The fashion trend this holiday season in England is something called The Scandi Jumper. Translation – a thick knit pullover sweater with depictions of snowflakes, stars, or reindeer.
It’s all thanks to a popular BBC crime drama called The Killing, which takes place in cold, cold Copenhagen. The lead character, Detective Sarah Lund, wears these sweaters (paired with jeans) rather than the usual detective suit and viewers love her for it.
This particular sweater is traditionally called a Faroese, after the Faroese Islands, and it was made by knitwear company Gudrun Gudrun. The story goes that the actress playing Sarah Lund (Sofie Grabol) chose this sweater for her character and she felt so comfortable wearing it she didn’t take it off. Consequently in season one it’s in just about every scene, which is huge exposure and voila … major trend.
Many British women are embracing the sweater because of the Lund persona. Lisa Armstrong, Fashion Editor of The Daily Telegraph in London, recently told BBC radio’s Woman’s Hour that she’s a fan of the Scandi Jumper because she loves Sarah Lund and all her foibles. “The jumper is a kind of by-product of her dysfunctions … I think she seems to have commitment issues with everybody except her jumpers.”
Broadcaster and Antiques Roadside expert Lars Tharp, also a guest on Woman’s Hour, pointed out that by sporting the Scandi Jumper Sarah Lund might be seen as rejecting the idea of power dressing and that strikes a chord with women.
Personally I think Sarah Lund is just a sloppy dresser, which in itself says a lot but I haven’t seen the show so I’ll refrain from further comment. Now this is not to say I don’t like these sweaters. I do, for ice skating or a winter walk on a day off but on the job? Well, it’s not a professional look.
An American version of The Killing aired on AMC earlier this year, complete with another version of the Scandi Jumper. But it hasn’t reached trend status here. At least not yet.
PS – Readers, if you’d like to sport a Scandi Jumper yourself (not at work, of course) I’ve seen them at thrift shops and vintage stores. The real deal, often handknit from Scandinavia and at good prices.