There has been a signficant boom within the Swedish fashion industry since the turn of the millennia, with multiple clothing designers seeing success both home and abroad with their own takes on the classic Swedish design school.
I’ve spent a lifetime buying, using, and abusing Swedish clothes, and have on top of that scoured through every single data source and resource out there to give you this ultimate guide to the best and most popular Swedish clothing brands, split up in outdoor clothing, everyday fashion, and high-end fashion.
I’ve also answered some interesting questions regarding Swedes clothing habits; which brands are most in-demand and which brands we actually end up wearing — if you’re interested in digging a little deeper into Swedish fashion.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Best Swedish Clothing Brands: Outdoor Clothes
We have a classic saying here in Sweden that sums up our relationship with outdoor clothing: “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes“.
So it seems fitting to start with outdoor clothing, as this is an area where Swedish clothing brands tend to especially stand out and deliver an especially high level of durability, looks, and functionality all at once.
Here are the top Swedish outdoor clothing brands based on my own experience and past winners of the Scandinavian Outdoor Awards:
Fjällräven is the quintessential Swedish outdoor clothing brand. The iconic little red fox logo of Fjällräven can be found on jackets and backpacks around the world, and there’s good reason for it as well.
Take me as an example; I’ve worn a Fjällräven ‘Räven’ jacket (spring and fall jacket) for 10+ years, mainly during the rainy and windy Swedish spring and fall seasons.
Still, it feels and looks very much the same as it did when I bought it, and I haven’t cared for it as well as other people I know.
Every single Fjällräven item I’ve owned and heard of has had the same things in common: exceptional durability and a classic, stylish, and down-to-earth design.
With its roots in Åre, a winter sports hub in northern Sweden, Peak Performance specializes in functional winter gear such as warm jackets, winter sports gear, outdoor clothes, and casualwear that works well in the northern climate.
I can speak to the functionality and quality of the brand myself, as I’ve worn the same Peak Performance jacket every winter since I moved back to Sweden more than 10 years ago, and it has held up great (although the zipper quality isn’t that good).
It’s warm enough to handle the coldest temperatures I’ve been in, while still having ways to let in cool air with smart zippers (which is crucial in the much milder southern Swedish winter). So it’s very versatile!
I have heard mixed things lately in regards to the quality of Peak Performance jackets, so make sure you do your research if you are considering a specific model.
This is a local favorite of mine, as Tretorn’s was founded in nearby Helsingborg, Sweden in 1891 (where it was also made up until 1980). Because of this, I’ve had countless Tretorn rain jackets and rain boots since I was a toddler, and I love the classic Scandinavian design, affordable price, and functional durability.
The rain boots do not crack and leak after a few years (as many others tend to do), and the jackets both look and work great. Had I not grown out of all the Tretorn gear I had as a kid I’d probably still be wearing it!
The brand might be owned by an American conglomerate (Authentic Brand group) these days, but the clothes are still top-notch (I wear a Tretorn ‘Wings’ rain jacket and a pair of rain boots since four or five years back).
Haglöfs started selling backpacks in Torsång, Dalarna, Sweden in 1914, and is today northern Europe’s largest manufacturer of outdoor gear (including backpacks, sleeping bags, functional clothing, and shoes).
I can’t speak to the quality of the clothes since I haven’t worn them myself, but they are very popular within the outdoor community.
Photo: CoppaDelleDolomiti on flickr
Klättermusen is yet another Swedish outdoor brand with roots in Åre, northern Sweden.
The company focuses on sustainable materials and production processes, whilst producing high quality outdoor clothes perfect for the Scandinavian climate.
Photo: Mandelmedia on flickr
The founders Julius and Hanna Dridrikson started manufacturing rain gear for the local fishermen in their hometown Grundsund in 1913, on the very wet and windy Swedish west coast.
We have three kids who have all worn Didrikson rain and winter gear throughout their preschool years (which in Sweden are primarily spent outdoors), and I can only applaud the quality and functionality of the clothes.
Didriksons is today the leading producer of functional rain- and weatherproof clothes in Scandinavia.
