Many people aspire to dress Scandinavian, and rightly so.
The Scandi girl style just exudes effortless elegance and casual comfort with a feminine touch. It’s the definition of pure casual elegance – an exciting yet popular mix that inspires millions of fashion enthusiasts every day.
There’s good news and bad news right here: if you leave out or ignore this one essential, crucial component, you’ll never truly look like a Scandi girl.
BUT: the good news is that after reading this blog post, you’ll know better and be able to improve your dressing style 10x right away.
Table of Contents
Let’s Reveal the Secret: It’s All About Button-Down Shirts/Blouses
What are Button-Down Shirts?
Button-down shirts, also known as blouses for women, are popular clothing items that can be found in the closets of almost every Scandi girl.
The term blouse is derived from the French word “blouse,” which means “carter’s smock, dust coat” when translated correctly. In the nineteenth century, a blouse was a garment worn over the armor of French crusaders.
The versatility of a blouse or even a button-down shirt is its advantage. Almost no other piece of clothing is as versatile as they are. It’s available in every conceivable shape, color, and cut.
It’s simple to combine and can be tailored to the wearer, an occasion, or an entire look. And it’s a staple in Scandinavian women’s wardrobes because it can be worn timelessly classic, feminine elegant, or sporty fashionable.
Because of the current oversized trend, button-down shirts/blouses gain a certain amount of casualness, which is one of the main motifs in the Scandi Girl style.
What’s the Distinction Between Button-Down Shirts & Blouses?
The button-down shirt, which originated in men’s fashion and has a straight fit, is the blouse’s masculine counterpart. However, this doesn’t imply that women don’t wear it as frequently as men these days. Indeed, it’s now a recognized unisex garment that isn’t associated with any gender.
Button-down shirts create a casual look, whereas the blouse usually creates a feminine, elegant overall look.
In Scandi girl style, button-down shirts with a casually falling cut are usually preferred to make it as comfortable as possible while still maintaining the chic style of a button-down shirt.
When it comes to materials, blouses and shirts are almost identical. Both designs are available in a variety of lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk.
And Why Are They so Important for The Scandi Girl Style in the First Place?
The Scandi style is defined by a combination of feminine elegance and the casual comfort of high-quality fabrics.
This combination may appear contradictory at first, and spoiler alert: it is; however, it’s precisely this contradiction that makes the style so interesting and versatile.
Button-down shirts and, in rare cases also blouses are the only garments that manage to strike this balance of elegance and casualness. There is hardly another piece that is so contradictory in its own right while also being so high-quality and timeless.
Now, perhaps the audacious title makes more sense to you. 😉
What to Look for When Purchasing a Button-Down Shirt
So, now that we know that nothing goes without button-down shirts in Scandi girl fashion, we need to know what to look for when we go looking for the next little treasure in our closet.
1. The Greater the Proportion of Cotton/Linen/Silk, the Better
Because synthetic fabrics are almost despised in Scandinavia and simply ruin your elegant appearance, it’s critical to pay attention to quality.
Of course, it’s preferable if your button-down shirt has a “100% cotton tag,” but a high percentage of more than 90% is also acceptable.
Linen or silk are also good choices for a high-quality button-down shirt.
Wool can be just as good in winter – again, the more wool content the higher quality of the piece.
2. The Denser the Fabric, the Better
You’re probably thinking that this isn’t such a good idea in the summer, and you’d be right.
But, in my experience, this isn’t the most serious issue because the materials we just mentioned are temperature regulating, sweat-wicking, and air-permeable. As a result, the thickness is initially secondary.
However, thickness is critical for the following reasons:
We usually iron our button-down shirts because creases and dents make them look half as nice. However, due to the intense heat, the shirt thins out over time, becoming more transparent and lighter on its own.
That is something we want to avoid! As a result, don’t be afraid to wear thicker shirts!
