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14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know

Renowned for their height, their healthcare, and their lofty ranking on the World Happiness Report, the populations of Europe’s northernmost countries embrace the elements in a way that makes the average American look like a tenderfoot. From all-season bicycle commuting to icy plunges into the Baltic Sea, the average Scandinavian regards extremes of cold as something to be celebrated, not feared.

To what may we attribute this hardiness? After some research, we’ve determined it’s the clothes they wear.


Little known outside their countries of origin, Scandinavian apparel brands may well be the secret behind this culture’s hearty embrace of winter weather. These great garments feature the clean, minimalist aesthetic that makes Nordic style so hot right now, along with incredible durability, premium and often sustainable materials, and uncompromising functional design.

We made the rounds to uncover the best Scandinavian brands on the market; some may be familiar to you, while others are still virtually unknown in the U.S. We even went a step further, identifying our top picks in every category, from sweaters and shirts to outerwear and accessories. These Scandinavian clothing brands are guaranteed to keep you warm and comfortable all season long, and ready for any adventure winter might bring.


If you think Fjällräven and all you picture are those cute little backpacks with the red bubble typeface on them, think again. This badass Swedish brand may have broken into the U.S. market with a novelty item, but its adventure-ready garments and gear are anything but twee. Since 1960, Fjällräven has cranked out hard-wearing apparel for cold-weather exploits that define the Nordic lifestyle. The company’s outerwear is built to take on the most extreme conditions, from its windproof trekking pants to their heavy-duty down jackets. Best of all, Fjällräven is leading the way toward ethical, sustainable fashion. Each season brings a new lineup of products that feature 100% traceable down, recycled and organic fabrics, and fluorocarbon-free waterproofing turning up in their most popular items.

Our recommendation: The Canada Shirt

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A perennial favorite of ours has to be the Canada Shirt. Made out of 100% wool in a nostalgic Buffalo plaid, this shirt insulates while still offering breathability, making you equally comfortable whether you’re raking leaves on a crisp autumn afternoon, hiking up a mountain on the morning of the first frost, or weathering a snowstorm with a good book and a steaming mug of oolong tea. Look for the Canada Wool Padded Jacket, a bulked-up version of this iconic shirt layered with Swedish wool insulation, to debut this fall.


The elusive goal for any outdoor gear brand is street-sharp aesthetics with genuinely functional warmth, and this Norwegian brand nails it like a dart in a bullseye. SWIMS started in 2006 by transforming the plebeian galosh with bold personality. Today, their line includes waterproof boots and chukkas designed for urbanites who live in vibrant connection with the elements, as well as handsome, retro-styled outerwear.

Our Recommendation: Motion Chukka

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The SWIMS design philosophy is built on a love of water, no matter when and where it shows up. That love was clearly poured into the design of this waterproof lace-up ankle boot. The Motion Chukka joins durable, anti-slip rubber outsoles with a cushioned midsole, while the premium nubuck leather exterior is treated to offer uncompromising moisture control. Despite the premium materials construction and (mostly) neutral colorways, there’s something playful about these boots that will remind you of your favorite puddle-jumpers from childhood.


The story behind this Swedish outdoor brand is better than most: Wiktor Haglöf, the carpenter son of a forester, wanted to create clothing that made life easier and more comfortable for the working man exposed to the elements. His legacy is Haglöfs’ growing line of gear that helps you get your work done while making the outdoor lifestyle a little more enjoyable. No shiny surfaces — just high-quality crafted goods that withstand the elements, are easily repairable, and last a lifetime.

Our Recommendation: L.I.M. Comp Jacket

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Haglöfs’ latest outerwear offering combines revolutionary sustainable material with classic slicker aesthetic for a rain jacket that keeps you warm, dry, and looking good. Built from ultra-light Gore-Tex Active and finished with reflective details for visibility, it’s a natural pick for trail wear, but its clean, minimal silhouette is just as at home on a busy city street.

Norse Projects

Founded in 2004, Norse Projects specializes is built on a passion for functionality, quality, the classics, and the ultra-modern. This Danish company’s seasonal collections blend traditional work and outdoor pieces with high-end and avant-garde fashion, as well as Japanese specialty products and technical outerwear. Norse Projects started life as a retail streetwear shop and art gallery but launched its own line in 2009. Now known internationally as one of the top Scandinavian menswear brands, the company remains true to its name through frequent collaborations with like-minded designers such as Gore-Tex, Adidas, Monocle and Dr. Martens. Their flagship store in the heart of Copenhagen remains an outpost of beautifully curated fashion, books, and art.

