How to dress kids the Swedish way
Aka how to thrive in winter
The weather is gloomy and the January blues are most definitely upon us, but the festive feeling doesn’t have to end, not according to our Scandi friends, who have become masters in cherishing the blistering chill of winter. Here’s how to breathe new life into these cold-weather months.
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Whatever the weather, get outdoors
There’s a Swedish saying that goes ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,’ which is why you’ll find them embracing nature and making the most of the great outdoors all winter long.
The layering principle, rätt klädd med lager på lager, can help you dress kids for all weathers. Here’s how to do it…
- Layer one consists of Merino or polyester base layers. These fabrics trap heat close to the skin, drawing cold moisture away, keeping the wearer dry and warm. This isn’t thermal underwear however. Buy dresses, tops and long johns which are perfect for inside the house once you’ve come in from the cold.
- Layer two is a middle layer of breathable fleece or wool. This keeps in heat under the outer layer and releases moisture. In less chilly weather, soft-shell jackets or fleece jackets can be worn alone, without the need for the third layer.
- Layer three is a wind and waterproof outer that protects against the elements. A padded winter coat is what you need, or a Polarn O. Pyret shell jacket to attach to layer two’s fleece jacket. These are designed so if you sit in a puddle, you won’t get wet. Polarn O. Pyret also make waterproof trousers which attach to their coats and hook over the kids’ feet to stop them riding up.
Finish off the layers with gloves, boots and a beanie hat, which can be worn under a hood. Kids will be ready for every adventure.
Take-home tip: With the right gear, you can all enjoy hours outside.
Establish cosy Fridays
Fredagsmys, which means Friday cosiness, is a widespread tradition in Sweden. On a Friday night the family gathers together and eats tacos, crisps and dip, and snuggles up on the sofa to watch TV. Taking into account long winter nights, Scandi interior design provides the perfect setting for a night in. Think mood lighting and luxurious texture.
Take-home tip: Establish one evening of the week as a family night in.
Make the coffee break intentional
Fika, meaning ‘coffee break,’ is a national institution in Sweden. But it holds more significance than just a literal translation. While it traditionally consists of coffee and fikabröd such as cinnamon buns, it can really be anything, as long as you’re sipping coffee, eating a baked treat and taking a break, as it’s more about pausing and making space; establishing the coffee break as a designated moment.
Take-home tip: In the business of weekend activities, designate time to eat as a family and share about the week.
Switch-up Pancake Day
Shrove Tuesday in Sweden is also known as Semlor Day. Instead of pancakes, semlor - cardamom-flavoured buns, filled with almond paste and cream - are eaten. So popular, they’re now enjoyed through all of Lent. Pancakes with jam and cream, however, will almost invariably be a restaurant children’s main course option throughout the year, along with meatballs and mash, and hot dogs.
Take-home tip: Make your own Pancake Day tradition.
Build an interchangeable wardrobe
Polarn O. Pyret and other Swedish kids’ brands are masters in playful patterns. Stripes, dots and bright colours are key and make for unisex pieces that can be mixed-and-matched. Kidswear is also designed with practicality at the fore. Super-soft fabrics that don’t lose their shape when washed, seams that can scarcely be felt, and easy-to-put-on garments; these features make clothes kids will want to wear – and life easier for you. Arm your children’s wardrobe with these and they’ll keep happy and stylish all winter.
Take-home tip: Think timeless patterns and bold colours for clothing that’ll work for passing on to friends.