8 Style Lessons We Can Learn From Scandinavians

As Autumn approaches, here's what we can all learn from our frustratingly well turned out Nordic brethren

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While the Italians have long been lauded for their "Sprezzatura", the French their crumpled laissez-faire and we - the British - for looking better than anyone else in tailoring, it's the Scandinavians who have quietly become Europe's most stylish tribe. 

With their muted mastery of texture and fondness for autumnal shades, the Northern Europeans have much to teach the rest of us - particularly at this time of year.

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From the right way to style your power coat to the Scandi brands that should be your first port of call this season, call the following your Norse Code. (Sorry).

1 | Buy a Power Coat and wear it with everything

A well-dressed local in Stockholm during Fashion Week
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It can get quite cold in cities like Stockholm and Oslo, so it's little surprise that well-dressed locals put particular emphasis on quality outerwear - especially single-breasted wool coats.

The best thing about quality long coats is that they easily elevate an outfit and fit with anything from white tees when it's warmer,to polo necks and knits when the mercury drops. The same goes for footwear, with battered trainers or pristine military boots both looking equally sharp or carefree - depending what you're going for - when sported with a Power Coat.

2 | Learn to Lagom

Understated streetstyle from Copenhagen Fashion Week

Lagom is a Swedish word and philosophy that translates to "Just the right amount", and can explain the Scandi disposition towards measured, muted clothing above ostentation, a way of living that makes particular sense during chillier months. 

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That means steering well clear of any and all brand logos, refraining from jumping on bandwagon trends and keeping colours within a subtle spectrum of blacks, greys, dark blues and earthy tones. No one likes a show off, especially in Scandinavia.

3 | Know your Nordic brands

Often overlooked in the wider fashion world, nevertheless countries like Sweden and Denmark are now producing sharp, contemporary fashion to rival the big names around Europe and New York. Here are five new and established labels that should be on your radar and what they specialise in.

Best for high-end outerwear, suiting and essentials: Acne Studios.

Best for knits, sweats and technical jackets: Norse Projects

Best for good value, quality jeans: Nudie Jeans

Best for streetwear and collaborations: Wood Wood

Best for formalwear and tailoring: Tiger of Sweden

4 | Experiment with cut and shapes

A looser fit from the streets of Stockholm

While they might not be as colour-oriented as other flashier cultures, the Scandinavians are experts when it comes to experimenting with fits and silhouettes. Take their cue and look at boxy fit jackets and wide-leg trousers in cosy materials like hopsack wool and melange cotton. Winter doesn't necessarily have to be all about black jeans, although you could certainly do worse.

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5 | Black, black, black and more black

Viggo Mortensen looking all dark and moody
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Like stereotypically well-heeled Parisians, stylish Scandinavians know that you can never really have enough black, especially now that autumn is upon us.

An all dark monochrome outfit (wool coat, black jeans and black boots are always a winner) offers the pleasing contradiction of making you look both sharp and effortless at the same time, and will also help to conceal any extra weight you might have accidentally put on over summer. 

It's ok, we've all been there.

6 | Love the layer

We don't advocate such a dramatic trouser turn-up, though

One of the best things about the end of summer is the chance to start layering again. Scandinavians are particularly skilled at this most noble sartorial art, able to easily incorporate several different jackets and knits into one look.

A great starter , which will help add shape and flair to an outfit, is to pair your denim or cord jacket underneath a longer wool coat. Bonus points if you can fit a knitted jumper or workshirt in as the base-layer. 

7 | Take care with texture

Alexander Skarsgård working it with some textured accessories.

It's easy to overlook the importance of texture when piecing together a look with multiple components, as you're likely going to have to do from autumn onwards. Scandinavians know how to mix and match their fabrics, incorporating chunky knits, fine merino wools and heavy denims into their day-to-day outfits. 

Focus more on high quality pieces in subtle colours, but made beautifully and out of interesting materials, rather than fast fashion items that will fall apart once exposed to some outside elements.

8 | Be very tall and handsome with a glacial gaze and razor sharp cheekbones

Thanks for nothing, Nikolaj.

Yeah there's not much we or Scandinavia can do here, we're afraid. Maybe get a new haircut?