Our Recommendation: Birnir Brushed Argyle Sweater

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Just as squirrels stockpile nuts for the winter, we’d like to fill our closet with the entire catalog of Norse Projects wool sweaters. The variety of colors and patterns are fun, nostalgic, and cozy as hell. Case in point: this classic argyle in lambswool wool, with its muted dove gray punched up with intarsia patterning down the front.


As Sweden’s premium underwear company, CDLP has perfected the male base layer in terms of performance, style, and sustainability. For its efforts, the company enjoys the distinction of having been featured in the New York Times (how many underwear brands can say that?) as well as Esquire, GQ, and Vogue. Classic tailoring and no-fuss Swedish design make for understated luxury that you have to feel to believe.

Our Recommendation: Long Johns

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A modern take on a Scandinavian classic garment, these low-waist long johns combine supreme comfort, sartorial detailing, and the CDLP signature waistband. Made from lyocell, an eco-friendly wood pulp, the fabric is refined into a pinnacle of softness and durability to smoothly follow the shape of your body type. No need to relegate them to outdoor wear, either — these long johns are temperature regulating, keeping you warm when cold while providing a cooling effect when hot. Speaking of hot, our sources tell us that’s exactly how they look when worn solo. Just saying.

Hestra Gloves

Founded in 1936 as a small family business in the small Swedish town of Hestra, this company is an outerwear legend among elite athletes and snow lovers alike. Hestra Gloves’ bestselling Army Heli model is the last word in alpine skiing gloves, but their line now includes a wide range of gloves and mittens oriented toward various sports as well as fashion. Several of these models are handmade by some of the most experienced glove makers in Europe. Despite manufacturing over two million pairs of gloves per year, Hestra still operates very much like a family business, ensuring their unparalleled quality with careful material selection and control of the production chain.

Our Recommendation: Falt Guide Glove

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This glove is the perfect marriage of Hestra’s renowned technical design with premium-grade materials. Named for one of Sweden’s leading survival experts, who was also involved in the development of the glove, this highly durable glove is made entirely of proofed goat leather tanned to a buttery softness that ensures flexibility as well as windproof warmth. It features a mid-length gauntlet to keep your extremities protected, and a removable wool terry cloth/wool pile liner for extra insulation. The warm neutral colors and refined texture let it transition easily from the alpine trail to the city streets.


We’ve been huge fans of this Finnish cottage brand since we discovered them on Instagram a few years back. Founded by a couple of van-lifers and mascoted by their too-cute-to-live puppy, Vai-Kø has branched out over the past year into a variety of great items, including sweaters, tees, and even skateboards. Their flagship product has remained the star of the show: Stout and stylish beanies made from organically farmed, mulesing-free merino wool sourced from Patagonia (the region, not the company) and dyed in G.O.T.S.- and Bluesign-certified facilities. The company even goes the extra mile by donating a portion of profits to Protect Our Winters, an international organization that strives to stop climate change from destroying what the Finns consider the best season of them all.

Our Recommendation: Kiva  2.0 Beanie

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Light enough for all-day wear, this merino wool beanie double-layers to a comfortable fit and a cozy, breathable warmth. Think you’re not a beanie person? This one will change your mind. Get one in every color.


If you’re the type who would rather lose 70% of your body heat than wear a hat that doesn’t suit your style, good news. Swedish brand Sätila boasts the deepest catalog of beanies we’ve ever seen. From fisherman style to cable-knit to poms and so much more, its hats are not only stylish but also sustainable and snugly as hell.

Our Recommendation: Klintås Beanie

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This beanie may look basic, but its extra tall structure, high fold, and head-hugging weave speak to thoughtful craftsmanship all the way through. Plus it’s made from 85% recycled yarn, for that warm fuzzy feeling inside as well as out.


Named for the 20th century’s greatest escape artist, this Swedish apparel brand has everything you need for a speedy getaway…even if that getaway is down a ski run or up the subway stairs. Streetwear and athletic wear sit side by side on the company’s site, sharing features like wind- and waterproofing technology, recycled fabric content, and timeless functional design. We also dig Houdini’s sustainability initiative—not only are Houdini products Bluesign certified, but they even offer a rental/subscription program to help cut down on chronic overconsumption.

