I moved to Scandinavia about 8 years ago. First to Malmo, Sweden for almost 2 years then on to Copenhagen, Denmark where I live with my boyfriend.
As an east european girl, the nordic countries where a bit of a culture shock in the beginning and even now, from time to time I can’t understand certain traditions, or certain behaviours. After a couple of years, I realised that there are good things that I am happy about, but also some things that I simply cannot get used it. One thing is certain though, Scandinavia has left big imprint on my wellbeing, my job, my love life and my personal style.
So how did Scandinavia change my personal style?
I remember it like it was yesterday, the first day I and my cousin arrived in Sweden we saw a girl wearing a very nice white dress with a pair of converse. We were used to wearing dresses with loafers, ballerinas or heels but not with sneakers and certainly not converse. Scandinavian style is all about sneakers and combining comfortable with chic, something I easily adopted myself. I do have other types of shoes but I basically wear sneakers all the time with everything.
Even though Copenhagen is known for it’s colorful little houses and neighbourhoods, when it comes to fashion they are more limited. For the past 6 years, the color that I’ve see most in Scandinavian fashion is grey. Grey combined with black, grey combined with white and of course the usual black and white. This is definitely something I couldn’t integrate in my personal style, as I like my outfits to have a certain vibe and I like to brighten them up a bit. However, compare to how I used to dress when living in my own country, I definitely turned it down a lot. Maybe things are changing though. To my surprise I’ve started seeing a bit more color than usual in the stores, even from brands such as Ganni, Acne, 2nd day, Wood Wood and so on. Maybe they are being inspired by east European style?
Less is more
When I moved here, I came with 3 huge trolleys filled with clothes, and that was just my winter wardrobe. If I would be to leave now, I would easily fit all my clothes in one big luggage. How? Well, I stopped buying clothes that I don’t need and prefer to buy fever high quality items. If I have 3 pairs of black jeans, why should I invest in another pair? I don’t live minimalistic (even though my friends seems to think so) but I simply think twice before I shop. In order to not keep my closet from getting stuffed, I donate or recycle clothes if there is something I feel I won’t wear.
Layers, oversized and boyish looks
These days I live in oversized clothes. In fact for me the bigger the better (in clothes!), a shirt with a sweater on top is my go to daily combination, and boyish looks make me feel more myself. Here, my personal style definitely turned a full 360 degrees from what I used to wear before moving here. Because of the mix of cultures and the fact that Denmark is a country where you are very free to be who you want or do what you want, it has helped me develop my personal style and finally figure out what I like. I struggled with this for many years and truth be told, I copied a lot of other people’s styles and tried to fit in, but was not until I stopped caring what people think, that I found a style that I feel myself in. Boyish looks with suits, sneakers, short hair and big lips are my favourite of them all.
When it comes to accessories, less is also often better. Before I didn’t really pay attention to what kind of bag I would wear or how many rings I’d have on a hand, 7 at a time wasn’t unusual for me. Nowadays accessories is actually where I invest most of my money. When it comes to bags, jewellery, watches and so on, I lean more towards minimalistic and will invest a bit more in a good quality piece that I can use for a long time. And since we are talking accessories, I would like to especially thank Chris Copenhagen Watches for gifting me this beautiful Scandinavian designer watch. I really love black, simplicity and gold and this watch combines it all in a very elegant package. If you are looking for a great watch, check out the new collection on their website, HERE. The best part is that I got a voucher code MIHAB25 you can use if you go for it, offering you a nice 25% discount. (you can also find them on Uniwatches.co.uk)
So, as you can see, there have been several changes to personal style since moving here.
If 8 years ago you would have told me that I would be wearing a floral skirt with knitwear and red sneakers, I would have found it so inappropriate, these days, this style is my uniform.
** The watch was kindly gifted by Chris Copenhagen Watches but the opinions are my own**
Have you changed your personal style according to where you’re living? If so, did you find a personal style that allows you to feel more like yourself?