Lessons From Danish Fashion

Written by Sally Rohrer, DIS Fall 2017

The Dane’s style is as much a part of the landscape of Copenhagen as are the bikes and the quaint cobblestone streets. It’s undeniable that the Danes have a formula to fashion that can only be described as simple, functional, and modern. As someone who is interested in fashion, I was instantly drawn to their ability to make clothing practical for biking across the city, work, and then going out at night, all while looking chic and tailored. The more time I spent trying to replicate their precise formula of tailored neutrals and trousers, the more I realized that the Danish approach to fashion represents more than just the art of dressing, but a larger approach to life and living simply. The outfit that can function for both work, housework, and socializing represents, more broadly, the Danish value of work- life balance and the importance of making time for the family and friends, even in the midst of the busy day- to- day routine.

The Danish infatuation with neutrals is similar to their notion of hygge in the home; the environments we surround ourselves with, from homes to clothes, should be pleasing to the eye, comfortable, and cozy. Lastly, the simplicity of Danish style and its timeless quality represents their larger ideal of living with less things and, instead, filling their lives with people and experiences. Taking a page from the Danish formula, when I returned to my home in Wisconsin, one of the first changes I made was getting rid of excess clothes, donating almost 60% of what I owned, so that I could make room for more simplicity, experiences, and Danish hygge.