Hygge meets fashion: a guide to Danish style

Jun 22, 2024 | 1 comment

If you’re new around here then hi, I’m Signe – A Danish slow fashion advocate, and today I want to talk you through a topic that is, naturally, close to my heart: Danish fashion & style.

Before we get into it, because I feel like people take some things on the internet a little too literal sometimes, please have an open mind and a kind heart when you’re reading this post; I’m not saying all danish people dress the same or like what I’m about to present to you at all, I think that’s the beauty of the internet – people get inspired from allover the world and they dress in whichever way they want, and Danish people are as diverse as many other places on this planet. However I do think that many people in Denmark will relate and agree to some of these things and if you’re a foreigner looking to either visit denmark, maybe even live here, or maybe you’re just curious about how a lot of people in Denmark put together their outfits, then I hope you’ll enjoy this guide!

Hygge meets fashion

Hygge is a topic I’ve been touching on from time to time on my YouTube channel, and I truly think one of the things that make Danish fashion so wonderful, is joining that fuss-free, laid back, cozy and warming feeling you connect to the essence of hygge with personal style. 

Some people might refer to it as normcore, others might just look at it as well, that’s Danish style – either way a great pair of jeans, sneakers and good quality sweaters are truly staples for a lot of Danish people and these are items you can wear all through the year because the weather here can be quite unstable even during summer time. Denmark is renowned for a casual atmosphere and the dresscode is not much different from that.

Casual is key

Following on from the previous point, casual is key when it comes to danish fashion. Some people might even find this way of dressing a little bit sloppy. Of course Danes like to dress up as much as anybody else, but you wont see that many 3-piece suits when you walk through the streets of Copenhagen for example. I talk about contrast dressing all the time and I think one of the secrets behind getting that “Copenhagen look” is to make sure you add a few casual elements to your outfits at all times. Whether that being adding a pair of sneakers to a suit if you’re going out for cocktails or wearing a pair of baggy jeans with your most fancy sparkly shoes, never forget that laid-back element in your outfits to really play on that casual vibe. Adding a quirky element like a colourful bag or a pair of unusual statement earrings or a one-of-a-kind vintage piece to the look is also something I think a lot of people enjoy, as a laid-back way of adding a touch of personality to the look.

Keep hair & makeup low maintenance

Especially if you’re wearing something a little more coordinated and dressy, keeping makeup and hair low key and rather casual and undone is key to not lose that laid-back Danish look. Again, remember how I talked about the contrast between dressy and casual – if your outfit is more streamlined we can inject some of that casualness back into the look by keeping hair and makeup more plain and simple, maybe even on the verge to “I just rolled out of bed”. So instead of going all in with a perfect updo, maybe keep the hair down, scrunch in a bit of saltwater spray or maybe keep it to a low-key blowdry for a slightly more loose and natural look and they make sure to keep makeup light, glowy and simple. For example you could go almost bare on the eyes and then just pop a lipstick on. Vice versa if you’re going more glam with hair and makeup don’t forget those casual elements in the outfit itself as mentioned before. For everyday lots of people actually wear no makeup or very close to, and again a quick spray with some saltwater or just a low messy bun is something a lot of people will opt for during weekdays.

(more tips below the photos)

Layers, layers, layers!

Now as mentioned earlier, the weather in Denmark can be quite unpredictable but one thing is for sure: it rains a lot. According to The Danish Meteorological Institute the average yearly temperature in Denmark is around 9,1 celsius degrees. We have four seasons here: winter, spring, summer and autumn so of course the temperatures will shift with the seasons, but even during summer you’ll find that you need a good sweater or similar for layering because those summer evenings can get quite chilly. So the key to Danish style is layering for sure. During winter that could be wear some good quality wool thermal underwear, wool socks and of course scarves which I think is also a lovely detail in an outfit. Keeping it super functional and practical I’d also recommend investing in a good quality raincoat and maybe even a pair of nice wellies.  Make your practical pieces a more core part of your outfits instead of putting them on as an afterthought which may make the look slightly more frumpy, is key. 

Black

Although it’s quite popular to wear a pop of colour (or even a colourful look from head-to-to) on the streets of Copenhagen, you’ll also notice that Danes love wearing black. I’m personally on a bit of a journey to break out of this because I just think that sometimes it looks a little too similar to what everyone else are wearing, I don’t think black looks that good on me either necessarily, and so I love playing around with other – still super wearable and timeless, maybe even just as boring alternatives – like navy, charcoal and pewter. But I’ve also discovered how versatile sage green is for example. Having said that of course black is still, and probably will always be, part of my wardrobe in some way and it is for a lot of danish people too. And don’t get me wrong I do think an all black look is super chic, very dramatic and the thing is that it doesn’t take much effort, it’s timeless, practical, easy to style, feels fuss-free which ticks all the boxes for danish style and I think that’s exactly why so many people here love wearing black.

 

“The wrong shoe”

Stylist Allison Bornstein is very known for her “wrong shoe theory” which basically means that you pair shoes with outfits that you perhaps wouldn’t have in the first place. To me this is another way to practise contrast dressing, which as mentioned earlier is SUPER important for a lot of Danish people, especially to ensure that laid-back, casual feeling of the outfit. So if we were to work with this according to the “wrong shoe theory”, when you wear a dressy outfit for a special occasion, your first thought will be to keep it dressy through-and-through. If you’re wearing a cute little dress for going out, instead of wearing that with your just as cute strappy heels, maybe you opt for a pair of super cool cowboy boots instead. Or instead of wearing sneakers with your jeans and sweater, you wear a pair of sparkly heels with that, because it adds an unexpected touch and that’s the whole essence of Allisons truly genius “wrong shoe theory”. Lots of people in denmark will wear sweaters, baggy jeans and flipflops for example, during transitional seasons or just again if the weather is acting up and being unpredictable and I think this is another great example of pairing “wrong shoes” (or simply following contrast dressing principles) with a certain outfit, usually people will wear flipflops to the beach and not as a core part of the outfit, and I do think that specific outfit I just mentioned is super Danish.

 

1 Comment

  1. Allie

    Every post is showing the “10 minimal summer capsule staples” post for me, not sure why!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

A year with no shopping: here’s how it went

A year with no shopping: here’s how it went

Back in 2021 I decided to try a so-called fashion focused low buy challenge under the hashtag #2020wehaveplenty. The challenge itself actually went okay, but by the end of the year I remember being quite shocked of how many pieces ended up finding their way...

Slow fashion brings you more peace: here’s why

Slow fashion brings you more peace: here’s why

Fashion and psychology are connected on so many levels; not only when looking at the complexity of different societies all around the globe, but also the way we all as individuals feel when we’re dressed in clothes that are a true reflection of who we are - or who we...

My autumn capsule wardrobe 2022

My autumn capsule wardrobe 2022

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb4_3k5-RVI ► ITEMS/PRODUCTS FEATURED OR MENTIONED (Might only be SIMILAR due to availability, as many of my wardrobe staples are older or bought 2ndhand. I do my best to find eco-friendly alternatives) ADLINKS ARE MARKED WITH A *...

What to pack for a spring weekend away

What to pack for a spring weekend away

JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content. Packing light is something I've been striving to do for years, in fact ever since I started building capsule wardrobes (and I started experiencing the true benefits of minimalism) I...

5 style tips to always look chic

5 style tips to always look chic

For mig handler personlig stil ikke blot om, at give et godt førstehåndsindtryk eller at udtrykke hvem jeg er til omverdenen, uden brug af ord men blot gennem min påklædning. Det handler i ligeså høj grad om, at føle mig godt tilpas og mere selvsikker. Her får du en...