Pleasure & Pressure: Copenhagen street style

by Ashanté Ford & Isabell Gielisch

When walking through the streets of Copenhagen it becomes clear pretty fast, that people love fashion there. Especially when you’re in hip areas like Norrebro or Vesterbro you will definitely get to see a lot of special and creative outfits. It becomes clear, that fashion plays an important role in Copenhagen and people use it as a way of self-expression. It’s not without reason that the Copenhagen Fashion Week is become ever more important within the fashion world – especially when it comes to sustainability.

But what is so special about the street style in the Danish capital? Where do these people get their inspiration from? Some fashionable Copenhagen residents provide the answers: 

Copenhagen as the fashion-capital of sustainability

Overall it becomes clear, that second-hand fashion is definitely present in Copenhagen. Nearly all of the participants of this qualitative street-survey report, that most of the items they wear were bought second-hand. They also agree on the fact, that second-hand fashion is typical for the street-style in Copenhagen. Besides, it becomes clear that comfortable, colorful clothing, simple, minimalistic style, as well as clothes of good quality, are common in the streets of Copenhagen.

Pressure & Pleasure

15-year old Andra is wearing a second-hand look from head to toe: She says caring for the environment is definitely a part of why she mostly shops second-hand but first of all, she values the uniqueness of the clothes as she’s trying to look different than others. She reveals that she had tried on ten different outfits in the morning until she was confident with her look. Andra is inspired by the 90s and Japanese street-style. For her, the typical danish style in the youth is tight pants and short tops. In her opinion, a lot of people look the same- but she enjoys standing out and likes to layer and wear more baggy clothing. 

Andra is wearing Vintage Gucci Sunglasses she got from her mom

Marie and Amanda report that they also feel pressure when it comes to the outfits they choose as everyone is so well dressed in the streets of Copenhagen. Amanda adds that she’s definitely more relaxed about her look when she’s in her summerhouse in the countryside. But on the other hand, they also enjoy getting dressed up: Marie says she tries to wear more warm, lighter colors at the moment as she used to wear mostly black for a long time. Amanda is wearing a self-knitted pullover and a beanie, that was knitted by her mom. 

Marie and Amanda in Vesterbro

Stepping out of the comfort zone

Anders Ugilt reports, that he also spent a lot of time thinking about his look. The reason is his new job at a radio and he felt like celebrating this new chapter of his life by trying something new and stepping out of his comfort zone by wearing a bucket hat for instance. 

Anders tries to step out of his comfort zone style-wise

There is also a special story about the look of Ann-Sophie: The brown fur coat is her favorite winter jacket because it reminds her of her Greenlandic roots. She bought it at a Christmas market in her hometown in Greenland two years ago. “It’s a jacket, that you just throw on and it’s a look itself.”, she says.

Ann-Sophie is wearing her favorite winter coat

Seeing and being seen

Overall it becomes clear, that Copenhagen is a fashion city and deserves the name “capital of sustainability” within the fashion-sector. Fashion is used as a way of self-expression in this city. All participants were willing to tell the story behind their look and it’s sure that most of them spend a decent amount of time thinking about how they want to look. It’s about seeing and being seen – but it also becomes clear, that some people might feel an urge to participate in this street-style game. However, this situation makes Copenhagen an inspiring and colorful place you definitely shouldn’t miss if you are interested in fashion.

photo credit: Isabell Gielisch

Target audience: anyone interested in fashion and second-hand shopping in Copenhagen/Denmark.

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