Scroll Top

Every Norwegian sweater in America: The fashion of Fest


When considering what Oles are wearing, too often we think of small picture trends of the year — summer styles and winter styles. But what do Oles wear, big picture? Dare I say, since the college’s founding? The answer: the quintessential Norwegian sweater. 


Nordic sweaters are made of wool and knitted in multiple colors. The Lusekofte, Norwegian for “lice-jacket,” is the most recognizable style. This sweater pattern features a collar with buttons or clasps, and small V-shape dots known as the lice pattern.


Another recognizable pattern is the Mariusgenser,  a Norwegian word for “marius-sweater.” The pattern is named for Marius Eriksen, a Norwegian Olympian, Ace fighter pilot, actor, and model. Read his Wikipedia article, it’s amazing. The sweater is inspired by the Setesdal, a variation of the Lusekofte, but features more intricate knit-work across the shoulders and upper chest, and no lice pattern. The sweater traditionally features Selburose stars,  knitted rose patterns in the shape of octograms that have become internationally recognized symbol of Scandinavian culture, winter, and Christmas. 


Some sweaters are heirloom pieces, passed down from generations. The wool, when treated with care, is extremely durable. It’s more than just being fashionable, it’s also extremely functional.  


At Christmas Fest this year, nearly everyone not in a robe was in a sweater. Most were sweaters knit by Dale of Norway, a company that’s been located in Dale, Norway since its founding in 1879. 


Dale of Norway was chosen by the International Olympic Committee to design official sweaters for the Winter Olympics, using the Olympic symbols. The sweaters were colorful, and exploding with patterns and Norwegian imagery: reindeer, stars, skis, snowflakes. and more. Ole students and alumni alike looked comfortable and cozy through the night’s performance.

Jacob Rozell
+ posts