Clothes of the Seventies, Dean's Sweaters

I also have clothing pages for the 80s and 90s.

Picture Gallery

Loading images, if this message doesn't go away you may need to enable javascript in order to see pictures
No images

No pictures available yet!

 Submit a picture 

Type of clothing:
When it was popular:
Description: Usually cream background with a patterned yoke around the neck, 3-button closure at neck. Very popular with the preppy crowd.
Links for more info

The following are links about Dean's Sweaters you may find interesting. Also check out the other pages.

  • No links have been submitted for this page yet.

Submit a link to more information about Dean's Sweaters

User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about Dean's Sweaters from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Dave - March 28, 2009 - Report this comment
Back when I used to sail, I crewed for one of the owners of Dean Sweaters, and he punched me in the head because the spinaker didn't go up exactly the way he wanted it to in the middle of a race. Being a young boy of fifteen, I responded non-violently and asked him to take me ashore immediately. This is my experience of Dean's Sweaters.
lovechild - August 09, 2009 - Report this comment
I never heard of this trend & I grew up in the 70s. Was it called anything else?
Lisa - August 22, 2009 - Report this comment
Very popular in New England. When we weren't wearing hippy clothes, or running around in barn jackets with turtlenecks and hiking boots, we Vermont college girls wore Dean's sweaters. Lucious colors, soft wools with a Fair Isle yoke.
Vinni - October 28, 2009 - Report this comment
I was the designer for Dean's under the elder E.S. and his son Bob. It was the son that ran it into the ground. Most likely the on Dave raced with. E.S. was a terrific man who came over from Scotland and founded the company.
Chris - November 04, 2009 - Report this comment
The sweaters were beautiful. I just asked if anyone could come up with one for my birthday. Do we know if someone owns the rights to the name and style anymore. They are truly beautiful - and most importantly, they actually fit with out being boxy or to tight. Bring them back!
Melinda - November 27, 2009 - Report this comment
I agree they were beautiful! I wore them all through college in the 70s and have been looking for them ever since. Help!
mrs jones - December 15, 2009 - Report this comment
I worked for Deans for many years until they went out,they were a wonderful company to work for. Our wool came from Scotland and were made in Hong Kong. Our corp. office was in Danbury Ct, we had showrooms in New York. We sold to high end stores even Trimminghams in Bermuda.Our boiled wool jackets were the best,our kilts were made with care. Im sure they are still around as they were timeless in fashion We went out of business many years ago selling out to a group in hong kong. well after E.S.passed away.
Kara - January 24, 2010 - Report this comment
Dean used to have a HUGE warehouse sale in the fall in Danbury CT. You could buy fair isle sweaters (classic dean!) , kilts and boiled wool jackets really cheap that day. My mom and I used to buy about 20 sweaters and kilts... anything our arms could hold! I LOVED that look. ULTIMATE PREP! Every once in a while I run across the sweaters and kilts at Salvation Army and it takes me back to a time where WOOL abounded and the Preppy look was in! Muffy and Skip were so proud!
Colleen - September 01, 2010 - Report this comment
I lived in Upstate Ny and Deans were hugely popular. I had them in all kinds of colors. You could only buy them here at a store called Cohoes Manufacturing. I also had a boiled wool coat,also very popular. Mine was purple with white piping. Does anyone have pictures of the sweaters and the coats?
Karen - October 21, 2010 - Report this comment
Bring them back. I worked for a small clothing store that sold Dean sweaters. I used to go on buying trips with the owner and pick out all the styles of Dean sweaters for the store. I loved the cardigans and miss the hot pink one I had.
ALLEN - November 07, 2010 - Report this comment
As I'm reading this,I'm wearing a Deans color block shetland crew neck.Bought it in Buffalo,NY in the mid 70's.Still in great shape.I've lived in South Florida since '77,so there haven't been a lot of opportunities.Still gets the compliments. Bring these guys back along with J.&D. McGeorge.
Jane - November 09, 2010 - Report this comment
I loved Dean sweaters! As a kid I use to wear them in bright colors with the wide whale cords, navy blue suede clogs, and coordinating grosgrain ribbon headband. A very popular look for 1970s New England!
sue - December 06, 2010 - Report this comment
When I was in high school in CT, we always wore our jeans, deans and beans on Fridays. (Beans were our duck boots from L.L. Bean.) I found this site looking for a fair isle sweater for my 21 year old daughter. I wish I had kept all of mine!
Vicky - December 08, 2010 - Report this comment
