An American Approach to Fashion in Scandinavia

Before coming to Copenhagen, I attempted to wrap my head around Scandinavian fashion trends. I was so excited, I even created a Pinterest board with inspiration for what I thought “typical Scandinavian fashion” entailed. After living here for a month and attempting to fully immerse myself in the fashion trends of Copenhagen, I think I can finally diagnose what “typical Scandinavian fashion” is. This post will outline what I believe to be the most important components, and correct some of the original assumptions I had about Scandinavian fashion.


I originally thought that the 70s curtain-bang blowout style would be the most popular style in Copenhagen, mostly because of the popularization of influencer Matilda Djerf in the last year. Djerf is originally from Sweden and is known for her voluminous hair and curtain bangs. She has become increasingly popular in the U.S, so I figured that she would hold the same influence in Scandinavia, I even got her haircut before coming here. While her clothing line and hairstyle are popular here in Copenhagen, I rarely see big blowouts during the day. It seems as if the sleek, slicked-back hairstyles are worn more often: ponytails, braids, claw clips, bubble braids, buns, all of it. These styles are fairly low-maintenance but still chic, so it makes sense, especially with biking culture taken into account, that these styles would be favored over something like the 70s blowout which requires a lot of upkeep and hairspray.

me sporting the slicked-back bubble braid

Color Palette

In my original Pinterest board, I added a lot of outfits with a lot of pastel colors. That seems to be pretty consistent with my observations on the streets of Copenhagen, but I also see a lot more neutrals than I was expecting. I often see outfits composed entirely of pastel colors or entirely of neutral colors, with very little mixing. This is something I had to get used to but actually really enjoy. I like being able to pair pieces from my wardrobe that I would never have thought to wear together in the U.S.. I typically opt for the pastel route: green top, blue pants, pink shoes, etc.

One of my favorite pastel pairings: pink & green


If there is one fashion trend that I always see without fail in Copenhagen, it’s the flowy dress. I’m convinced almost every woman in Copenhagen owns a dress of this variety. I’ve seen them with and without sleeves, long and short, colorful and neutral, patterned and plain. The possibilities are endless. I’d say this style is most prevalent in women aged 25-60 and I’ve seen this specific style of dress in almost every Copenhagen clothing shop I’ve been in.

Fast Fashion and Trend Cycles

Despite the mostly timeless and sustainable fashion trends in Scandinavia (like the flowy dress), the American tendency to over-consume fast fashion brands is also present among younger Danish teens especially. Brands like H&M and Zara are widely consumed and the fast-fashion trends recently popularized in America like the Y2K resurgence are noticeable in Copenhagen street style. While Copenhagen is generally a very sustainable city, I’ve noticed that most of the options for secondhand shopping are quite expensive. However, recently I have been visiting the Veras Flea Market on Sundays, which has extremely affordable options. To anyone searching for a place to shop second-hand in Copenhagen, I strongly suggest Veras Market.

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