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Summer in Sweden: What’s going on

It's the end of the academic year, and SI News will be taking a summer break - just like you. But if you're staying in Sweden this summer, there are some great events you should know about!

Summer in Sweden: What's going on

Sweden's National Day, June 6th

Saturday, June 6th, is Sweden's National Day. National Day was first recognized officially by the government in 1983, but it only became a public holiday in 2005, after years of debate. These days, the royals celebrate the day by taking a carriage procession from the Royal Palace in Stockholm to Skansen. The Swedish flag is raised and bouquets are given to the Queen and princesses.

A growing tradition is for town halls up and down the country to hold citizenship ceremonies for new Swedish passport holders – in fact, this is often the aspect of National Day that attracts the most media coverage.

You could go to Skansen or just have a picnic in a park. Of course, you can also celebrate with a big party, like the annual Mosquito Beach Party celebrating diversity in Stockholm. 

Stockholm's International Street Market 2015 – June 6 – June 20

Just because you're staying in Sweden doesn't mean you can't have an international summer. The International Street Market will feature food, crafts,  and more from 15+ countries around the world, so be sure to get a taste at Geraud Markets Sweden's Award-winning outdoor market!

Eco Now Event – June 12 – 13

Eco Now organizes one of the largest exhibitions in Europe communicating a more sustainable future. During two days the Royal Park in Central Stockholm is filled with the latest products, projects and innovations from the sustainable and organic driven market. Read more here.

The Royal Wedding, June 13th

Have you heard about the engagement of Prince Carl Philip? He's marrying his girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist on June 13th. There will be much pomp and circumstance, and plenty of pictures in the paper if you can't make it. Read more about the happy couple here

Midsummer's Eve, June 19th

Midsummer is the biggest holiday of the year in Sweden, and can be celebrated anywhere in the country. Don't miss our guide to the top ten odd Swedish Midsummer traditions, and a more detailed explanation of the holiday, and another eight great things to do in Stockholm this summer

Almedalen Week on Gotland, June 28 – July 5

Almedalen is Sweden's largest political event, and thousands of politicians, lobbyists, journalists, and other organizations will gather in Visby, Gotland, at the end of June. Read more here, and another explanation here.

The parliamentary parties each have a day in the week according to a rolling timetable. The parties’ days often begin with participation in early morning TV broadcasts and breakfast meetings. The parties usually hold their seminars in the morning, starting at 09.00. 

The parties have all of Almedalen at their disposal on the day on which they are speaking. Many choose to organize different types of events during the day or in connection with the speech, which is often made at 19.00. On the concluding Sunday, the speech is held around midday.

Summer events in every city 

Summer doesn't have to be expensive. Make sure to join these guides for many events, even free ones, all summer long in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, and Umeå

World Water Week 2015 – August 23 – 28

The programme of 2015 World Water Week consist of over 160 events and 8 workshops. During the 90-minute events, the most relevant topics relating to “Water for Development” will be discussed – i.e. Financing, SDGs, Integrity, Gender issues, Climate Change, Energy, Sanitation, Food, Conflict Resolution, and Water Management.

Download the pdf version of our programme or visit the online programmewebsite to find out more about the topics that will be covered during World Water Week.

For members

CULTURE

‘Don’t wear bright colours’: Eight tips on how to dress like a Swede

Swedes have an international reputation for dressing well, with Scandi style a popular trend outside Sweden. The Local asked Swedes and foreigners living in Sweden to try and figure out the best tips and tricks for how to dress like a Swede.

'Don't wear bright colours': Eight tips on how to dress like a Swede

Black is best

When asking several Swedes their top-tips on how to dress like a Swede, many agreed – wear black.

Young professional Tove advises to keep it “all black, minimalist”. Uppsala newspaper columnist Moa agrees: “Wear a lot of black clothes and DON’T wear sneakers or ‘comfortable’ shoes, like running shoes, with dresses.”

Black is a neutral colour and, in general, if you get the neutral colours right you have got a long way in following the Swedish style. 

Neutral colours and a lot of knitwear is a good starting point. Photo: FilippaK/imagebank.sweden.se

Stay neutral 

Sweden might be saying goodbye to hundreds of years of neutrality by joining Nato, but Swedish fashion maintains its strong neutral stance when it comes to colour combinations.

Generally speaking, in autumn and winter Swedes tend to wear darker colours, as Sharon put it: “lots of beige, grey, black and ivory knits or wool. Jeans black or any shade of blue. Black tights with white sneakers for skirts and dresses”.

“Swedes in general will wear black and navy together which I’ve not seen before,” she added.

However, as the weather gets warmer, things change, as half-British half-Swedish Erik explained: “in summer/late spring Swedes change shape and personality,” adding a bit more colour to their wardrobe.

“Lots of colours yet still somewhat monochrome,” he said.

Most Swedes don’t wear a tie at work. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Follow the news trend, drop the tie

Nils, a reporter and presenter for public broadcaster SVT in western Sweden, does not always wear a tie in front of the camera – and he said his colleagues on national news don’t wear ties either.

“It’s not a must,” he said.

A blue shirt, no tie, top button open, beige chinos and a grey dinner jacket is the look he chose when presenting the evening news a few weeks ago.

Nils Arnell presenting the news on SVT Nyheter Väst. Photo: Nils Arnell/SVT

On a day to day basis Nils, who stressed that he’s “not a fashion expert”, gave the following advice: “As long as you manage to dress in a neat style, you can get away with quite a lot.”

“A white t-shirt and an overshirt work well in most situations and look stylish.”

Stay classy, even in class

Engineering student Erik (not the same Erik quoted previously) recently returned to Sweden from a one-year exchange at Birmingham University, where he noticed a big difference in student style between the two countries.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that on university campus there are so many people wearing work-out clothes, at least where I was”, he said.

“In Sweden, it’s more common to wear jeans than tracksuit bottoms, compared to the UK”. 

It’s also common to see a difference in styles even between departments at Swedish universities. The law and economics departments, for example, tend to wear more formal attire with a higher number of students wearing shirts and polos than, say, social sciences or engineering students.

Many students seem to wear a toned-down version of what they might be expected to wear in their future workplace.

When in doubt, think Jantelagen!

Equality and conformity are important concepts when it comes to many aspects of day-to-day life in Sweden, including the clothes you wear.

This doesn’t mean you have to do exactly the same as everyone else, but more that being too flashy or over-the-top can be frowned upon.

This can be traced back to Jantelagen, “the law of Jante”, a set of 10 rules taken from a satirical novel written by Danish author Aksel Sandemose in the 1930s, which spells out the unwritten cultural codes that have long defined Scandinavia.

Jantelagen discourages individual success and sets average as the goal. It manifests itself in Swedish culture not only with a ‘we are all equal’ ethos but even more so a ‘don’t think you are better than anyone, ever’ mindset.

And this is seen in Swedes’ attitude to clothing, too. Flashy, expensive clothing with obvious logos or brands designed to show off your wealth breaks the first rule of Jantelagen: “You’re not to think you are anything special”.

‘Stealth wealth’

This doesn’t mean that Swedes don’t wear expensive clothes, though. They’re just not in-your-face expensive.

Felix, a podcaster from Stockholm describes it as “stealth wealth”, saying that Swedes would have no problem buying and wearing “a black jacket without any tags for 10,000kr”. 

Despite living in Sweden his whole life, he said that it’s not always easy to get the style right.

“I’m struggling myself,” he admitted.

He suggested taking a look at fashion blogger and journalist Martin Hansson for inspiration on how to dress. 

“Do NOT use bright colours,” Felix added.

Birkenstocks with socks. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT

Footwear

Most of those we asked said that Swedes are a fan of white trainers, most commonly Stan Smiths or Vagabonds.

With the shoes being popular all year round for men and women, this can cause issues at house parties – as Swedes take off their shoes when they come inside.

This inevitably results in confused guests at the end of the night trying to figure out just which pair of white trainers belongs to them – and trying to find one missing shoe the next day because someone accidentally walked away with one of yours is more common than you might think. 

Vans trainers are also popular amongst more alternative crowds (black of course). At work, dress shoes are popular in the winter and loafers or ballerinas in the summer.

In the summer months, you’re likely to see Birkenstock sandals on men and women. Most Swedes wear Birkenstocks without socks – unless they’re off to do their laundry in their building’s tvättstuga.

Birkenstocks are also popular as indoor shoes all-year-round, both at home and at work. It is common to have a “no outdoor shoes” policy in gyms, schools and some offices. This is to avoid bringing a lot of dirt indoors, especially in the winter months when there is snow, rain, grit and salt on the streets.

H&M’s then-CEO Rolf Eriksen wears colourful socks at a press conference in 2006. Photo: Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/SCANPIX/TT

Don’t forget the socks!

As you often take your shoes off indoors in Sweden, your socks are visible.

This has led to an unexpected trend for colourful socks with interesting patterns, which are a great way to break the monotone of neutral colours and conformity by expressing your personality – in a lagom way, of course.

A pair of colourful socks or a playful pattern will get you noticed and likely be a conversation starter at a dinner party.

What’s your best advice for dressing like a Swede? Let us know!

This article is based on the responses we received from Swedes and foreigners in Sweden on what they think you should wear if you want to follow Swedish fashion trends.

If you have any tips of your own which you think we’ve left out, let us know! You can comment on this article, send us an email at [email protected], or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @thelocalsweden

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