February Fashion: The Cowichan Sweater

The Cowichan sweater has a time-honoured place in the fashion pantheon.

Credit: Clinton Hussey

Giving the iconic Cowichan sweater its due respect.

The Cowichan sweater has a time-honoured place in the pantheon of Canadian style somewhere between the fringed belt of Quebec’s Carnival and the Roots Olympic bucket hat.

So it should have come as no surprise that the Bay’s Team Canada Olympic sweater sparked some controversy when it was unveiled last October. Although hand-knit, the Olympic sweater does not use traditional wools or traditional colours, nor is it knitted by Cowichan First Nations people.

However, like all iconic fashion pieces, the Cowichan sweater has often inspired contemporary designers to put their own twist on a classic.

(From top)
Canadian-made Graphic Deer Sweater by Vancouver’s Granted Clothing, $314, grantedclothing.com
Authentic Cowichan sweater from Hill’s Native Art, $195 to $255, hillsnativeart.com
The Bay’s
hand-knit Team Canada sweater, $350, hbc.com