Monday, May 10, 2010

Swedish Viking Fashion

It’s been a while since I discussed Swedish fashion here. It might have something to do with the fact that I wear the same white hoodie damn near every time I go out. And because describing that hoodie as white would suggest that the grayish tinge it has picked up is only temporary.

What it comes down to is me not really understanding. Which is funny, because several American friends back home have told me I have begun dressing very European. But this weekend was just a bit much for me.

I found myself at a concert Saturday night. An electro hip hop sort of thing that I’m sure the group (band?) would say transcends genres. Whatever it was, the synthesizer broke halfway through leading to an awkward pause in the middle with me thinking that perhaps they needed some sort of acoustic guitar to kill the time. Or a banjo. Considering the music, it might not have been a surprise that I felt a bit out of place from a fashion sense.

There were enough oversized black rimmed glasses to make Steve Urkel jealous. There were leather tights that looked like Batman would have had trouble getting into them. There were so many pirate striped shirts that I was reminded of my days building Legos. It was incredible.

After the Swedish electro hip hop I headed over to Gamla Stan and a bar that was featuring some country music. I had missed the live act but was greeted by several classics being played by the DJ. The dichotomy of the Swedish electro hip hop crowd and the Swedish country music crowd was impressive.

Instead of the electro hipster look, it was the country hipster look. A sort of hybrid between your classic flannel wearing cowboy and the ironic Swedish hipster. It looked exhausting and I was just glad that my tinged hoodie could transcend fashion. Much like Swedish electro hip hop.

But the night was not over. Because leaving the bar, a Viking walked right past me. He was wearing the long cloak, the tunic, he even looked to be wearing some leather shoes. It was amazing. And I stared. Probably creepily, but it was 1:30 in the morning and the guy was wandering around Stockholm in Viking garb. I thought my night was over though as I headed to my bus station. I was wrong. Because as I climbed aboard, I was met by the very same Viking. Despite not getting a good look at this face the first time, I feel fairly confident that not too many Vikings were out on the town. Clearly though, the tunic and cloak are back in style.

Welcome to Sweden. And Viking fashion.

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  1. Wow, any pictures to share? :-)

  2. Haha! Man, I laughed so hard when I saw your text when we got in! Did you get a chance to talk to him, or were you worried his old school Viking Swedish would be too difficult to understand?!

    Come on - when you got to the bar the funnily dressed ones were already gone! I'm thinking of the woman in her jute dress and the guys with their fake beards here... Or are you talking about myself and my bright pink silk top with running horses on it? Because I was complimented on it at that very bar, thank you very much! And it has buttons all the way down the back I'll have you know. Pink ones.

    And come to think of do wear that hoodie a lot. Good thing it looks good on you :)

  3. I don't know who was funnier, you or Terander. "I was just glad that my tinged hoodie could transcend fashion." LOL!!!!!!!
    The typical Swedish woman's uniform today: Long t-shirt (various colours and patterns), tights (like the ones you described, the oil-slick version, should not match the top in any way), big-ass scarf (again, should not match any other item of clothing), short, cropped leather jacket (typically black) and my all-time favourite, Converse sneakers (preferably in pink or white). How did I do?


    Im an American looking forward to moving to Sweden in a year or so and I just found your blog and love it alot. Keep up the good work!

  5. Funny post! I do have to say I love European and especially Stockholm style myself. I actually just did a blog post on style in Stockholm last week:

  6. man you kill me! another hilarious post. Though your description of the Swedish hipster sounds oddly similar to the LA hipsters too. . It's spreading across the world.

  7. you know what though, they might have the uniform of tight pants and stripey tops, but so many of them are so fit! And damn good to look at!!

    So come on, you know you can put up with it!

    Bright pink silk top, now that sounded intruiging!!

  8. Ok the viking outfit is definitely something, but no amount of Swedish hipster fashion can beat good old Korean fashion:

    Nothing like a vertical ponytail.

  9. maybe an drunk sports fan?:P
    after all its hockey vm in germany

  10. well, what did you expect Hairy. You momentarily forgot where you live? Don't worry, I wear hoodies too. I don't understand how they girls/guys can be comfortable in those clothes all the time. Where do they find time to put them together?!?!?!
    I'd kill to see a viking....

    @ swedish jen.. YOU GOT IT!! hahaha, the Typical swedish girl's outfit. so sick of the same look.

    @anon. Vertical Ponytail? oh dear god. (just watched the video). seems the bb and 2n1 tried to fit as many seizure inducing colors as possible.

  11. I also am a bit infatuated with beautiful Swedish men. Never been so lucky as to actually see one in a Viking outfit though.....maybe I will see one when I head to Stockholm in July. Hairy, maybe you can post photos of these stylish Swedes next time?

  12. Dude, I can't believe you missed not one but two vikings! You need to be quicker with the camera phone.

  13. @swedish jenn - you got the spring line covered. Add in bangly, dangly bracelets and you get MVG. The question is, have YOU bought converses yet? Hold out girl, they do make other shoes!

  14. @m8surf: I swear on my black flats that I have not succombed to the Converse Craze of Spring/Summer 2010 and I double swear that I will not. Though the short cropped leather jackets are tempting...

  15. @SwedishJenn: The Converse craze has been going on in Sweden for like the last 10 years so trust me, if you are planning on living in Sweden for like atleast 1-2 more years, you will have atleast 1 pair of Converse in your collection!

  16. Hi,
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  17. Tod
    i think you encountered a knight. hehe

  18. Hey!

    My name is Rebecka and I'm a Swede living in The US.
    I just found your blog and I've read every single post in the last few hours and I love it.
    Everything you write is so true and I love the posts about the difference in Alcohol, Fashion, drugs and of course how fucked up the criminal/justice system is Sweden is.
    I've lived in he US for 3,5 years now both in CT and CA and since Jan last year I've lived in West Hollywood and Hollywood. I love the sun :)
    Just wanted to say thanks for a funny and insightful blog!


  19. Sorry about the slow response on this!

    @Paola – unfortunately, no. I was afraid his Viking demeanor would not take kindly to me photographing him

    @terander – I did not try to speak with him. My old norse is not up to snuff so feared a breakdown in communication was inevitable.

    @SwedishJenn – I think you nailed it. It’s the uniform.

    @Adam – thanks, and I hope you get the chance to experience Viking fashion when you move over here.

    @missaucourant – they o have a very particular style. Although this one was a bit special…

    @esoteric – while my hoodie might transcend fashion, hipsters transcend borders.

    @rhubarb – unfortunately for me, the striped tops and tight pants were men at the club…

    @anonymous – wow.

    @anonymous – possible… but he looked more like a drunken history nerd stuck in the wrong time period.

    @Lost – its true. Momentary lapse. It happens. Clearly though, to see Vikings you need to be hanging around Gamla Stan in Stockholm.

    @Miss Au Courant – Ill see what I can do. There is probably a glorious photo blog opportunity just showing the Swedish style.

    @Stacy – Youre right. I have no excuse. I apologize.

    @m8 – LIAR! There is no other shoe than converse.

    @SwedishJenn – give it time…

    @anonymous – agreed.

    @Priscila – YES!!!! Last year I think I finished in the 90s.

    @anonymous – he was something alright.

    @Rebecka – thanks Rebecka! Glad youre getting some sun out there in California!