Saturday, March 29, 2008

Swedish Jeans Fashion in Stockholm

Despite not being fashionable at all, being in Sweden seems to kind of lend itself to noticing some fashion trends. Swedes are all about being on the forefront of design and fashion. Sometimes they do an excellent job. Other times you see that the ‘80s are back or that jeans are so tight that you’re a little worried that someone’s junk is going to pop out. And take into consideration Austin Powers’ Swedish Made Penis Enlarger Pump (because what better way is there to judge the size of an entire nations sex organs than by Austin Powers movies?) and you realize just how tight the pants sometimes are.

And so, being thrown into fashion conscious Sweden I’ve started noticing something lately. Clearly I am a trendsetter in the Swedish fashion world. Because I wear jeans that I don’t need to peel off every night. Men’s jeans are getting looser here in Stockholm.

I have absolutely nothing to back this up. Aside from the last couple of days waiting for the train I’ve started noticing that my pants are starting to blend in much more. And not because I’m wearing tight jeans, but because the pants are getting a little baggier. And I am pumped. Now I can walk through town with my Levis on, bought in the US for a hell of a lot less than here in Sweden, without my clothes chanting USA! USA! USA!

What this means I don’t know. It means that I might fit in more with my clothes. It means that the Swedes might be moving away from the tightness of the clothes. It means I might be full of shit because I have no idea what I’m talking about and it just so happened I was surrounded by a few guys who also like their junk to have freedom. Either way though I was excited. It’s the little things really.


  1. The 90s is actully coming back so baggy pants are becoming fashion.

  2. The funny thing about you noticing jeans becoming baggier (which I totally buy, by the way) in Sweden is that here in the US, jeans are becoming much much tighter. And not in NYC or LA, but here in Roseburg. Every skater brat from 10 to 25 years of age has painted on jeans. For the first time, my jeans are baggier by comparison. What does this mean for you Hairy? I don't know. I do know you should be prepared when you visit your old hometown though. Consider yourself warned.

  3. slimmer jeans are definitely becoming the style in the U.S. (more evidence that the U.S. is about 2 years behind in fashion) but it's not that wide sweeping imo. It seems that the only folks that are wearing slimmer jeans are those that are young and into fashion and i'm pretty sure there are less of those guys here in the U.S. thern there are in Sweden!!
    I looked at the Acne Jeans Website (terrible name right?) and the swedish jean company is showing jeans a little more baggy but nothing drastic.

  4. Hairy, you are now in the right place at the right time, don't spoil it by moving back to the US! :)

    I look at our team at work and the baggy style is evident here. But this is not a very good cross-section of Swedish male population we have. No gucci boys here...

  5. I've heard on American shows that they think H&M it's "so trendy". Is it true? In Sweden H&M is just a place where you go and buy like one-colored t-shirts and maybe some other simple clothes like jeans because it's cheap! not because it's trendy. On fab 5 they said HM is almost too trendy so you gotta have clothes form other brands because otherwise you're too trendy. I laughed when I heard that... So maybe that's also more evidence that USA is behind in fashion.

  6. @ annika--I think that HM is trendy here in the states, but less so in major cities like NYC and LA, and mostly because we don't have 5 HM's per square block like in Stockholm. In the US, theres a bit of a backlash by men against fashion, which is especially noticible in their tendency to dress 'big'. The larger the city, the more fashion forward it seems to be. I would guess that it's similar in certain areas of Sweden, say up north, when compared to Stockholm. Fashion is just less of a priority I suppose.

  7. Allow me to step in here, not because fashion is my favourite topic, but anyway... Well, I live in Göteborg, a city of half a million people, and there are, let's say, 10 HM-stores tops. I know Göteborg isn't Stockholm, and I know that you grossly exaggerated on purpose, but there aren't THAT many HM-stores in Sweden. Mostly, i think, HM is trendy in USA and a lot of other parts of the world is because it's newer there and therefore, by definition, trendier than in Sweden where it's been around for ages. Btw, I think that Fab 5 (queer eye for the straight guy)-example was pretty funny too...