Our Recommendation: Lana Pants

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The first cold-weather shell pants we’ve ever seen made from 100% merino wool. No chemical waterproofing here — these pants’ wind- and water-resistance comes courtesy of lanolin, the fatty substance that God gave sheep to keep them warm and dry. And because they’re made from exclusively natural fibers, the shape and drape of these magical shell pants molds to your individual movement. A walk through the winter woods in these pants is a whole different experience–smooth, silent, spellbinding.


Never let the elements keep you inside again. These badass shoes from Sweden sport serious spikes on the sole, offering traction in the trickiest elements. Athletes will adore their running and trail sneaks, while style hounds will gravitate toward their ankle boots and street-ready walking shoes. As cool as Icebug’s shoes look, perhaps even cooler is the brand’s relentless commitment to sustainability. As of this year, they became the world’s first climate-positive footwear brand.

Our Recommendation: Solus BUGrip

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Looking for the best of both athletic wear and street style? Get yourself a pair of Icebug’s super-popular Solus BUGrip boots. This mid-height winter shoe boasts a water-repelling nubuck upper, a soft and cozy fleece interior, and 14 BUGrip carbide steel studs to keep you on your feet, no matter the weather or terrain.


If Nordic style is your thing, nothing will make you look the part more than a pair of kicks from Danish footwear brand Duckfeet. From clogs to sandals to boots, each pair sports a cute, clunky profile and is handcrafted from vegetable-tanned leather and built to conform to the individual wearer’s footprint. Who knew Danish modern could be so cozy?

Our Recommendation: Arhus

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Duckfeet’s most popular style is the ultimate form of hygge in footwear. The buttery-soft pebbled leather upper and Italian crepe rubber sole are head-turners for sure, but the real showstopper is the premium European sheepskin lining. (How cute is that fold-over cuff?) Even your favorite slippers can’t keep your feet this snuggly.

Topaz of Norway

Heritage style meets uncompromising functionality in a pair of Topaz of Norway boots. With classic materials like elk hide, seal skin and sheepswool lining, plus their anti-ice diamond grip outsole, these boots will take on as much snow as Mother Nature can throw at you, and look good doing it.

Our Recommendation: Art. 70 Minnesota Boot

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Underneath that demure Old World aesthetic, you’ll find hardworking insulation that can easily withstand temperatures as low as – 4 degrees Fahrenheit.


This Finnish accessories brand was made for all the desk jockeys staring wistfully from their cubicle at the tantalizing horizon. Born from the boyhood wonder shared by three friends who grew up roaming the Nordic forests, Aarni lets you wear your love of the great outdoors on your sleeves. Their sunglasses and watches pair classic design and high-end functionality with construction out of rare hardwoods like curly birch, alder, and rosewood.

Our Recommendation: Vega Watch in Curly Birch

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If ever a watch invited a closer look, it’s this one. The unique marbling of the rare birch wood varietal is offset by a deep blue face. The interior is just as special, with precise Swiss ETA 902.002 movement and a mercury-free Renata battery.

Dale of Norway

Want a guaranteed style win at every holiday party from now until forever? Invest in a Dale of Norway sweater. These heirloom-quality pullovers and cardigans have been woven in the same Norwegian textile mill since 1879, and are the official sweaters of the Norwegian National Alpine Ski Team. Whether you’re breaking trail on a dawn cross-country trip, or just taking the dog for a walk on a frosty winter night, the hefty warmth and gorgeous traditional patterning will make you feel like poetry in motion.

Our Recommendation: Cortina Merino Men’s Jacket

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Patterned after the first official Olympic sweater designed in 1956, this slimline zip-up cardigan works great as an outer layer or mid-layer, thanks to its impenetrable knit and skin-soft merino wool construction. With its elegant snowflake pattern around the yoke, deep rib-knit collar, and signature sleeve patch, this sweater is high-class apres-ski fashion, but thick enough to take a beating … as well as a spin in the washing machine.

Now that you’ve got your Scandinavian look down, why not plan a trip to the land of the midnight sun to visit one of these starkly minimalist Scandinavian lodges.

Chelsea Batten
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chelsea Batten is a writer, photographer, and Kerouac groupie. One of the original digital nomads, she was seduced from life…
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