Move over, hygge—you're so 2017. There's a new Scandinavian trend on the block, and it has the potential to improve your closet in no time. Swedish plus-size brand Ellos first introduced me to the idea of "lagom," meaning not too much, not too little—just right. It's how Swedes tap into that oh-so-coveted but rarely achieved life balance, and it's just the fresh perspective I needed to give my wardrobe an overhaul.
"Life is about finding your happy medium. The message of lagom is to discover peace in the simple things—a mantra that we have adopted at Ellos," the brand's senior vice president, Anne Stephenson, said in a statement. "In our modern efforts to beat deadlines and maximize schedules, we often forget to remain centered. The Ellos woman lives a full life, so we created National Lagom Day as a reminder to always keep peace and balance at the forefront of our demanding lives."
It's safe to say Ellos is doing something right: The affordable label, which stocks sizes 10 to 34, has been popular in Scandinavia since it was first established way back in 1947. So, when the brand invited me to Stockholm to tap into the lagom mindset, I jumped at the chance. Between frequent fikas (Swedish coffee breaks) and nature-filled bike rides, we were able to unplug and center ourselves in Sweden. Sadly, that's not the reality of my day-to-day life, but I did pick up a few pointers on how to apply the concept to my closet. Read on for three ways to lagom-ify your wardrobe.
The Lagom Way to Try Fall 2018 Trends
You're not going to try every fall trend we write about here at Who What Wear, but where's the fun in not trying any at all? The lagom way to approach trends is all about being selective with the seasonal looks you decide to adopt. Not too much, not too little, remember? A simple tip to mastering lagom for fall 2018: Try a classic silhouette (like a blazer, wrap dress, or sleek coat) in a punchy new color or print (like metallic, neon, or leopard). The simple, familiar shape will help offset any adventurous embellishments. Et voilà: sartorial harmony.
The Lagom Approach to Your Clothing Budget
Fashion is often defined by extremes. At one end of the spectrum, you have cult fast-fashion powerhouses churning out insanely cheap items while quadruple-digit prices are the norm for luxury brands. What's the lagom-approved way to budget for your wardrobe when you're tempted with both options?
The key is moderation. Invest in well-made pieces that will make you happy but aren't out of reach for your budget. It will be different for everyone based on your discretionary income, but it's safe to say that a $15 jacket isn't a sturdy investment for your long-term wardrobe, and conversely, a $900 version isn't going to make you happy if it means weeks of scraping by. It's all about balance, folks.
The Lagom Way to Declutter Your Closet
Even self-proclaimed expert shoppers will end up with pieces that collect dust in their closets. But fret not, because—you guessed it—there's a lagom-worthy solution. "Loosely speaking, the Swedish wardrobe is likened to a capsule wardrobe—a minimalist, highly practical closet, created by clearing out unwanted or unused clothes and replacing them with a limited number of loved, highly versatile garments, which can ultimately be worn together," writes Niki Brantmark, author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life.
In case you missed it, we've already broken down exactly how to reduce your closet to just 37 pieces total—you can thank us later—and with that, you're officially armed with easy, practical ways to rethink your outfits. A fresh point of view never hurt anyone, right? While you brainstorm ways to lagom-ify your life, scroll down to shop Ellos for yourself.