Swedish fashion

Sweden is located in the very northern part of Europe between Norway and Finland, with edges touching the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Northern Sweden has a cold climate with year-round snow, while the more southern parts have a more temperate climate. The country has an abundance of forests and mountains. It holds the largest population, as well as the largest area within the Scandinavian countries.[1] Due to this, it has a strong influence over the rest of Norden. Sweden, in turn, serves as the fashion capital of Scandinavia. Sweden's capital, Stockholm, is the host of the country's biannual fashion week.[2]

As is the attitude surrounding most consumer products throughout Northern Europe, Swedish fashion embraces usefulness. Clothing is made to be practical and purposeful. This is largely due to the country's long history of harsh climatic conditions and its strong Lutheran background. Simplicity is also a common theme among the lines of Swedish fashion designers, meaning clothes tend to be more neutral toned with less intricate details. Clothes are not necessarily designed for the individual to stand out. There is a strong cultural influence that plays a role in this.[3]

Swedish style

A Swedish fashion image from 1943. The long trench coat and hat provide protection from the outside climate, while still offering an aesthetic quality.

Sweden is a fashion icon unique from the rest of the world. Its use of neutral color palettes, straight lines, and moveable designs differs from the other fashion capitals of the world that often showcase impractical luxury items made to stand out. Sweden embraces a region-wide mindset of owning and creating products that are just as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing, and clothing is not exempt from that criterion.[4]

Practical apparel is important to the Swedish culture for a couple of reasons. One, Northern Europe faces climates and landscapes much harsher than those of most people-dwelling regions. These tough weather conditions and hard-to-navigate lands have been restrictive in the past and at one time made daily life hard, a struggle to survive. Ideals of not being wasteful have stuck throughout generations, instilling the need for purchased items to serve a purpose. The versatile aspect of fashion also shows its ability to navigate the diverse terrain consisting of mountains, lakes, and forests. High quality clothing that is built to last is also important to the people of Scandinavia because of this. Second, Scandinavia has a strong Lutheran influence that began in the 16th century, and although not followed closely by many anymore, the religion continues to guide the Swedish way of life. Lutherans believe that God made people with a purpose, and that they all have a duty to contribute to society. Functional clothing helps the Swedes accomplish this by being moveable and adaptable to the work that needs to be done by each person.

Simplicity is another key aspect to the fashion in Sweden. Most people dress in bland colors, usually grey, black, or beige tones, that often lack busy or intricate patterns. Many key pieces in the high-fashion lines are rudimentary items lacking a flashy aspect. Consequently, the majority of the population blends in with each other in a sea of modest, neutral outfits. In the Scandinavian countries, conformity is what the people aim for, with equality being of utmost importance. This has been the Scandinavian behavior for a long time, and can be overstated by the Law of Jante. The Law of Jante, or Janteloven, is a Scandinavian attitude that represses the individual from standing out from the crowd. This "law" was created by Aksel Sandemose, a children's author, and consists of ten rules telling individuals that they are not to draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Though the Law of Jante is not officially genuine, it does describe (maybe to extremes) the humble way of life seen throughout the Scandinavian countries. Swedish fashion is seen as coinciding with this cultural phenomenon due to the lack of individualism in apparel. A sense of modesty is also present in Swedish women's fashion—high neck lines, longer hem lines, and covered midriffs. This is in strong contrast to the fashion culture seen in Northern America that seeks sexual attention.

While Swedish apparel is functional and simple, is also possesses an aesthetic quality. Straight lines make pieces look balanced and clean. These traits create a put-together, fine appearance. Clothes lean towards a modernness that can be traced to the timelessness many designers instill in their collections. The neutrality of color pallets contributes to this timeless quality because blacks and greys, whites, and beiges tend to never go out of style. These are the colors most often seen in the Swedish culture, and other used colors are often dull, as opposed to neon or bright. When patterns are used in the fabrics they opt to be geometric and symmetrical ones, which hint at a sleek mannerism. The boldness that is apparent in many styles can be seen in the cut of the fabric, whether that be the hemline, the collar, or the sleeves; sharp and angled edges are where designers incorporate this. Staple pieces like leather jackets, chunky pumps, and statement jewelry also add an edginess to a typical Swedish wardrobe.

All in all, functional pieces, simple designs, and aesthetic, trendy styles are the epitome of Swedish fashion.

