What We Can All Learn from Scandinavian Style

FashionThe Volume IssueTV & Film

What We Can All Learn from Scandinavian Style


This article is part of  The Volume Issue, The WALK’s Fall 2017 theme, which seeks to explore every aspect of the concept of “volume,” one of which is the return of ~voluminous~ silhouettes like Scandinavia’s oversized style.   

Anonymous Drop Cap 1f you’ve ever heard of or watched the viral Norwegian TV series called Skam, you may have noticed that the show displays some of the most iconic Scandinavian fashion trends of the decade. What really captured the audience’s attention in this series was the realistic depiction of what people usually wear in Oslo; you will see people wearing oversized wool sweaters on the streets all the time. A closer look into Scandinavian fashion shows us that it actually has more to offer than the deluge of Kanken backpacks you can often spot on the show.

In what some may call the perfect blend of comfortable and chic, many wonder how the actors can look so effortlessly interesting, as evidently demonstrated through multiple internet threads and discussions. More than a few viewers of Skam have been utilizing the almighty powers of Google or Reddit to research Scandinavian fashion, getting their share of oversized knit sweaters, turtlenecks, and wool coats.


Here is a compilation of styling tips to truly master some of the most effective elements of Scandinavian style:

  • Layering – In reference to the wise words of Skam’s stylist, “Layer, always layer.” Layering is effective not only to cozy yet comfortable look, but to scale up or down any essential pieces in your wardrobe (example: wearing a crisp shirt underneath a sweater, or a hoodie under a large sweater to give a edgy vibe)
  • Oversize in the right fabrics – Some excellent choices include cashmere, wool, silk blends, leather, suede, and denim. Important characteristics to look for are fabrics that can last long and preferably gain character and interesting qualities over time. The boxy fit of clothes can often be seen on girls, adding a boyish yet still feminine look to the outfit.
  • Add a twist – On the surface, these outfits may seem plain, simple, and boring, but there is always another level of dimension to them that makes it unique and interesting. For instance, a sweater may have a ribbed detail or fine lining that accentuates its style and makes it original.
  • Always minimalize – The minimalism movement has captivated Scandinavian fashion for a long time now, and even with beauty trends, this shift towards simplicity with a twist can be seen. Keeping it fresh and easy is key. For instance, girls often wear bold red lipstick, but keep the rest of the face quite natural, or put on fancy eyeshadow, but leave the rest of the face bare to highlight what they truly want to emphasize.

Finally, some wardrobe essentials to make sure you can play the part:

  • An everyday tote bag.
  • A large oversize grey knit sweater.
  • Various turtlenecks.
  • White shirt and denim – never going out of style.

In short, Scandinavian fashion has been on the radar of the global fashion scene for a while now, and the influence of the media is expected to propel it further into international trendsetting stardom in the future.

Images courtesy of NRK TV and Skam