Mareike Neumann offers Swedish style counsel

Mareike Neumann offers Swedish style counsel
Having a strong sense of style requires more than wearing any old t-shirt or listening to mainstream music, says 25-year-old Mareike Neumann. And style is something the Swedes have mastered.

“I think they are very chic here,” says Neumann, who is originally from Dortmund, Germany. “If you go to the university, in a lot of countries students put on a t-shirt and jeans. Here, a lot of people are very dressed up. They care a lot about their style and how they look, and I think they spend more money on their clothes here.”

Neumann first came to Sweden in 2007 for a semester to study political science in Växjö. She says she loved the country so much she has stayed for two-and-a-half years and now lives in Lund.

But her passion for fashion began long before moving to Sweden. As her mother was a tailor, she grew up with clothing being a regular part of everyday life.

“I have learnt a lot from her,” Neumann says of her mom. “We still talk a lot about it very often.”

Neumann says she finds inspiration in reading magazines in Swedish, English and her native German, plus takes hints from the general public and nightlife crowds. She says Swedes have a distinct style that is clean, neutral, and involves a lot of vintage clothing, but perhaps lack variety.

“I think a lot of people look very similar,” says Neumann. “I would like it if there was more diversity when it comes to style. If someone has a new haircut, in a few months everyone will have a new haircut.”

Her blog offers an insider’s perspective on hot deals, up-and-coming designers, bands to be heard and bargains to be found. Even though she’s a non-Swede, she says foreigners have a lot to learn about Swedish style and their trend-setting ways. She also mentions that fashion plays an often under-appreciated role in society, and can be linked to bigger issues.

“You can see and learn a lot about a society and its people if you look at their style and clothes,” explains Neumann. “If you look at fashion magazines at the moment, for instance, many journalists and designers are referring to the financial crisis.”

“I am aware that fashion is not the most important thing in the world,” she says. “But it’s fun to talk about it.”

See Sweden through Mareike’s Glasses

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