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Swedes' Guide to the North: The Art of Layering

As football fans from around the country flock to the Bold North for this weekend's big game, we want to make sure all of our visitors get to enjoy a warm welcome (*squints at you, Philly*).

On that note, 3° F is a warm welcome for most of us from up North. While some believe that we turn up our noses to those who prefer warmer temperatures, there really is a method to our comfort with the cold.

We call it "layering." Here’s how to do it while still looking good:

Step 1: Start with a wicking layer and skip the cotton altogether.

Swedes recommend something that is “soft, comfortable, and breathable.”

You want your skin to stay dry, so something that that keeps sweat from sticking around, like a merino wool or polyester shirt with long-johns, is ideal.

Cotton, on the other hand, absorbs 7% of its weight in water and isn’t such a good choice.

Don’t forget about your hands and feet-- you want to keep them warm and dry too. Enter wool socks and mittens.

And, yes, sporting spirit wear underneath with wicking qualities is encouraged.

Step 2: Wool. Wool. Wool.

If you plan on heading into certain areas of the festivities happening in Downtown Minneapolis, you may be checked and asked to unzip your coat for security measures. Keep the warmth in. It is a MUST.

Your mid-layer should be clad in a wool or fleece sweater/pullover that keeps the heat in. Again, wool socks. You’ll thanks us later.

Bengt and Lotta have some pretty ~cool~ looking socks that will keep your feet warm, stylish, and comfortable all day. Dale of Norway has all of the wool clothing and accessories you will ever need.

You get bonus points if your clothes have zippers or buttons to make putting on and shedding those layers quick and easy.

Step 3: Keep the cold out.

Like we said, most of us love the cold. However, it doesn’t quite mean that we want to get too intimate with it.

Your final layer should keep wind and water (frozen or not) on the outside. That means down-jackets, snow-pants, and water-proofed boots will be among your best friends.

The beautiful skyscrapers of Downtown Minneapolis act like a wind tunnel when the breeze picks up. Next to mosquitoes and humidity, the wind chill is another thing we’ve learned to deal with but would still like to live without.

Step 4: Accessorize.

Now that your core, arms, and legs are covered, show off your hats, scarves, and mittens in true Northern style.

Take a look at Öjbro Vantfabrik and Dale of Norway to see how we northerners do it.


As the Swedish proverb goes, “Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder”

There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

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