Menswear has traditionally taken a background role in the world of fashion, letting women mode reign the catwalks, column inches and shopping baskets. But over the last couple of years something has been brewing and these days menswear is as interesting – if not more – than the apparel made for women.
Leading the leading the pack are brands that come from the North – no not Newcastle, not even Scotland. We’re talking about brands that hail from the Nordic countries, the countries of snow, darkness and ingenuity. But why is Scandinavian menswear proving so popular on the isles known for their traditions?
Why are Scandinavian brands so popular among British men?
Anyone who has spent some time scouring the high street and internet for interesting menswear will have taken note of brands from Denmark, Norway and especially Sweden.
As a born and raised Scandinavian who is now living the life of an expat in my adopted home town of London – a modern day Viking, without the violence – it is fascinating to see the Scandi influence on British menswear these days. I won’t go into much detail about how amazing Scandinavian culture, lifestyle and designs are as this could be considered rude of me (but they really are).
But something of the Nordic minimalistic design has captured the interest of British men. Perhaps it is the focus on functionality (never underestimate the power of the humble fleece jacket when it’s minus 25 degrees outside!), as knitwear and weatherproof garments are seeing yet another season of popularity, combined with style and comfort.
The Scandinavian way of life
Of course the influx of Nordic flavour in all areas of life in recent years will have helped put the Norse firmly on the map: TV shows (The Killing!), furniture and housewares (Ikea is a favourite), music (think First Aid Kit and Sigur Ros), and not to forget the food and drink (meatballs, salmon, reindeer, sickly sweet cider).
It also helps that the hipsters and stylish geeks in London (and other cities) have embraced what us Norse consider practical mountain wear to be part of their uniform. Who doesn’t like a Fjellraven backpack for city hiking to the summit (read: riding a fixie bike to Dalston).
Whatever the reason is, as a Scandi expat, one thing is certain: Britain is starting to feel (even more) like home…
If you’re after some inspiration on which Scandinavian brands to include in your wardrobe, check out the gallery below. Just be warned, as with most Scandinavian things they also come with the price tag to match.
By Elisabeth Edvardsen | December 6th, 2012