Visitors wondering what to wear in Stockholm can garner inspiration from Swedish cult labels that have amassed a global following over the past decade, such as Acne and Carin Wester, not to mention the capital city's stylish residents.
The minimalist aesthetic championed in Stockholm has been embraced by in-the-know editrixes and discerning fashion influencers who favor clean lined silhouettes and boxy cuts. Whether you’re soon en route to the Swedish capital or simply want to channel the slouchy yet sleek look that these Scandis have perfected, we’ll walk you through the fundamentals of their style.
Androgynous essentials for day
In step with the region’s egalitarian social mores, Stockholm street style proudly blurs the boundaries between traditional femininity and masculinity. Swedish women often reach for oversized, boyish cuts and men experiment with long silhouettes and layering, for instance.
Deconstructing gender stereotypes, Swedish women and men favor streamlined forms with strong, defined lines. Both sexes share a penchant for wardrobe staples such as the cropped trouser, a mainstay of Stockholm street style that is also incredibly practical. The piece lends itself to unhindered cycling, benefitting Stockholm’s avid bike riding contingent. High-waisted, ankle length, deliberately distressed skinny jeans from labels such as Cheap Monday and Frame are favorites among Swedish women, while their male counterparts opt for athleisure-friendly drawstring track pants in cashmere fabrications.
Leather shows up in many forms in Sweden — bodycon leggings are a prominent sight on Stockholm’s streets — but none so ubiquitous as outerwear. It’s nearly impossible to run through a catalog of what to wear in Stockholm without mentioning the moto jacket. Exaggeratedly large versions of biker jackets are especially popular among the Stockholm style set, providing a fashion friendly alternative to bulky ski coats when weather turns chilly.
Showing up in both traditional and shearling-lined iterations, Stockholm’s women layer skinny, ribbed sweaters and waterfall cardigans underneath their leather outerwear. Swedish men style their motos with upmarket sweatshirts by labels like Yeezy for sports-influenced edginess, or contrastingly with cable knit fisherman’s sweaters for a touch of cozy preppiness. Boutiques in the upscale Stockholm neighborhood Östermalm teem with moto jacket options, and it's in this same area that you'll find Acne's flagship store.
Functional boots are a must for Stockholm residents — ideal for trekking through the narrow, medieval streets of Gamla Stan or Södermalm, the city’s densely populated creative hub. A practical heel and supportive sole are practical necessities, yet Swedes don’t sacrifice style for sensibility. Clog-like Swedish Hasbeens are a classic choice, of course, as are Chelsea style ankle boots. Decorative accents like grommets and wide buckles — such as those served up by directional line Toga Pulla — add Western inspired flair to the utilitarian standbys. Pull-on brogue boots and lace-up styles in distressed leathers adorn Stockholm’s fashion conscious men, footwear options which team as well with jeans as they do tailored suits.
Minimalist vs. maximalist shopping
Stockholm street style notably riffs on simplicity, with Swedes having perfected the art of minimalism. The city’s most stylish residents work a tonal palette of navy, black, white, and greys, using quality basics as the building blocks of their ensembles. Rich, combed cotton tees in monochromatic shades are wardrobe fundamentals, ripe for layering underneath one-button blazers or tucking into paper bag waisted trousers for a look of nonchalant elegance. Labels such as The Row produce tees and tops in natural fabrics with superior tailoring — a winning combination for Scandinavians’ lean-yet-cultivated fashion sense.
For all this talk of Swedes’ pragmatism and seeming lack of ostentation, Stockholm style isn’t ruled by a crop of plain white tees, selvedge denim and other cornerstones of a spartan-luxe wardrobe. Stockholm’s female fashion influencers certainly don’t shy away from audacity on occasion, adding irreverent touches such as fluffy fur stoles, pastel-toned sunglasses and electric-hued leather jackets to an otherwise spare and sophisticated outfit. Swedes have also fully embraced the costume-esque shirt dressing trend, teaming tiered sleeve button downs with ultra wide legged pants or jacquard fabric skirts for eye catching appeal. These classic-yet-dramatic looks lend themselves well to dinner at longstanding Stockholm establishments such as Den gyldene freden, the restaurant where the Nobel Prize-awarding Swedish Academy convenes for its weekly dinner.
Swedish men experimenting with their look, meanwhile, might opt for a brightly patterned sweatshirt — Alexander McQueen and Kenzo providing ample options — and metallic sneakers as eye-catching punctuations for their streetwear. The boldest of Swedish men may even don a printed suit as interpreted by labels such as Acne, with blazers and trousers embellished with paint-like splatters or featuring bold plaids with a dandy-friendly matching waistcoat. Such over-the-top ensembles are often found on vinyl-loving men who dig for vintage finds at record stores like Pet Sounds, or who hit the Stureplan district for a club night out.
Regardless of the direction Stockholm’s stylish residents lean, the common thread linking their collective aesthetic is comfort, both in their own skin and in the clothes they wear with seeming effortlessness. This quiet, composed confidence is perhaps the most important takeaway from Stockholm street style — carry trends with self-possession and a fearless desire to experiment with the newest waves of fashion trends.