This was my family's company...I still have a few of the sweaters...Dave, sorry dad was mean to you! Hope you can forgive!
Lisa - December 17, 2010 - Report this comment
Oh do I wish I could still find some. I loved them and wore them all through college. I have one left that is in decent shape. They were well made and beautiful.
Rony - January 17, 2011 - Report this comment
Dear, Sir/Madam We Have A Largest Buying Office And Sweaters Manufactor Company In Our Country Of Bangladesh. We The Company Manufactor Any Kind's Of Sweater & Garments Products. All Of Our Products Is 100% Export Quality. It's Price Cost Is Also Low Cost. If You Want You Can Buy Us. For More Information Visit Our Website. Website: Email: Skype: matrixgroup2012 Cell Phone: +8801712128201 Regred Matrix Group Of Company Ltd Engineer Rony (Matrix).
Ellen - January 21, 2011 - Report this comment
Dean's sweaters were a "special" purchase- I used to have many and when I brought them back to college they were sought after by the girls on my floor. My mother surprised me with a beautiful one purchased from The Crazy Frog in Mystic, CT (unfortunately no longer there). Is there anything out on the market even remotely close to their product?
Wendy - March 05, 2011 - Report this comment
Does anyone remember going into the Arkay Shop and seeing the shelves filled with the most beautiful colors of the softest cable sweaters from Dean? It was the ultimate treat to go in and buy one and team it with your new leather Papagallos!
Bonnie - December 09, 2011 - Report this comment
I found one packed away from high schooln'77 and my daughter who is 20 wears it. Wish they were still around.
Connie - December 22, 2011 - Report this comment
You could buy them from Joseph Keefe in Haverford, Pa. They were the special gifts you dreamed about. Where would we have been with our sweaters, Papagollos in matching colors, plaid skirt, and a circle pin. GO Prep!!!
Sue - December 23, 2011 - Report this comment
I have been looking for Dean sweaters for the past few years - in HS I had them in Fair Isle and my favorite, the Candy Stripe. I live in Princeton and a local store Landaus carried them. I search for them on E-Bay with no success - would love to find a fair isle!
Susi - January 26, 2012 - Report this comment
Yes! I had at least 1 from Joseph Keefe, others from the Country Cousin in Wayne, later in Ardmore & the Country Squire in Strafford. Keep your eye out on eBay, have gotten 4 there in the past year, all cardigans. Still looking for my favorites, the Henley with crocheted placket finishing & fair isle yoke - though did recently get a vintage LL Bean that was very similar, not as soft & fluffy as the Deans. Haven't gone looking for the Papagallo (or Capezio) flats we wore with them, but still have my last pair of Weejuns!
Sweater Guy - March 17, 2012 - Report this comment
I have a similar brand for sale. It's vintage. Ladies XS-S Dark Pink/Violet color. Fair Isle with yoke shetland wool sweater.
Lisa - September 19, 2012 - Report this comment
Ann Rosenbaum borrowed my Dean's Kelly green Fair Isle, wore it to a bar, drank too much and threw up on it. Sadly it was never the same.
Michel - November 05, 2012 - Report this comment
Gees just stumbled upon this ...During the Christmas holiday season I worked the Dean Sweater bar at Filenes. It was great - the colors were so vibrant. I collected sweaters and kilts at the time, loved the styles back then, dean sweater, turtle neck and matching kilt. Done.
Michel - November 05, 2012 - Report this comment
Gross grain ribbons, real wooden souled clogs, wide whale cordaroys (sorry sp?) a dean sweater perfect, still would like to find the multi colored packs of gross grain ribbons I used to buy. The bright colors loved everything about the styles back then.
Pamela - April 24, 2014 - Report this comment
I have been searching for these sweaters and the Tally-Ho cardigans with the crochet(ed) buttons. I still wear my clogs, cords, izod shirts but cannot find "proper" sweaters.
Betsy - July 23, 2014 - Report this comment
I wore them in grade school and high school. We bought them at a store in Cincinnati called Roderick St Johns. I had them in all colors. Would love to find one again.
Dodie - September 15, 2014 - Report this comment
Vicky, By any chance, do you know where I can find a pattern for the yoke of one of the Dean Fair Isle sweaters? I am having absolutely no luck.
Linda - December 05, 2014 - Report this comment
Dean sweaters were my most extravagant college wardrobe purchase. I remember the store in Mystic that smelled like fresh wool and the wall of colorful sweaters, very hard to pick only 2. They were best when the elbows wore out, worn with a Lacoste shirt, collar up, cords, down vest or blue jean jacket.
Eileen - December 17, 2014 - Report this comment