Furthermore, thicker shirts simply fall better because they provide more support. Wrinkles or creases are less likely to appear here, and it doesn’t fall limp but retain their beautiful shape.
In addition, the thicker fabric appears to be of higher quality and more elegant.
3. At First, Stick to Simple Colors & Designs
Yes, I am aware that there are so many different types of button-down shirts that it’s easy to become perplexed. But don’t let that deter you from focusing on minimalist pieces, especially at first.
Colors like light blue, white, or light pink are ideal for the beginning because they’re bright and minimalistic and can be combined with almost anything.
This makes it easier to incorporate the new shirts into your outfits later on.
Gaudy colors and flashy patterns aren’t appropriate for the Scandi style and are difficult to combine.
Then, if you already own a shirt or two and can put together a variety of minimalist outfits with them, you can buy a shirt or two in a brighter color.
One in Emerald Green or Ibiza Blue, for example, would be a good choice. Deeper pink tones are also appropriate.
It’s just as important to combine them as simply as possible – for example, don’t mix several strong colors in one outfit, but rather just one, which you then balance out with more neutral colors.
How to Wear Button-Down Shirts to Dress Scandinavian
1. Close Only the 4th Button
By closing only the fourth button, you achieve a casual chic look that is also very stylish because the shirt isn’t buttoned all the way to the top.
2. Roll Up the Arms
This creates a nicer silhouette while also making it more casual and comfortable to wear in the summer.
3. Wear it With a Statement Necklace
Because of the open neckline, the space on your décolleté is ideal for wearing a beautiful statement necklace. This enhances the glamorous and put-together appearance.
4. Wear it Open with a Basic Top Underneath
Button-down shirts are also great as a jacket replacement, especially in the summer. They create a super comfortable look when pulled over and can be worn with almost any outfit.
5. With a Trench Coat Over it
If it gets a little chilly, just throw on a trench coat over it to complete your super pretty, minimalist look.
6. Of course, this Also Works with an Oversized Blazer
What are Other Clothing Essentials I Need to Dress Scandinavian?
If you had to describe the Scandi girl style with a few must-have pieces, I bet you would also think of these essentials first, right?
- Wide-Leg Jeans
- Comfy Linen Pants
- Linen Shirts
- Cute Basic T-Shirts
- Silk Midi & Maxi Skirts
- A lot of Gold Jewelry
You just can’t do without them if you want to look nordic. 😉
What does Matilda Djerf have to do with the Scandi Girl Style?
If you’re a fan of Matilda Djerf, then you already know. The Swedish fashion icon is almost the pioneer of the unique style that is timeless, elegant, and casual at the same time – a mix of oversized pieces and comfortable silhouettes that originated in Scandinavia.
Djerf’s style is a great inspiration for the classic Scandi-chic aesthetic that focuses on minimalism and high-quality materials. This aesthetic is commonly associated with Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway, but it has also been adopted by international fashion brands looking to capitalize on this popularity.
Scandinavian fashion is characterized by muted colors like black and white, neutral tones like gray and brown, muted prints like florals or stripes, and the absence of metallic or garish colors. Matilda Djerf wears all of these items on a daily basis (even if she doesn’t always wear them at the same time).
What Should You Not Wear in Scandinavia? 3 Things to Avoid
To look Scandinavian, here’s what you should avoid wearing:
1. Gaudy, Glittery, or Neon Colored Clothing
Gaudy colors are just too repugnant to the minimalist Scandi girl style.
So if you want to dress more Nordic, rather go for more neutral colors like beige, white, gray or brown and black.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate colors into your outfits: Smaller color details are absolutely okay and can also be combined well with more neutral colors.
And luckily, the selection of colors that are popular in the north isn’t that small: Ibiza Blue, Emerald Green, pastel shades, and all shades of pink or lighter blues are simply loved by Scandinavians!
2. Avoid Synthetic Textiles
Natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and linen are more popular in Scandinavian countries than synthetic textiles.
