The Nordic Simplicity style types
One reason why your closet feels overwhelming and you're not able to make nice outfits even though you have lots of clothes, might be because you haven't got a clear idea of what your style is. And one reason why you're not able to come up with a sentence that describes your ideas of style might be because you haven't thought through what kind of style you really want.
In my quest to help women manage their wardrobes with Nordic Simplicity I have discovered that I needed to find a way to explain the different ways you can express this simplicity.
Nordic women are really practical, and quite often value simplicity in their expression of style.
Five style types are not enough, I know. It is impossible to put all women into five «boxes» (and why should we?), the real mission with these style types is not to compartmentalize people, but to make you aware of your own preferences, shine a light on what really truly resonates with you and makes you have fun dressing.
I have distilled the different ways of expressing style the Nordic way into five different directions, and here they are:
The Nordic Quiet isn't necessarily only the woman who leads an outdoorsy life. Her style Her style is classic in the sense that the lines are simple and she favours timeless items over fashion fads. She is conservative, often feminine in a sensible kind of way. She doesn't go out of her way to get attention around her personal style, preferring to blend in rather than stand out.
She may be relatively unconcerned with how she looks, putting other priorities in life first, but sensitive to the fact that appearance matters, so she does wish to look smart.
When left to her own devices and when not having specific plans for the day, her idea of well groomed is if her hair is brushed and she has clean clothes to put on. The pitfall of being Quiet is to look boring. Here's how to avoid the detour into Frumpytown.
Comfort is her mantra and if a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes is not comfortable, she will not wear them, regardless of social expectations. Practicality trumps looks every time.
She might prefer a backpack, but might just as easily have a handbag. Whether she uses a backpack or a handbag, it is probably a simple, timeless one. If she's a handbag woman, she chooses one that is suited to her needs, not the current fashion fad, and typically doesn't change it very often, using her one favourite handbag for almost every occasion. So this is probably not the woman who has a handbag for every outfit.
Natural fibres and easy maintenance is something she values when shopping for clothing, which she does reluctantly and as quick as possible because she would rather spend her time doing other things than shopping.
Nordic Urban shares the love of timeless clothes with the Nordic Quiet woman, because she doesn't like it when her clothes look obviously dated. This is a chic and minimalist style, but with considerable regard for the current fashion picture.
Urban style is defined by a strong expression and is all about creating an elegant look without overdoing it.. She keeps her outfits simple, but with eye-catching accessories.
The Nordic Urban woman loves simple, sleek lines and few but well chosen accessories. She often wears monochromatic colour palette, or she prefers to wear few colours at the same time. Her wardrobe consists of mostly neutral colours and she shuns trend colours.
Fabrics and textiles are high end, and the Urban style woman appreciates tailored details and is aware of the impact elegant footwear and accessories has on her overall look.
Though she is interested in fashion, she avoids buying items that are obviously going to be outdated next season, and thinks that style is is more important than fashion. Sophistication is her keyword.
The feminine and whimsical Nordic Quaint style type is the epitome of cool Nordic femininity. Her silhouette is shapely and she chooses clothing that accentuates her feminine form.
Her style is youthful, ethereal and romantic with outfits that are seemingly just thrown together, but still gives that unmistakably stylish impression, through deliberate combinations of colours and patterns.
This is the style that the expression "je ne sais quoi" perfectly describes. She is cute without being silly, elegant without being stuffy, and stylish without trying. Sometimes, the Quaint woman lives in an area where anything beyond a cardigan is considered "too much".. Here's how to tackle those picnic hobgoblins.
She likes to wear skirts and dresses. She pays attention to details and will accessorize freely and delightfully, enjoying the way jewelry and handbags can set off an outfit. But she uses accessories with restraint and personality. She enjoys using makeup to enhance her features.
The Nordic Relaxed woman enjoys casual outfits with a "lived-in" look. She will often mix in unusual or exotic accessories, often several at a time.
She prefers natural textiles and soft styles and will more often be seen with a soft vintage or suede shoulder bag, a woven tote or backpack rather than a boxy shiny leather handbag.
Her silhouette is soft, flowing and approachable. She excels at a truly casual and approachable style in form and colour. As mentioned, natural fabrics are her go-to textiles, and she might prefer naturally faded and earth-toned colours.
Jeans and T-shirt is her go-to outfit, but she is mindful of not becoming boring so she pairs them with interesting accessories to make it personal.
Attitude makes the Nordic Progressive a very strong and bold style. It's all about eclectic and unexpected combinations, but with Nordic restraint.
So it can be an unusual combination of silhouette, or unexpected styles worn together, or a minimalistic outfit but with a wild handbag. Or something else that is personal in an original way. This is "the style of someone who refuses to be squeezed into a certain style», someone who colours outside of the lines, and is not afraid to be noticed.
Nordic Progressive uses her clothing as an extended arena for expressing her creativity, and she will create a dramatic or unexpected effect when she puts together outfits.
The Nordic Progressive does not follow trends at all, but with her originality she often creates them. She does not shy away from being noticed, because she chooses accessories, plays with proportions and combines clothing in such a way that it is certain to make other people look twice. She does not mind, because she is comfortable in her own skin and expresses herself with confidence. She thinks "intriguing" is a much nicer compliment than "elegant". Read more about Progressive in this blog post.
Your style type influences everything. The outfits you put together, and if and how you accessorise. As an example, here's how I would pick bracelets for the style types:
Nordic Style Types bracelets
For the Relaxed woman, I picked bracelets in wood and with a certain ethnic feel. The Quaint style gets the charm bracelets, colourful and youthful. For the Urban woman, I chose a bolder expression, but with a ladylike feel. Progressive gets the edgy statement jewelry. The Quiet style wears simple bracelets, or some that have sentimental value, if she wears them at all. The bracelets she owns would be something she was given by her husband, inherited from her mother, or lovingly handmade by her pre-school age child.
What do you think? Does this resonate with you?
Let's imagine how the style types would pick red shoes.
A wardrobe without one pair of red shoes is like lentil soup with no salt added.
Now, I'm aware that each colouring has their own versions of red, and that if you're an Autumn your "red" shoes would be a lovely paprika or rust, but for this example I've picked classic fire engine red shoes.
Relaxed goes for the casual sandals, Quaint runs with the vintage gingham patterned heels (with bows!), Urban grabs the racy two-toned flats, Quiet picks the timeless pumps and Progressive chooses the edgy pointy toed mules.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about ways to express the style types. Stay tuned. The best way to get updates is to sign up for the emails. I always let you know when there is new material added.
In the course Capsule Wardrobes with Nordic Simplicity, you'll be able to nail your own unique style, and get tools to create capsule wardrobes for your life.
If you're curious what Nordic Style Type you might be, find out by taking the quiz:
Whatever your style is, it is yours, and you may call it whatever you like and express it however you like. This is my way of collect style preferences into categories. If you are uncomfortable with the style the quiz put you in, it's not you. I'd love to hear from you, whether the style description resonates with you or not!