  8. @ anonymous - The ‘90s. I love it. Those were my glory years. Mostly because they make up the bulk of my life.

    @ the good doctor – thanks for the heads up. And I think it is obvious what it means for me. I will become a European fashion icon when I make my return to the US wearing baggier jeans.

    @travis – a good point about the fashion. But lets be honest, the way the fashions change here in Sweden is kind of exhausting.

    And Acne is quite possibly the worst name ever for a jeans company. I’ve never done more than walk by one of the stores near Norrmalmstorg but I’m just not sure how that name would work in the US if their target market were young teenagers. Probably not something they would want to associate cool jeans with.

    And you’re right. The jeans aren’t drastically baggy. Just comfortably baggy.

    @smek – you’re right. I need to ride this wave for as long as I can.

    And that might be a good sign… maybe the Gucci boys are falling out of favor. Which would be cheaper for most people to keep up with.

    @ Annika – Americans do think H&M is a bit trendy. But the thing is, here in Sweden it seems to be a bit trendy too. It’s amazing to see how H&M pops up a new color of one colored t-shirt in the window and within a month that color is everywhere. See the mustard yellow a few months back. And the fact that so many people do go to H&M for clothes that are cheapy kind of lends itself to the idea that H&M allows you to pop on a new t-shirt that goes with the changing trends. They react quickly and cheaply so a person can buy a shirt, wear it for a month, then when everyone realizes that mustard yellow looks like baby poop they can still afford to buy a new shirt. Or bag dress. Or pair of jeans. Or tights. It’s a glorious business model really.

    @the good doctor again – glad to see you popping in here because who are we kidding. Clearly I find myself in over my head in the fashion department. Although I am pumped that I must have noticed something with the baggy jeans based on the responses to a post that was only about 200 words long.

    And I’m going to agree with you on the size of the city and the tendency towards fashion. It is interesting… maybe the disposable income follows the larger cities.

    @robban – while I do exaggerate a bit to make a point the number of H&Ms in Stockholm is frightening. Within about a 2 km radius around Sergel’s Torg there is at least 5 H&M stores. I am dead serious. Probably more if you increase the size of that circle just a km or two. H&M’s website lists 32 stores when you search for stores in Stockholm. That’s a lot. Even for a pretty big city.

    And I am still going to say that I think H&M in Sweden is a bit trendy. Just because they are able to reach such a mass market. Not trendy as in “we started it” but trendy as in “we brought it to the people.” There is something to be said for that kind of trendiness.

  9. You're right, that's definitely a lot of stores but in most (except the 3 bigger ones) Swedish cities there are just about 1-3 H&M-stores and in good old Gothenburg it's not as H&M-dense as in Stockholm.

    I don't think H&M is trendy in Sweden, sorry. It's just too ordinary and plain. I have to go with Annika, most of the Swedes don't buy H&M-clothes for the trendiness of it but for the necessity of it. I mean, clothes (and pretty muche verything) in Sweden are quite expensive so H&M is popular because it provides cheap clothes to fill up our closets with, that aren't particularly trendy but not particulary "untrendy" (they're not completely reversed from the trends but they're very far from setting them) and looks alright. This is my hypothesis, at least. Never thought you could get so deep into a topic like clothes...

  10. Hairy--you will still dress like a dork when you come back home, so don't worry too much about it.

    Robban--doesn't the fact that lots of Swedes shop at HM (never been in one) make it trendy--the trend is that lots of folks buy their clothes there. Maybe not the top of the fashion world (we can't all be Per-Ulrik Johansson), but still trendy.

  11. I don't know, does it? many people shop at ICA or even Kupan, does it make them trendy?

  12. @robban - seriously. it's ridiculous. 32 stores. now granted a few of those are in stor-stockholm but still.

    @anonymous - why must we make fun? I am stylish. Im on the cutting edge of jean and denim fashion here in Sweden. Ive just been misunderstood as a fasion icon in the US.