And for good reason: synthetic fabrics not only have a major impact on climate change and global warming but also have many other disadvantages:
For example, they make you sweat much more and then release very nasty fragrances in the process. You’ve probably noticed this when you sweat with synthetic clothing (for example, sportswear) and then smelled unpleasant.
They also contain microplastics, and don’t let your skin breathe, which really boosts sweat production and thus the bad-smelling odor, and on top of that, the clothes made from these fabrics just usually look very cheap. This can quickly ruin your expensive-looking appearance.
And as we mentioned earlier, the Scandi girl style consists mainly of high-quality materials and well-made pieces, which not only last longer but also make you look a lot more glamorous. Moreover, natural fabrics like linen or cotton are guaranteed not to make you sweat so quickly.
3. Don’t Chase Short-Term Trends
Thrifting is also a big thing in Scandinavian countries. That’s because climate protection and future-oriented thinking are often fortunately more prevalent there than in comparatively other countries in Europe or in the West in general.
Younger people there in particular really like to buy secondhand and pay attention to their clothing consumption.
That’s why many Scandi girls detest short-lived fashion trends that can be worn for a maximum of 1-2 years. In their style, the motto “timeless pieces for several years” is always reflected.
This has the advantage that you no longer have to chase short-term trends, but can put together a small but fine collection of timeless pieces that you can and want to wear even in a few years.
In addition, you certainly have some items in your closet, which you can combine again in a new way and which you don’t have to replace with new pieces.
Be vigilant and think sustainable is the motto here! And the great thing is that we can wear a comfortable clothing style from minimalist outfits and protect the earth at the same time.
How Can I Dress Scandinavian? – 5 Easy Steps to Recreate the Scandi Girl Style
Since the Scandi girl style is characterized by its minimalism, it’s not that hard to dress according to the principles of this style.
Here are some tips that will definitely help you:
1. Focus on Neutral Tones
Neutral tones make up the Scandi girl style.
They also have the advantage that you can mix and match them in all sorts of ways, creating a variety of outfits from just a few pieces.
This is easy on your wallet, but also on your head because you don’t need so much time for your outfit creation.
2. Buy Only Classic, Timeless Pieces
Only buy pieces that you 1. know you can combine in many ways and 2. know you can wear for a long time.
Trendy pieces aren’t helpful when it comes to the Scandi girl style because it focuses on minimalist, timeless pieces.
And we’re talking about pieces like linen pants or button-down shirts that you’ll still be able to combine beautifully 5 years from now.
3. Create a Capsule Wardrobe
A Capsule Wardrobe consists of a few indispensable and classic pieces that are always recombined so that you can put together a variety of different outfits with just a few pieces.
In addition, the timeless pieces complement each other, which is why they are usually kept in neutral colors.
This makes putting outfits together much easier and, most importantly, faster.
But of course, it’s not about wearing only boring, monotonous pieces that you don’t like: Rather, it’s about limiting yours exclusively to clothes you love and feel comfortable wearing.
And trust me, once you’ve established a Capsule Wardrobe, you’ll never want to go back – because the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
A Capsule Wardrobe will also help you chase fewer trends and focus more on your timeless pieces, which you can mix and match in 1000 different ways. That way you’re guaranteed to stay on top of things!
4. Quality over Quantity
Look for quality fabrics that will not only make you look a lot better right away and make your outfit look a lot more timeless and high quality, but they will also save you a lot of money in the long run.
After all, the adage: “He who buys cheap, buys twice”, also applies here with this timeless style. Because always keep in mind that the style lives precisely from these high-quality fabrics. Without it would be just a cheap duplicate.
BUT: Quality doesn’t mean an expensive price tag.
Finding good materials isn’t that easy these days, but I’m sure you’ll still find some good, quality pieces if you always look for the following fabrics before you buy:
These are just a few examples of good materials that directly make a piece look and feel much more qualitative. So pay attention to them.
And great and affordable brands where you can find many such materials are for example: