Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans is a movie about two beautiful people, played by Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, who live in a lighthouse off the coast of Australia. They spend their time tending to their chicken coop, looking at sunsets, and stealing/rescuing babies. While doing the former two things—and stewing in regret over the latter—they wear some gorgeous sweaters, shawls, and cardigans, among other knit items. It’s classic turn-of-the-century despair chic, and in tribute to the magazine-ready looks, we’ve collected the best of The Light Between Oceans knitwear collection.
The Australian ingénue’s cardigan (above)
The first important thing to know about The Light Between Oceans is that it takes place in Australia. Second, that Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who won an Oscar for The Danish Girl, is playing an Australian woman. Lest you not fully grasp that from her accent (which varies, but The Light Between Oceans is set in the early 20th century, so who knows how anyone in Australia talked then), Vikander dresses in several thick hip-length cardigans. Cardigans = Australia. Please keep this theme in mind.
The “You wouldn’t believe what I saw in the war” men’s turtleneck
Are you a man who witnessed the deaths of several comrades in the trenches of World War I? Do you worry that your perpetual grimace doesn’t adequately convey that trauma? Pick up this turtleneck, which goes great with writing long letters and looking out across the ocean, wishing you had died instead.
The courtship shawl
Say you like a man, but he’s more interested in his lighthouse and trauma turtleneck than he is in you. Enter the courtship shawl: revealing enough for seaside dates, warm enough so that you don’t catch pneumonia on those dates.
The marriage cardigan
Once you’ve locked down your handsome, troubled lighthouse keeper, transition your ingénue cardigan to a marriage cardigan, primarily by moving it up from your elbows to your shoulders. It’s a great, mature look for when you’re shaving your husband’s mustache, plunking away at the one piano on your island, or praying that something, anything will take your mind off the overwhelming loneliness of living without children.
The lost baby-blanket-and-cap ensemble
One day, a baby washes ashore in a boat with a dead man. Unsure of how to accessorize for the occasion? Pick out this stylish red blankie to go with the knit cap the baby was wearing when it arrived. Now, it’ll look good while you convince it that you were always its mommy! (Note: Complete the look by burying the dad in as deep a grave as possible.)
The “this baby is ours now” knit cap and pint-size sweater
The knit cap says “we got a different knit cap for this baby, our baby, the baby we made with love and definitely didn’t find on a beach, stop asking questions.” The baby sweater just says awwwwwwww.
The “this baby is still ours now” knit cap and pint-size sweater
This knit cap says “Yes, we got a second knit cap for this baby, our baby, the baby we made all by ourselves and definitely didn’t find on a beach, stop asking questions.” And this new baby sweater says awwwwwwww, but with buttons.
The father-daughter knitwear ensemble
Eagle-eyed viewers may notice that this is a different knit sweater than the one the baby was previously wearing, which is to say that everybody’s talking about the emotional toll the baby puts on Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, and no one is talking about the physical toll it’s putting on all the unseen sheep. Also of note: Michael Fassbender is still wearing his sadness turtleneck, because even in joy there is sorrow. (Fassbender also wears a trim cardigan in the film, but it’s missing from the trailers or press photos, probably because it could wreck havoc on your hormone levels.)
The on-the-town casualwear set
For those times when you journey from your lighthouse back into civilization, consider this ensemble, which combines the daughter’s knit cap 3.0 with a slimmer variation on the classic cardigan that says “this is my daughter” and “please don’t take her from me” and “she’ll never love you like she loves me” and “are you ready to sob your eyes out?”
Baby doll sold separately.