There’s a popular saying in Sweden. “Det finns inga dåliga väder, bara dåliga kläder,” which, although it doesn’t rhyme in English, means, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.”
How strange. I totally could have sworn that this weather really sucks. Apparently I’ve been misinformed. It’s my clothes that are the problem.
I still have so much to learn about Sweden.
As a person who sold or gave away nearly all my earthly possessions and moved to Sweden with only a single bag, my wardrobe is naturally comprised of just a few simple items.
While I do have a few great vintage plaid shirts from classic brands like Penney’s and Kresge (aka the “K” in Kmart) – some from my father’s closet when he was my age and others from Louisville vintage shops like Hey Tiger and Acorn – most of my clothing can track its pedigree back to a few main sources: H&M, the Gap, and a couple items from Target. It’s all what those in the fashion world call “basics.”
Despite H&M being a Swedish company and there being a location on every other corner in Stockholm, I’ve found their clothes to be surprising un-warm. My winter coat is a Merona from Target and it, too, seems more suited for the type of winter familiar to people in Kentucky or Rhode Island.
And although I love my gloves – a pair of mittens made from recycled sweaters (also from a Louisville shop, 15 Ounce, and built by a Canadian company called Preloved) – they’re not exactly ready for Scandinavian winter.
(Honestly, I’m not turning into a fashion blogger. I promise that in my next article I’ll be back bitching about fonts and about how Princess Madeleine never calls me anymore.)
Today while walking through a swirling blizzard, I must have looked like I was trying to hide from someone. With my hands propped up against the sides of my face as barriers to the flying precipitation, I found myself conspicuously leaning forward, walking as quickly as possible to escape the weather and equally rigid to not let down my guard against the elements.
There are now four ways you can tell that I’m not Swedish. I think it’s cold. I feel cold. I’m acting cold. I look cold.
This type of behavior cannot be sustained. As I have many times in past years, today is the day I dedicate myself to this cause: I refuse to be cold.
Time to layer on the multiple pairs of socks and long underwear. Time to invest in a serious, Swedish-made winter coat. Time to get some clothes that make me feel protected enough to walk on the Moon.
The devil wears Merona. I need to be warm.