Brands and designers

The Acne Studios logo. Created in 1996, this high-fashion brand is most famous for their denim.

Acne Studios is centered in Stockholm, Sweden and was created in 1996. It is the most recognized and universal brand from Scandinavia and an indulgent clothing line with styles for both men and women. They sell shoes, accessories, and clothing, with their denim being the item that got the business booming. Acne stores have expanded worldwide in a variety of countries, and they showcase their collections, as well as other art and design culture in the Acne Paper magazine that is published twice yearly. This high fashion label sells some of the bolder, more fashion-forward pieces in the Swedish fashion design world, though it still emphasizes simplicity.[5]

Rodebjer is a line designed by the Swedish person Carin Rodebjer that started in New York while she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, though the original pieces were also sold to stores in Sweden. Rodebjer's clothes are now sold in twenty different countries. This brand sells adaptable clothing that highlights artistic culture and the feminist and human rights movements. Rodebjer's clothes are made to fit a variety of settings, from work to play. Many of the pieces are what the designer describes as "slouchy", which make them stress-free and comfortable to move around in. The designs are made for the working, busy woman.[6]

J. Lindeberg is a collection that began in 1996 in Stockholm and New York. Created by Johan Lindeberg, this brand produces high fashion activewear with a prominence in golfing and skiing attire. Only the men's line sells non-sporty clothing, such as denim, knitwear, and suits. Both the menswear and womenswear collections have golfing and skiing specific items that are high-quality and functional. Simple lines and plain colored fabrics are featured throughout Lindeberg's designs, and thirty-five countries are home to at least one J. Lindeberg store. Famous athletes such as Anna Rawson and Jon Olsson have modeled for and been sponsored by the company, increasing its popularity.[7]

H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), possibly the most well-known Scandinavian fashion brand,[8] is a Swedish based clothing line which began in 1947 in Västerås, Sweden, that has expanded worldwide. Starting out with only women's clothing, the company now sells men's, women's, and children's apparel, as well as home design products. H&M aims to sell quality clothing at the most affordable price possible, while keeping the environment in mind. They do so through the six independent trademarks that make up the H&M line; Their pieces are fashion forward and embrace a Swedish-style design, simple and functional. Straight lines, neutral colors, and practical pieces make up the majority of the merchandise.[9]

Whyred was created by Sven “X:et” Erixon in 1999. The brand is known for its signature parka, a useful piece for the harsh winters of the Scandinavian region. The brand features purposeful items with added unexpected twists, to keep their designs moving forward. Elegance and modernism are the guiding forces behind this brand. Men's and women's everyday wear, outerwear, and more formal pieces are all part of the Whyred collection. They have a strong focus on music and art, which keeps the company continually evolving. The typical Swedish style of sparsely patterned materials and conservative pieces are obvious traits of this brand's apparel.[10]

Fashion Week in Sweden

Fashion week in Sweden began in 2005, and is where roughly thirty high fashion designers biannually display their new collections in a series of fashion shows. It takes place in the city of Stockholm at Berns and Bukowskis. All the high-fashion, big-name designers put on their own shows to showcase their lines for the upcoming season. A show typically displays the spring/summer line or the fall/winter line. Fashion Week gives buyers a chance to give publicity to and talk about the designers' pieces and the general public a preview of what to expect come the change of season. For the upcoming 2016 spring/summer show the following designers will be showcased:


  1. "Sweden - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette | global-etiquette | resources". www.kwintessential.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  2. "Discover Swedish fashion - Visit Stockholm - The official guide". www.visitstockholm.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  3. "Sweden - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette | global-etiquette | resources". www.kwintessential.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
  4. "Fashion in Sweden today – a brief introduction".
  5. Yaeger, Lynn. "How to Succeed in Fashion Without Trying Too Hard". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  6. "CARIN RODEBJER | SOMA Magazine". www.somamagazine.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  7. "J.LINDEBERG and the BESTSELLER Group". about.bestseller.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  8. Yaeger, Lynn. "How to Succeed in Fashion Without Trying Too Hard". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  9. "H&M | Discover H&M's Company Page | The Business of Fashion". www.businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  10. "Whyred". Visitcopenhagen. Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  11. "Fashionweek". fashionweek.se. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fashion of Sweden.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/26/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.