You will become newly enamored of colorful sweaters as you ease into season 4 of Netflix’s The Crown, which just won a Golden Globe, as did actress Emma Corrin for her portrayal of the late Princess Diana. As lovely as the floral cardigan above is, I’m actually focused on another Princess Diana look, known as the black sheep sweater (pictured a gazillion times below, and seen transformed into something so, so glamorous on the late princess herself here).
I know I’m very much late to the party as far as Crown-ing (season 4 premiered in November 2020), but I was purposefully saving my binge for winter’s home stretch. Still, the black sheep sweater (or jumper, as they say across the pond) presented itself to me as a welcome spoiler at Christmastime. And I have been thinking about it ever since.
Originally created by a U.K. knitwear firm called Warm & Wonderful that was founded in 1979, it’s now enjoying a second life via Rowing Blazers, an online retailer known for its send-ups of classic prepster garb (and official partner of the U.S. rowing and rugby teams).
If you’re as draw in by this nostalgic, whimsical emblem of Sloane Ranger chic as I am, this New Yorker article provides everything you need to know about the black sheep sweater’s heritage and sartorial significance. It was initially worn with a certain irony, fluttering eyelashes and all. But in hindsight, there is no way to see it other than as an eloquent assertion of Princess Diana’s irrepressible individuality.
Here’s another Crown spoiler, if you’ve read this far: I’m sorry to say that in the show, we only get to see the black sheep sweater for a nanosecond in episode 3 of the latest season, and not in its original context (in attendance of a polo match with Prince Charles). So I am offering my own ode to the garment below, paired with a selection of jewels that would make wearing it even more of a fashionable delight.
Starting with the obvious choice. Honestly, I could have stopped here but I just didn’t want to!
Big diamonds set in blackened metal tell the world you take tradition with a twist.
How about some black pearls for that little black sheep? And angular quartz drops streaked with black needles offer the same graphic quality as the sweater’s bold pattern.
The sweater does have a sort of oddball vibe, but these black-and-gold jewels give the overall look a more refined and sophisticated feel.
Princess Diana and chokers: as classic as it gets. And this glamorous gemmy rainbow one hits all the same nostalgic 1980s notes as the sweater.
These geometric rings stack up nicely against the black, white, and red color story.
You may be wearing a sweater with sheep on it, but snake motifs, sharp angles, and chains ensure no one will take the warm-and-fuzzy thing literally.
Top: Actress Emma Corrin gives an award-winning performance as Princess Diana in season 4 of The Crown. As Diana was one of the most photographed women in the world at the time, series costume designer Amy Roberts was able to recreate her many looks—including those that starred snuggly patterned sweaters—to the letter. (Photo: Des Willie/courtesy of Netflix)
Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine