by Deborah Oomen
Practical tips for dressing like a Norwegian
It’s the land of Vikings, waffles, fjords, seafood, skiing, and brown cheese. But what to wear in Norway?
I traveled to Norway this past August to visit my sister Rebekah who’s doing research for her PhD. She lives in the small coastal town of Arendal, but I was amazed at the variety of landscapes seen in just my short visit: from the big city of Oslo, breathtaking fjords, coastal communities, and sheep filled plains.
As much as I took in the amazing scenery, it was also useful to take in how the Norwegians do style. By now my sister has learned a thing or two, and provided some insight for how to dress in Norway.
Keeping cosy is key
The winters can be long and dark, with only 1 hour of sunlight in the northern parts, and up to 6 in the southern half. Being cosy is a good way to keep away the winter doldrums and enjoy your days. A thick wool sweater, leather ankle boots and pants are a great daily uniform. Don’t be afraid to use your winter accessories to add some colour to the otherwise dark scenery! Here Rebekah wears a vintage traditional Norwegian sweater, and keeps her Canadian edge by pairing it with a bright red toque.
Norwegians are typically a very active and practical bunch, never willing to sacrifice their comfort for their looks. This doesn’t mean they go around in sweats on a daily basis, something that maybe I as a Canadian university student should learn from. There’s an easy way to be comfortable while still looking put together. Turtlenecks are making a comeback, and while you may be resistant they’re definitely worth giving a shot. Rebekah shows how paired with your favourite jeans, a cream turtleneck with take you through your day in comfort. Lip colour is a good way to give a neutral look a little boost. Lip stains work great if you want to keep things low maintenance, and most of them can double as blush.
Layers layers layers
On those extra chilly days you’ll want to be prepared. Rebekah takes a ferry into town, so she knows firsthand how to stay warm on windy open waters, but to refrain from sweating while enjoying your shrimp sandwich in the café. Infinity scarves are great for this, as you stay warm by simply wearing it hanging, or get extra bundled by double wrapping it. As I said Norwegians are quite active, so it’s important to have a solid pair of boots for walking up and down the hilly landscapes. It doesn’t snow a whole lot where Rebekah lives; so shorter and lighter boots are ideal. Leggings are a closet staple, as they provide comfort and coverage, and you could go straight from the grocery store to the gym without a big change.