Packing for Sweden: Clothing

Hej Hej Hej! Sweet to virtually see you here future student who is keen to know what kind of clothing is necessary to survive – but mostly enjoy and adore – while living in Sweden!

And you’ve come to the right place. At the end of this blog, you’ll know exactly what to bring with you to Sweden. What to invest in. What to buy second-hand. Or what to borrow.

And I’m going to give you the juicy details, the complete VIP access to my luggage, and an exact list of the clothing that you might possibly need during your time in Sweden.

Study the weather as a maniac.  

I can’t probably emphasize enough the fact that Sweden is just as diverse as we are.

In general – of course – Sweden is a northern country; therefore, the climate can’t be tropical… The overall recommendation is to study, google, watch some fantastic videos to get a whole image. Where I live – Gothenburg – is considered as a city with a milder climate, but with a lot of rain within Sweden. Cities like Malmö, Lund, Norrköping, Göteborg Jönköping tend to be a bit warmer, than Stockholm or Uppsala. But generally speaking the northern you go, the colder it gets. 

Here’s an article ↗️ for you to read if you’re interested in the Swedish climate.

Sara, dressed in a winter coat and hat, sits on a rock by the sea staring out at the view.
The CEO of staring at the ocean / Photo: Sara

Winter is coming…

On our youtube channel, there is an amazing video ↗️ teaching and showing you how to dress appropriately in colder weather. As a teaser, I can whisper to you that the secret ingredient is LAYERING.

Read more on the Swedish Winter and how I survived

Tips for dressing for the winter:

  • Unless you already own good quality, warm winter jacket, I recommend you wait and buy your winter jacket here in Sweden. Simply because Swedes know how to design one (they’re experts ) and the best thing is that you can buy it SECOND HAND!!! Yes, yes, yes. A good winter jacket can cost fortunes, and by buying it second hand, you can save your money and the planet at the same time!
  • Gloves, hats, some fuzzy socks, and of course, a big warm scarf can not only protect you from the cold but also from the strong wind, especially if you’ll live in a city on the coastlines of the country.

Oh, I haven’t told you the best part yet… You know that fleece, layering, and ski underwear will play a key role in your everyday winter wardrobe… BUT have you ever seen fuzzy (or maybe even fleece) BOXERS? You definitely have to get one!

A lake with smooth glassy mirror reflections of snow covered trees at sunset.
November digital ambassador meet-up at a frozen fjord / Photo: Sara

And then it goes away…and BAMMM it’s summer.

Okay, there’s a transition, but after a long and dark winter, we quickly find ourselves undressing, reveling our skins (watch out the sun can burn you very quickly!!!!). It might surprise you, but summers can be hot as well. Don’t forget to bring some summer clothing. Swimwear is also a must-have if you want to enjoy the beach and the lakes.

Speaking of swimwear…

Dripping sweat, fast heartbeat, heated conversations, some kind of an unexplainable scent. Yes, you are in a sauna. And I can guarantee you, YOU WILL LOVE IT. I can’t explain why, clearly the above mentioned might leave you in doubt, but trust me… I don’t know how, but it works.

Four students sitting in a sauna.
Lusanda, Reuben, Emma and Jordan enjoying the sauna / Photo: Sara

My observation on Swedish fashion – but Lusanda is probably more of an expert than me:) – is that Swedish fashion is very classy, chic, sustainable, and, more importantly, very practical, and of course: weather appropriate! There’s no specific style, there’s no snobbism, Swedes really wear what they like, and no one will judge you if you dress differently!

Outdoor activities

Wondering in forests, hiking, camping, horseback riding, swimming in the freshwater of lakes, or just, in general, being outdoors is very popular in Sweden – for a reason.

However, unless you actually climb a lot and camp a lot, I would not recommend you jump in immediately and buy all the expensive gear. For camping I borrow, for hiking, I’d hike just with my regular athleisure, when I actually feel like I can hunt down a bear with my bare hands I will invest in proper gear…. Until then I am fine with what I already own. ( Bare hands haha)

Sara crossing over a small river using  using stones that stick out of the water.
A soon to be Swedish nature-obsessed in her natural habitat / Photo: Sara

My actual luggage(s)

My overall tips here:

  • Pack light, save space, save up money to buy some things in Sweden
  • Bring the amount of clothing that can last you for 2 weeks….. In the worst-case scenario (but won’t probably happen) you can book a laundry room in 2 weeks time… So I recommend you to bring 14 pieces of underwear so you can last the weeks. 🙂 But honestly, you really don’t need more! Washing machines in Sweden are just as good as anywhere else!
A mixture of different shoes for different occasions.
Shoes – plus some trusty winter boots are missing of course / Photo: Sara
A mixture of different clothing including jeans, knitwear, dresses, shorts.
The bare minimum / Photo: Sara
A mixture of clothing including socks, hats, scarves, gloves and underwear.
Plus a warm winter coat and a rain jacket / Photo: Sara

And now I am officially opening the comment section 😀 every pair of socks and fuzzy sweaters are up to discussion! Is there something you’d leave at home?

Sara Roza

Written by Sara Roza

16 Jul 2020