You never know what treasures—or cursed sweaters—you’ll find a thrift store.
When shopping at one, TikToker Willow Avalon found a gray knitted sweater with “2 my soulmate” written on the front tag and “I Luv You Tres” on the back tag.
The creator—and commenters—think the sweater had been given to the thrift store after the end of a relationship.
Upset by the find, Avalon asked, “Who donated this?” and captioned her video, “Brb crying in the thrift store.”
This sparked a flood of comments talking about the “sweater theory,” or as some users call it, the “sweater curse.”
Many commenters also discussed how big of a “red flag” it is for someone to donate such a sentimental gift, even if the relationship had ended.
The top comment on the video states “Sweater theory wins again.”
Another popular comment from a shocked user states “What do you mean sweater theory? I’m making my boyfriend a sweater right now.”
What is the sweater curse?
Alison Lurie breaks down the sweater curse in a New Yorker article from 2013. The theory was coined by knitters and crocheters, describing the belief that if one were to knit their significant other a sweater as a gift, the recipient would break up with them.
Some believe that if the recipient knows about the sweater before receiving it, their relationship will end before the sweater is even completed.
In her article, Lurie explains that the explanation of this theory all comes down to the handmade sweater. A handmade sweater is typically thick, stretchy, and clingy. This suggests that whoever makes the sweater intends to surround and enclose the recipient.
This gift signifies a bigger step being made in the relationship—so the recipient could get spooked.
Rauwerda says that if the creator intentionally knits a few mistakes into the sweater, the curse will be reversed because the imperfections will disrupt the forces at play.
Additionally, if the knitter waits until after marriage to make a gift like this, the sweater will actually warn off other possible partners of the receiver.
Whether Avalon’s thrift find is a cursed sweater or just an accidental donation may never be revealed.
Either way, commenters are sure to have opinions. One commenter said, “That must have been one H*LL of a breakup.”
This possible break-up sweater is far from the only gasp-worthy thrift find shared on TikTok. Creators have also discovered fake Louis-Vuitton belts, scrapbook paper, and nearly new Shein products on recent thrift trips.