They wear skirts. Good on you if you're bold enough to follow the Stockholm train driver's suit (or rather lack thereof). Otherwise guys, a nice, crisp pair of shorts should do the job. "/> They wear skirts. Good on you if you're bold enough to follow the Stockholm train driver's suit (or rather lack thereof). Otherwise guys, a nice, crisp pair of shorts should do the job. " />


The dos and don’ts of Swedish work wear

We all know how Swedish men deal with the summer heat when wearing trousers to work just won't do. They wear skirts. Good on you if you're bold enough to follow the Stockholm train driver's suit (or rather lack thereof). Otherwise guys, a nice, crisp pair of shorts should do the job.

The dos and don'ts of Swedish work wear
The ultimate guide to Swedish work-wear

Smart shorts not boardies, mind. A little above the knee and not below. In an “equal society”, if women can wear skirts, men can wear shorts. Simple. The only difference here is the matter of hair. And there’s nothing wrong with fuzzy pins.

An additional after-thought is the matter of feet. For, and I stress, it is not ok to wear flip-flops or the like to work – unless you’re employed by a university student union – a loafer or a smart lace-up brogue or the like are the only suitable options boys. Short, coloured socks permitted.

To perfect your look, head to H&M’s cooler, older cousin COS. This trendy outfit does work-perfect pieces in amazing, high-end shapes and has smart men’s shorts in abundance. So there’s just no excuse to get it wrong fellas.

I suppose if you live in cool Södermalm, your attitude to dressing for work is probably a lot like your surroundings i.e. hip, laid-back and probably idiosyncratic. If you’re a man in this part of town, tailored shorts are probably not your bag. A suit? Heaven forbid. In fact, walking around Sofo just before nine, one wouldn’t think the working day was about to begin. As for Söder’s women, it’s sack-like dresses or carrot-top trousers and clunky heels. No clichéd 80s stiletto and pencil skirt combos here.

IN PICTURES: See Also: Six ways to dress like a Swede – revealed

But then who can blame this style-savvy lot? In the heat, relaxed work-wear is definitely the way to go.

The days of obligatory three-piece suits are, for the most part, long gone anyway and women no longer need to bind themselves in a blouse and calf-length skirt with a string of pearls and high heels to go to work.

That said, I’m all for the traditional work garb. Dapper guys in pastel tailoring; women in non-fussy dresses and crisp white shirts in the style of Carolina Herrera. If Stockholm’s hipster locale isn’t up for tailoring, I know a place in Stockholm that certainly is.

For fear not formal fans, Östermalm still has it. Around Stureplan where a triangle of handkerchief poking just so out of the top pocket is de rigueur, formality reigns. Pretentious? Of course. Fanciful? Yes please. Just how Östermalm’s gentlemen manage to stay cool in the sun in their expensive suits is another matter. Air con and fans made of cash probably help.

And traditional doesn’t mean boring. On the train home last week I came across one particularly dapper fellow with a major affinity for brown tweed. His check suit with accompanying dicky bow made him look half university professor circa Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark and half thrift-shop owner. A little hipster, a dash traditionalist, the dude’s boldness and imagination was admirable.

If it’s an argument of formal versus casual why not hit the mid-mark (especially in the heat): a tee and tailored trousers for the guys (or shorts); for the ladies, a sleeveless shirt dress or a simple elegant shift that will never tire.

If, like me, merging work wear and warm weather is still just too much to bear, we needn’t worry for too much longer.

It’ll soon be winter.

Hussey’s How To… Find style inspiration in unexpected places. Those hard-working purveyors of the law, the Swedish Police Force, are worth a peek. The båtmössa or boat cap is chic, no? Scour second-hand shops for likewise pointy hats and pop one atop your head.

I promise you’ll be smiling all the way to work safe in the knowledge that not only do you look earth-shatteringly chic and a little avant-garde, but you’re also showing support for the country’s law-enforcers. Job done.

Victoria Hussey

Follow Victoria on Twitter here

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Paris exhibition celebrates 100 years of French Vogue

A new exhibition in Paris will tell the story of 100 years of French Vogue - from the post-war 'New Look' of Christian Dior through the sexual liberation of the 1960s to the dangling-cigarette waifs of the 2000s.

French Vogue celebrates 100 years
French Vogue celebrates 100 years. Photo: Thomas Olva/AFP

But as well as celebrating the magazine’s storied history, the exhibit comes at a time of turbulence for the publication.

Just last month, it was confirmed that its editor of 10 years, Emmanuelle Alt, was out and wouldn’t be replaced.

She was not alone.

Looking to cut costs, owner Conde Nast International has axed editors across Europe over the past year, and put international Vogue editions under the direct control of global editorial director, Anna Wintour, in New York.

New York-based Anna Wintour now has overall control of French Vogue. Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

Like much of the media industry, Vogue is struggling with tumbling sales and ad revenue in the digital era.

But the latest twist is also part of the endless push and pull between New York and Paris going back to its early days.

“The whole history of French Vogue is one of back-and-forth with Conde Nast in New York – growing more independent for a while, then being reined back in,” said Sylvie Lecallier, curator of the new exhibition, “Vogue Paris 1920-2020″, which opened this weekend after a year’s delay due to the pandemic.

The Paris edition was often the loftier, more bohemian sibling to its more hard-nosed New York version.

But it was also the hotbed in which much of 20th century style and womenhood came to be defined.

“Paris was the place to hunt out talent and content and bring it to New York,” said Lecallier.

The exhibition charts the evolution from art deco drawings of the 1920s through the erotic image-making of photographers like Helmut Newton in the 1960s and 1970s.

Its last peak was under editor Carine Roitfeld in the 2000s, who brought back a provocative Gallic identity by ridding the newsroom of foreign staff and becoming a fashion icon in her own right.

Her successor, Alt, was a quieter presence, though she still oversaw key moments including its first transgender cover star, Brazilian Valentina Sampaio, in 2017.

But internet culture has created “a perfect storm” for Vogue, says media expert Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis.

“The first 80 years of Vogue’s life, it had the market to itself, it was the bible for fashion,” McCabe told AFP.

“But online today, there are so many other ways to get your information. Influencers, Instagram, YouTube — everyone’s a threat.”

In a world where new fashion trends can blow up around the world in seconds, it has become much harder for a monthly magazine to set the pace.

“It’s not that they can’t survive for another 100 years — but they will be differently sized,” McCabe said.

Vogue has tried to branch out into different areas, including events.

“I used to work for a magazine, and today I work for a brand,” Alt said on the eve of French Vogue’s 1,000th issue in 2019.

But the big money was always in print, and Vogue Paris sales are dropping steadily from 98,345 in 2017 to 81,962 to 2020, according to data site ACPM.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the new top job in Paris, redefined as “head of editorial content”, went to Eugenie Trochu, who was key to building the magazine’s online presence.

She declared herself “thrilled to be part of Vogue’s international transformation”.

For the curator of the exhibition, it is ironic timing.

“We had no idea it would end like this when we started work on the exhibition,” said Lecallier.

“Who knows where it will go from here.”

The exhibition Vogue Paris 1920-2020 is at the Palais Galliera in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. The gallery is open 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays. Tickets for the exhibition are €14 (€12 for concessions and under 18s go free) and must be reserved online in advance.