socks and clogs. But all the loomed yarn in the world couldn't hide the fact that she was still practically naked.

Sweater influence rating: Chilly

The Dude in 'the Big Lebowski'

The Dude abides, and so does his sweater. Legions of unemployed guys with urine-soaked rugs related to Jeff Bridges' character in 1998's The Big Lebowski. His chunky cardigan inspired by Cowichan Natives of British Columbia came from Pendleton Woolen Mills. You can still order it online, and you probably will. Because let's be honest — the sweater really ties your look together.

Sweater influence rating: Cozy

L.L. Bean's Norwegian Fisherman Sweater

This hot contender is the blue-blood father of elite winter fashion, especially for men who love leaning against log cabin porches while looking wealthy. The dotty bird's eye pattern and water-resistant wool haven't changed in decades. The Norwegian has been featured in GQ and on various preppy‑style websites. It can be yours for the low-low price of $129.

Sweater influence rating: Thermal

Mark Darcy in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'

Ready for all-points zing on the sweater scale? It's a turtleneck. It's holiday green and embroidered with a massive Rudolph. It makes even dashing Mark Darcy look like a dweeb. In 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary, Renee Zellweger's character referred to the monstrosity as her "favorite reindeer jumper," teaching us fresh sweater vernacular and giving this garment cross-country appeal.

Sweater influence rating: Sizzling

Mr. Rogers, 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'

God bless Fred Rogers, the man could rock a sweater. Lest you think you look effortless in your overpriced Nord­strom cardigan, give it up. This lover of educational puppets had you schooled from the start. He was so confident, he changed into his sweater right there on national television while serenading America with a lovely tune. His sweater now hangs in the Smithsonian. Where's yours?

Sweater influence rating: Boiling

Cliff Huxtable, 'The Cosby Show'

If Mr. Rogers and Cliff Huxtable had a runway sweater showdown, Cliff would win by a narrow margin, if only for geometric designs defying all aesthetic reason. It's like Roy G. Biv lost a bar brawl with a deranged basket weaver. Bill Cosby's character made sweaters so ubiquitous, the phrase made Urban Dictionary ("often worn by old men or hipsters with no taste," says one definition). That's right. Even Drake wears Cosby sweaters.

Sweater Influence rating: Heatstroke

Last Damn Show 13

The Wild 94.1 concert will feature Drake, Public Enemy, Trina, Plies, Travis Porter and Famous Kid Brick. Show starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets are $25 to $175. Call (813) 301-2500 or visit stpetetimesforum.com.

Drake loves sweaters, but can he beat Bill Cosby? 11/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 4:18pm]

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