From Scandinavia to The Netherlands: the essence of minimalism, comfort, and elegance 

The main shopping street of Copenhagen. Photo: Bente van Diepen

When the words classy, minimalistic, comfort, and stylish resonate, one distinctive style inevitably emerges— the Scandinavian style. With its focus on minimalism, comfort, and enduring appeal, Scandinavia has left a mark on the fashion world around the globe. In the age of social media, this style has crossed boundaries and become widely popular among fashion enthusiasts around the world. The Netherlands is one of those countries that eagerly embrace this fashion movement. While Dutch fashion publications have chronicled this trend for years, we embark on a journey beyond the screen, taking to the streets of Copenhagen to explore the essence of Scandinavian style, guided by those who define the Scandi style. 

By: Hanna Urfjell Pedersen & Bente van Diepen 

Minimalism is the key 

The Scandinavian style has been popular for years now. According to Danish Fashion Designer Kiva Dam (22), the Scandi style originated decades ago in Copenhagen, but the style is similar to other Scandinavian cities.  

The Dutch population wants to know the secret of dressing well like they do in the north for years. In 2016 the Fashion magazine ELLE already wrote an article with tips on how to dress like a Scandinavian, with the key factor: minimalism. This was in 2011 also already a trend. And even now, twelve years later it is still the base for the northern population to dress well. So, forget about sequins, neon colors, or daring prints. It is all about keeping it simple.  

Fashion stylist and seller Augusta Orum (23), from the Danish Fashion Brand Samsøe Samsøe in Copenhagen would define a Scandinavian style as a lot of oversized clothes, minimalist pieces, and neutral colors. Also, Dam would also describe this style as minimalistic.  

“Of course, the Scandi style evolves within the years, but the base is minimalism. It is important to focus on good materials. So, try to find sustainable brands. To make the minimalistic look more interesting we use lots of jewelry or sometimes accessories with a touch of color.” 

Trends for this fall  

For fall, there are a few elements essential for dressing in a Scandinavian way, such as neutral colors, oversized jackets, and plenty of layers. According to Orum, trends change rapidly with each season. Trends for the upcoming fall are going to be futuristic style with metallic fabrics and dark colors.  

According to Dutch Fashion & Beauty Editor Xana Ferreira Chicano (27), there are several trends seen at Copenhagen Fashion Week which are coming to The Netherlands.  

“So, in the fall we can expect to see puffy accessories, oversized silhouettes, wide leg jeans, loads of layering: for example, the dresses over pants and all black outfits. For example, the Danish brand Ganni, known for the use of prints, opened its show with all black looks, which is very different from their normal outfits. And there are some pieces that were trending last year, but still trending this fall. Such as, the cargo pants, oversized blazer, sweater dress and maxi dress.” 

Scandinavian influence on The Netherlands 

The Scandinavian style started in the north, but it has expanded globally. The #scandistyle has been viewed 255,8 million times on September 16, 2023. Orum observed this surge in popularity on an international scale.  

“You could say that the whole world knows about the style now. Before that the fashion was a bit anonymous. Now it is a big trend on TikTok, and people are blogging about it. We have a lot of international customers who come and say that they love to look at our clothes and specifically visit our shops for the Scandinavian style.” 

The Netherlands is one of these countries where the Scandinavian style is popular. Chicano confirms that this fashion has a huge impact on Dutch fashion.  

“Dutch designers and brands draw inspiration from the Scandinavian style characterized by minimalism, simplicity, functionality, and sustainability. This leads to a growing popularity of Scandinavian brands in the Netherlands, for example, Ganni, Arket and Samsøe Samsøe. It also encourages local designers to embrace this similar aesthetic. So, I would say there is definitely influence from the Scandinavian brands on fashion in The Netherlands. The use of neutral colors, the good quality and eye for details are seen in the Dutch fashion collections. For example, Amsterdam Fashion Week 2023 increasingly focuses on a similar aesthetic and quality.” 

Describe Scandi style  

When you ask Scandinavian people about the Scandi style the term minimalism or a synonym will come up. Below a few examples: 

This story is for an audience in The Netherlands and could be published on