went to college in upstate NY in the '70s and Deans sweaters were an unofficial uniform. We had them in every color and both styles. You could get them with the three-button closure in front which they called a Henly or a traditional yoked sweater without any buttons. The colors ran if you were not careful, and my biggest heartache was when i washed my new Hunter Green Deans Fair Isle yoked sweater and the green ran all over the yoke. My fault but I was new to laundry and did not know. We wore so many layers under them- cotton turtleneck and often a cotton LaCoste over the T'neck and under the placketed Deans- collars popped of course. Sounds so pretentious now but back then it was comforting to always know what you would wear. Over khakis or a jean skirt with Danskin tights. Always topsiders.
Gidge - January 31, 2015 - Report this comment
A Dean's sweater was to die for! Little Heel was THE store in Delaware to snag your Deans, Pappagallo flats, and a corduroy skirt. And of course under that Deans was a SKYR top either solid or striped. And your belt--with a big ol' gold something...alligator, seashells, turtles...Dressed up everyday back then...and still have many of the clothes--that my college daughter wears now! But, I swear we paid more for those sweaters, than what I see today out there. And yes, Beanie Boots or Docksiders (we didn't do Tops)....and if I did wear jeans, only Levis...straightleg, or a colored cord. Always a headband or grossgrain ribbon. As if that's not enough, my wedding colors were PINK and GREEN ! Yes, it was a great, clean, fashion time!
June - April 09, 2015 - Report this comment
I loved Dean Sweaters! It seems that every girl in my high school had one in the 70's. I always wanted one, but for some reason I never had one?? Oh how I wish I had one today. If someone could bring them back, that would be so amazing!! I would buy one or several in a heartbeat!! They were so beautiful. The yokes were so intricate with their fine detail and their pretty colors!!
kathy - April 25, 2015 - Report this comment
I graduated HS in 1970 Boston area, remember friends who had collections of Dean's, all cable pullovers, I had a few as well, yellow, green, hot pink. It was THE look. Sorry to hear the kids ran the business into the ground, very sad. Those sweaters were classic!!
Camille - October 24, 2015 - Report this comment
In the summer of 1977 I worked for a small dept. store in Wilton CT and made a window display full of Dean fair isle sweaters. Customers loved the display as did passersby and tons of sweaters were sold - the display didn't last long though because the sweaters were needed for sales. I loved those sweaters and owned many. Still looking for them.
Ellen - October 30, 2015 - Report this comment
Like Sue, we used to buy Deans from Landaus in Princeton. I see etsy has them listed from time to time. The closest Fair Isle cardigans I've seen for sale are from (based in Buffalo).
Amy - December 08, 2015 - Report this comment
We also used to go to the Dean's warehouse sale in Danbury! I had a HUGE collection of sweaters and skirts and still have a few. Someone recently posted a photo of me from high school, and in it I'm wearing a green Dean Fair Isle with my school uniform skirt. O'Connell's has some sweaters that are similar - for $175 each!! Try ebay - I'm listing 2 vintage Dean's kiltie skirts there this week if you are interested....they are classics.
Renegade Revival - January 26, 2016 - Report this comment
Did not wear them in high school, was a total punk rocker all through my highschool years, but I do remember them in Long Island and the prepsters that wore them. I am posting one (not a fair isle but a bright red one with a felted bib) in my shop today. You can find them around New England now and then, that is for sure.
Celine - November 27, 2016 - Report this comment
I too was a fan of Dean's & really ticked off that I wore them into the ground as they went out of "style". Today I received a FB posting & it was for a Company "Guideboat" out of CA - sounds like it's a newer venture...Well they show a limited # colors of what look to me to be VERY close to the Dean sweaters patterns !! I'm from MA & definitely they were the have to have items back in the day !- just a classic look. I'm going to call them tomorrow, the color selection is somewhat confusing...Good luck all !
ShopperKat - August 15, 2017 - Report this comment
Loved the Dean's sweaters...always a special Christmas gift in high school...I would always pick one out while "window shopping" with my Mom and it would always seem to end up under the Christmas tree. Had a white with pink yoke, Henley Mom would always tell me I had expensive taste. Miss those shopping trips with my Mom...
Irina - March 18, 2018 - Report this comment
I’m so glad I found this page!! I went shopping today at my favorite consignment store in New Hampshire and stumbled upon a Dean’s sweater lying at the bottom of a clearance bin and fell for it because of its quality wool and fit. Only after I got home and got curious about the brand did I start to piece together that I picked up a quality vintage piece of clothing! This thread here is the only one I’ve found that gave me any info on this sweater. From what I can tell I don’t have a Fair Isle sweater- I googled it and mine is a solid grey cable knit not colorful. But still super happy to have found it as it looks beautiful and fits like a dream. I go to college in CT so can’t wait to bring it back to where it probably came from. Thank you all for the information on the company and these clothes, you made my day knowing I got a little piece of New England history!!
