Later this year, in May, I will have lived in Sweden for five whole years. In fashion terms, that’s ten seasons and so, nearly an eternity. Many a thing said in jest, as the saying goes, and though on one hand, I’m being flippant, on the other it does makes me wonder how this has affected my view of fashion and, to a lesser degree, my wardrobe.
1. Fashion egalitarianism
The rising prices of Acne aside, the cost of “designer” items made by Swedish labels are pretty equal across the board, with prices normally topping out at 3500 kronor for items such as tailored blazers or silk dresses. Only a few items hover over the 5000 kronor mark. In the international retail market, most of these labels are considered “mid-price”, while from an editorial point of view, a relative bargain for the amount of good design and wearability in the garments.
My point is that designer items in Sweden are not so out of reach to the average person compared to, say Italy. And of course, more affordable and still fashionable clothing can always been found on our doorstep, whether it’s from trend-led H&M, quirky Monki, edgy Weekday or minimalist-luxe COS (all owned by H&M), and other home-grown high street labels.
Having visited a few of the “fashion capitals” recently, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the egalitarianism of Swedish fashion. Being stylish in this country has nothing to do with money or class, and I find that particularly refreshing and admirable. This will probably strike many as common sense, but I’m afraid this is not always the case in the fashion industry.
2. The art of being understated
Swedes – so cool and minimalist. Or at least that’s the overwhelming stereotype when one talks about Swedish fashion. On a personal level, I have toned down my style since moving here. For instance, the love affair with black clothing: Before I moved to Sweden, I didn’t even own a single pair of black shoes. Or a black blazer. Now I own several. In general, surveying my wardrobe over the weekend, there is a lot of black. Coincidence? Maybe… Regardless, I have learned about the power of subtlety from my time here, and more importantly, despite my penchant for prints and bright colours, I like it.
This is my last post for Sweden.se for the time being, as well. Thanks for reading!