Sweden, the land of in between. The middle.
Not too much one way and not too much the other way. Just safe — right in the middle.
That is what you grow up striving for in my home country. You don’t want to be seen as someone abnormal. Someone who doesn’t look like everyone else; because what will your neighbours think? What will your manager think and most importantly, what will your friends think? You don’t want to be seen as an outsider — as someone who doesn’t fit in. It is more safe and comfortable to just fall back in line.
When it comes to fashion, this is definitely the guidelines most people follow in Sweden. We all know that it is the land of minimalism. Most of us dress well and presentable but that is probably it. There is no fun, there is nothing loud. No extra.
BUT then it comes to me, or people like me. The creatives, the outsiders. The weird people no one really knows what they’re doing for a living. For as long as I can remember I’ve pretty much been stared at from head to toe when I walk around the streets of my hometown. Now, this is not because I have bright pink hair nor because I’m 7 feet tall. It’s simply because I’m not a minimalist. I wear big hats and platforms; bright colours and accessories I found in my gran’s wardrobe — what I think looks different — what suits me and what makes me feel good about myself. I express myself through my clothes. Because of this a black jumper and a black pair of jeans just won’t do it for me.
Today, however I gladly take those interested, confused, surprised and sometimes not very nice stares because it proves to me that I stand out. That I don’t look like your next-door neighbour and that I would probably be mentioned among your friends. It makes me straighten my back even more, and lets my teeth show when I smile.
It makes me proud of who I am and whom I’ve become.
But, then of course — which is worth mentioning — I have a uncountable amount of friends that absolutely rock the minimalistic style, and I will let you in on their secret. They make it extra with accessories, layers, statement pieces or glorious makeup. These subtle additions make something more out of their look to make it more interesting. And, they still go under the radar and survive the day without any public attention because believe me, I know that not everyone appreciates random glances. But with this said I just wanted to push the fact that there are ways for you guys to look more fashionable too but bare in mind, true minimalism is way harder to reach than maximalism.
However, I think the Swedish population should fast forward to the century we’re actually in, the 21st. People should be able to dress exactly how the want, exactly how they feel without Hans, 57, giving you a stare-down. They should be happy that they dare to be different, or not, dare to stand out, or not. I take the stares as compliments, as achievements even though it’s hard with the not so nice ones. After all they could be staring because they wish they had the guts to express themselves in the same way. At least that is what my Mum has been telling me whilst growing up. True or not, that is what I believe. You should be able to wear whatever you feel most confident in.
4 Swedish Creatives toWatch
Here are a few creative personalities of Sweden you should get to know. And believe me when I say that these people bring so much more to the table, than a black jumper and a black pair of jeans.
Amazing, colourful, new thinking photographer and model who’s gotten a lot of attention lately.
She buys most of her clothes at second hand shops and turns tacky to fashionable. Who would’ve thought that this ensemble could look so good?!
Probably would’ve gone under the category of hipster, but man that girl can put together outfits.