The Awkward Girl's Guide to Wearing Sweaters Over Coats
I tried it so you don't have to...
Of all the people I admire on Instagram — and there are a lot of them — there’s no group I admire more than the women who wear sweaters knotted jauntily over the shoulders of their thick wool coats. (Like THIS.) (Which, OK, is an image from Pinterest, not Instagram, but samesame.)
Please tell me you’ve seen this, and it’s not just me that Instagram thinks is going to be particularly susceptible to the look? It’s like an upgrade of the “sweater-over-shoulders” look of summer, but whereas the summer version is reasonably wearable, in a Pippa-Middleton-at-a-yacht-club kind of way, the continuation of it into autumn and winter — but with a wool coat underneath — is just everything to me, because it is the absolute epitome of fashion-for-fashion’s sake. A jumper which exists purely to look jaunty, but which has no purpose beyond that. A jaunty jumper. A jaumper.
Subscribe if you like jaumpers. Or even if you don’t.
I mean, you might not actually do it, but you can at least imagine going out on a summer’s evening, say, and thinking, “Oh, I’ll just sling this jumper over my shoulders in case it gets chilly.” There is no purpose to a jumper worn over a winter coat, though. None. There’s almost an anti-purpose, in fact, because imagine how inconvenient it would be to always have a jumper tied over the top of your coat?
What happens if it rains? Do you take the jumper off (thus ruining the “lewk”), or just grimly leave it on your shoulders, allowing it to get gradually soaked in the name of style, until it starts to smell like cat wee?
Do you, though?
(To illustrate this post for the benefit of those of you who’ve yet to encounter the “jaumper", I asked Substack’s AI image generator to create an image of “a stylish young woman wearing a wool coat with a sweater tied over the shoulders”, and it couldn’t do it. It just kept giving me photos of someone who looked a bit like Margot Robbie. I’m not sure if it was trying to make a point, if it felt the word “stylish” contradicted the rest of what I’d asked it for, or if it just really likes Margot Robbie. Either way, though, please accept this unrelated image of a wardrobe instead…)
What about if you go to a restaurant/bar/someone’s house? Do you hand over both coat and jumper, then spend ages faffing around re-tying the jumper when you leave? Or is it a look that only works if the coat remains on at all times? TELL ME.
The Instagram/Pinterest women, of course, care nothing for any of this, because these women float through the world with complete disregard for the boring practicalities most of us have to consider. “I don’t care what you think of me,” say their jauntily-tied jumpers. “I put fashion above everything. Because I’m better than you.”
And this is why I love them.
Sadly for me, the jaumper is, so far, an Instagram/Pinterest-only trend. I have never in real life seen someone walking around wearing one in the “wild” — although The Village isn’t exactly fashion central in this regard, tbf. We’re still on skinny jeans here. I’m pretty sure if I did the school run, say, with a sweater tied over the top of my coat, the Facebook group would be buzzing.
OR WOULD IT?
I decided to find out…