Eileen H - December 05, 2018 - Report this comment
The 3-button style was the Henley Fair Isle. While in college in Upstate NY, we all wore either the Henley Deans Fair Isle or the regular pullover Deans Fair Isle. My favorite was the hunter green, but my roommate ran it through the wash and the colors ran all over the yoke... saddest say of my college career. And either the Henley or the regular pullover were always worn with a Brooks Brothers starched button-down Oxford cloth shirt with either a cotton T-neck or a cotton polo underneath. Layers, people!
Tim C - February 01, 2019 - Report this comment
Worked for a summer at Deans in Danbury in the warehouse. Company was good to employees and we were well dressed in Deans sweaters in the winter. Remember Mr Elston, the Scottish rep/manager in Danbury.
Nina P - September 06, 2019 - Report this comment
I just found a vintage of Scotland men’s V-neck sweater in pretty good condition. Men’s size 40 from trimming hams of Bermuda. It really is quality!
Patricia J - February 05, 2020 - Report this comment
Such a great site....I still to this day check all the sites (ebay, etsy, poshmark) and buy every Deans sweater I can pride and joy are my Henley fair isles....wear them every opportunity - I don't care if people look at me funny (as in why does that old lady have that weird sweater on). Still have my boiled wool jacket too (mine is from Austria). I didn't appreciate these classics when I was young...too Hippie, I guess....but I do now
Karen OD - April 11, 2020 - Report this comment
Watching The Crown and noticed young princesses wearing Fair Isles. I remembered my favorite was a similar Deans fair isle, three button on shoulder in heather brown and white with pops of royal blue in the yoke design. Wore it with same blue turtleneck. Felt very fortunate to have it! Also loved the look of my Kelly green crew neck Deans with navy trim around neck worn with navy blue and white small checked button down underneath. Of course navy corduroys on bottom :) But probably my favorite go to Deans was my solid candy pink cable knit crew neck! Glad my memory was jogged to remember the name of this icon company and so glad to have found this website to see everyone else’s joy in wearing these back in the day! Bring back preppie!
Lori - June 02, 2020 - Report this comment
Ah, Deans sweaters, the essence and king of prep. I had 7 Dean's sweaters in college - all solid colors and all cable - dove grey, butter yellow, ivory, navy, kelly green, red and light blue. I never really went for the Fair Isles yoke with buttons style. I wore those sweaters incessantly, along with straight-leg cords, oxford shirts and Bass Weejuns (the style is no longer made - the old traditional smooth front penny loafer). I remember feeling like I was the epitome of cool prep and being the envy of all the girls at college, sometimes being jealously teased about my 'uniform.'
Cheri - December 04, 2020 - Report this comment
I was just watching the Drew Barrymore Show and her guest, Martha Stewart, was wearing a Fair Isles sweater and made me think of my old Dean's sweaters I would wear in the 70's at college in upstate NY. I also recently found a letter from my mother that I kept from 1977. In it she mentions that she was enclosing money, so that I could by a Dean's sweater (I probably went to Cohoes to buy it!). Fun and fond memories.
Justine - January 20, 2021 - Report this comment
I am so happy that I came across this thread! I had so many Deans sweaters in high school and college. The years of 1977-1981. Then when I graduated and got my first job in NY, I put the sweaters away and then i think my mom unfortunately gave them to a cousin. Gone forever! We bought our Deans sweaters in Princeton NJ at a store called Landaus. The wall was filled with them!!!!! I remember the pricing was $26 for the fairisle with no buttons, $36 for the Henly with the 3 buttons and then I think there was the cardigan style for $46. I love them! And like many of you, I wore them with layer and collars up. Layers could be turtle necks with little motifs on them like hearts or whales... ralph lauren polos, or oxford shirts. Then paired them with cordoroys or jeans. Plus clogs from eskils,Sebago docksides. And of course the grosgrain ribbon in my hair. I would love to have those Deans fairisle sweaters again. If anyone ever sees a size 34-36, drop me a message!
Lynn - April 01, 2021 - Report this comment
I'm a knitter and I went as far as buying an old, slightly damaged Dean's sweater fair isle cardigan to see if I could reverse-engineer the pattern. There are a lot of neat, but unique attributes that make the pattern difficult for someone of my skill level to duplicate.

Submit a story or info about Dean's Sweaters