Trendsetters: Scandinavian Fashion

Where Sustainability meets Style

By Milan Charles

Friday, 30th of September 2022

Scandinavian style has become the fashion crowd’s most coveted aesthetic. With brands like Arket and Ganni growing in popularity, the Scandinavian look breaks away from the glitz and glamour of fast fashion and leans into a slower, more attainable, and most importantly sustainable lifestyle.

This is nothing new. Scandinavian lifestyle trends have been all the rage for years, and if you’ve been scrolling through Instagram, you’ll see many are doing their best to replicate them in their wardrobes and homes. 

Capturing the unique characteristics that Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland have in common, the Scandinavian style is about far more than just aesthetics. It’s a philosophy encompassing art, furniture and interior design, mindset, attitude, lifestyle and cultural norms. 

Looking to adopt the Scandinavian style yourself? Here, we share some guidelines for you to live by:

Sustainable and Ethical Fashion Choices

Scandi fashion goes beyond aesthetics to promote sustainable and ethical living by removing what’s not necessary and focusing on what’s left – as well as higher quality and longer-lasting items. Finnish fashionista, Sandra Emeliah, adds her own personal touch to Scandinavian fashion by finding staple items second-hand and championing slow fashion.

Everything Must Go With Everything

The idea behind the Scandi style is that everything must go with everything. You can play with textures, but mainly within a neutral colour palette. Characterised by functionality and minimalism, Nordic clothing mixes high-quality solid fabrics with sleek accessories and elegant details creating a look that is both casual and stylish at the same time. Check out Phalguni, from Sweden, for ultimate neutral fashion inspo.

Comfort First

The Scandinavian design aims to improve people’s lives under the modernist mantra “form follows function”. To achieve the ultimate state of cosiness, most Scandinavian clothing breaks the confinements of form-fitting shapes. In Copenhagen, Maria Jonsson marries style and comfort perfectly – often spotted in airy fabrics and loose-fitting silhouettes, her wardrobe embodies this mantra. 

Building a Capsule Collection – Items that are High Quality and Long-lasting

The typical Nordic wardrobe is not about what’s trendy and completely about what’s timeless with simple and classic clean-cut lines. For instance, you’ll rarely see Scandinavians wear T-shirts with flashy logos or extreme embellishments. Instead, the style opts for long-lasting items, basics and tailored pieces that you can repurpose throughout the seasons for many years to come. Swedish content creator and healthcare worker Lydia Tsegay has been building her Scandi-inspired capsule collection over the years. Her ethos is “personal style, not fashion” truly embodies the Scandi way.

Genderless Clothing 

The Scandinavian fashion industry challenges gender stereotypes, with many brands opting for a more fluid approach to style. Nordic countries have maybe the most inclusive cultures, with the dress code being one of the many ways in which they demonstrate this to the world. The Scandi street style tends to feature androgynous silhouettes or outfits consisting of both masculine and feminine items. William from Norway and Emelie from Sweden could most likely share a wardrobe, leaning heavily into genderless street style with a heavy Scandinavian influence. 

So, what do you think – could you adopt a Scandinavian wardrobe? If you’re still in need of a little inspiration, check out these content creators:

Nicole, Stockholm

Anna Sofia, Stockholm

Elin Wahlberg, Sweden 

Greta Urban, Sweden

Selina, Denmark

Austeja, Norway 

Dina Hansen, Norway