    @robban and anonymous both - an excellent question. I suppose I am basing my judgement on them being trendy on the fact that so many people do buy clothes there but also on the fact that people were lining up for hours when they opened a new store (like Divided) here in sStockholm and when they offered the line of clothing by some fancy designer. Cavilli or Caviali or something along those lines. SOunds Italian.

    Of course I also kind of associate popular with trendy which might not be the case. I suppose something could be very popular and not trendy. Or vice versa.

    The real question is where are all of the Swedish fashion bloggers and experts when you need them. BEcause I'm pretty sure most of us don't have the slightest clue what we are talking about. I have jeans I was wearing in high school. Trends don't exactly govern my style of dress.

    Perhaps the good doctor could enlighten us a bit more. WHile living in Roseburg he seems to have a much better feel of fashion trends than I do.

  13. haha, those jeans been with you for a while, then... You've got a point, I'm not going to pretend that I'm a fashion expert but I just don't see H&M as trendy. You may be right, though, for the people who's really into fashion maybe it is.

  14. check out this picture blog called stockholm street style...basically they just take pictures of people ethat are trendy and or a bit out of the normal image!

    might be a good laugh for some of you!

  15. Travis, yeha it was a good laugh. Stockholm is weird...

  16. that was pretty glorious. frightening. but glorious. well done travis.

  17. Hairy--sorry, since you were mistaken for being my son, I've had an axe to grind against you and the jeans were my big chance.

    Perhaps since I am not in the least fashionable nor trendy I don't get it--is trendy fashionable and cutting edge, or is it popular (my original thought)--who knows and why in the hell have we all devoted so much space to discussing it??

  18. unfortunately we can't all be blessed with boyish good looks like myself.

    and my idea of trendy was always popular but clearly the swedes see it otherwise. or maybe anyone the least bit intune with fashion sees it otherwise. which excludes me.

    more important though is your final question. to which I have no answer.

  19. Oh my! I came to the site hoping to learn somthing about Swedish fashion., I have a business meeting the end of April and have NO IDEA what to wear. I work all over the USA and I understand that business meeting dress in Houston Texas is different than Business meeting dress in N.Y. However, jeams are never part of that.
    That said...can anyone guide a 50 year old woman who is slim, on professional dress in stockholm that makes a statement, i.e. confident, trendy, business, no-nonsense and modest...and NO..I am not looking for that "nanny" look.

  20. personally I cant be much help here. although someone might. who knows. I feel like you could probably get away with a NY business meeting look and be fine. but again. Im a 24 year old guy who doesn't really know much about the fashion stuff...

    although jeans in stockholm are often times considered part of the business meeting dress. tight jeans and a sports jacket are all the rage at just about every meeting I end up at. very interesting.

  21. Thanks Hairy, but there is not possibly enough Duct Tape in all of Walmart's that would make tight jeans look good on a 50 year old...
    In fact, I am inclined to belive that one witnessing such a sight may go blind.

  22. I should point out that tight jeans and a sports jacket is the mens style.

    but good luck with the fashion issues. hopefully somene out there can come with something better than what I've got.

  23. Anon__not sure what industry you are in or what level of people you"ll be calling on in Stockholm, but I'd bet you'll be safe going with the NY business fashion--better to be over dressed than under--this rule has saved me all over the world, although I've never been to Stockholm, so hopefully someone with more direct experience will chime in.

  24. Anonymous:
    If you are in a conservative business (non-internet) the business dress code in Stockhom is sport coat with a tie or a suit (with a tie)
    I like the jeans, sport coat without a tie as long as the jeans are not too tight

  25. anonymous - go with a matching skirt and jacket (kavaj in English?) in a beige colour and some shoes with heels. I don't claim to be a guy who's very much into fashion but I've seen a lot of business women wearing that in Sweden. Not too casual and not too strict, just "lagom".

  26. some excellent Swedish business fashion tips.

  27. Hello,

    Excellent. Do you know of any Swedish blog or website related to tight-jeans? I am collecting the list for my website (

    Thank you.

  28. I can still remember how those baggy jeans came to life in the fashion scene. I think it was bad.