Thursday, December 9, 2010

Swedish Fashion - Men's edition- 35+

OK, so last week we took a look at the uniform of the Swedish woman, so what about her male counterpart? Well, unlike female fashion, male fashion does seem to fit into two age groups. I will put the line at 35 years old, but I do suspect this could be shifted a little closer to 30.

The Swedish male faces quite a dilemma when it comes to the fashion front. Unlike much of the rest of the world, the suit is frowned upon in Swedish male fashion. It is considered stodgy, old-fashioned, and way to formal. So what does the Swedsih male wear to appear professional, serious, but still approachable and 'non-hierarchical'?

The answer that the Swedish working world seems to have arrived at is: jeans and a v-neck sweater or a polo shirt.

(A Ralph Laren ad that captures the typical Swedish look)

Yes, this simple attire can be seen on most male office workers – from engineer, to CEO.

The trick is simple, in winter, men should sport a comfortable pair of jeans, not too tight, not too baggy. And they should wear a warm v-neck sweater sweater with a logo on the chest. In the summer, a polo shirt will do. Ideally these sweaters should be red, green, blue, or yellow. If you are working in a University environment, black would also be acceptable.

These sweaters or shirts should be brand name. The most acceptable are Ralph Lauren Polo and Gant. Lacoste is also common in the spring/summer season. However, I would suspect that as long as your shirt had an logo of sorts on the chest, no one would question you too much. If they do, just tell them that you had it tailor made for you on a trip to Thailand.  


  1. Oh no, my husband is doing it all wrong with his nice black slacks and Brooks Brothers button-ups! Not that he would care. He thinks everyone at his workplace dresses way too casually, more so than you mention here. Holey pants, T-shirts. But these are IT people.

  2. I enjoy your blog. Is this also what people wear when not at work? Is this attire regardless of economic status?

  3. Thanks Joe,

    Yes, this kind of attire is probably just as common outside the office as well. Although, this is obviously white collar work wear. I would say this type of look is middle -to upper class.

    But again, this is a huge generalization, I'm sure there are several men, like antropologa's husband (and my own!) who fly in the face of this trend. I just notice this look more often than not when I'm at work and in meetings with a wide variety of folk.

    There is definitely a much more casual approach to business casual in Sweden.