Stockholm-based Stutterheim is a recent acquaintance in the outdoor clothing market, founded in 2010 with aspirations to create beautiful, functional, and high-quality rain clothes and outerwear.
The rain jackets follow the classic Scandinavian design tradition and remind me a lot of Tretorn’s jackets (albeit a bit more expensive). On top of rain jackets, they also make regular jackets that look very stylish and functional.
Hestra makes heavy-duty gloves and mittens made by moose leather (!), guaranteeing maximum resilience, warmth, water resistance, and durability.
They’re lined with fleece on the inside and all have touch screen fingers so that you can still use your phone whilst you’re outside in freezing cold weather.
These gloves will likely last for decades, which is how you motivate the comparably high price.
Here’s another brand I can recommend personally, as all three of our kids have had Viking shoes at preschool, and they’ve been surprisingly sturdy, waterproof, and warm.
I should add that any clothing item our three boys wear will inevitably go through the most rigorous of quality tests (they seem to seek out water, dirt, and extreme conditions when they play outside).
So it’s impressive when clothes actually last!
Craft was founded in Borås, Sweden in 1973, a town famous for its many textile and clothing producers.
Their focus is functional and durable clothing aimed towards endurance athletes, Olympic-level cross-country and alpine skiers, runners, and cyclists.
As a football coach for my son’s team, we have Craft as the main supplier. So far I only have good things to say about the training overall! Comfortable material and fit, and good at absorbing moisture during high-intensity workouts.
Lundhags is an outdoor brand founded in Jämtland, Sweden in 1923 by Jonas Lundhag, who aimed to create boots that lasted a lifetime. Although they don’t give any guarantees, this is still the main philosophy of the company.
On top of shoes, they also produce jackets and other outdoor gear in classic Scandinavian design.
Photo: Mandelmedia on flickr
Tensons was founded in the little seaside town of Varberg in western Sweden, where the winters get mostly windy and very wet, hovering around the freezing point but rarely going below.
That means you need clothes that will be water- and windproof, and Tenson primarily focuses on functional outdoor clothes that can handle these conditions.
Photo: Mandelmedia on flicker
Varg clothing was born among “wind-eroded cliffs and the wild, salty ocean” on the Swedish west coast. With the founders coming from the world of sail racing and alpine climbing, the clothes they make are made for the toughest weather conditions while following a sleek Nordic design philosophy (i.e. muted colors and a lot of natural materials).
The clothes are generally made for all seasons, and can be worn both when you’re active in the outdoors, and in your everyday life.
Varg works with quality fabrics that are made from recycled fibers.
Photo: @vargclothes on Instagram
The Sätila clothes might look modern, but the brand dates back to 1896 when the Västergötland company started making hats, headbands, scarves, and other knitted apparel.
They entered the international stage in the 1970s as the clothing brand of choice for legendary skier Ingemar Stenmark, who made their hats and their knitted patterns close to iconic.
Photo: @satilaofsweden on Instagram
The Sail Racing brand was founded in 1977 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and is a producer of high-performance, technical, and innovative clothes for sailing.
The clothes are produced by a team of professional designers, engineers, manufacturers, and high-speed sailors, and is used by loads of professional sailing teams globally.
Photo: @sailracingofficial on Instagram
In 1990 the first-ever all-Swedish expedition reached the peak of Mt. Everest, incidentally 8848 meters up in the air. The clothing and gear for the expedition was designed by a team led by Swedish designer Magnus Berggren, who would go on to found 8848 Altitude after the successful expedition.
They pride themselves on producing technically advanced and innovative clothes for winters sports enthusiasts.
Photo: MandelMedia on flickr
Pinewood makes outdoor clothes for hunting, fishing and general outdoor activities. Their philosophy since the start in 1994 has been to help create a healthier environment by producing their clothes in a way that will affect it as little as possible.
Their goal is also to produce clothes that make it easy to be out in nature so that people might start appreciating it more.
Pinewood is most known for their iconic flannel shirt ‘Kanada’ and Finnveden pants.
Photo: @pinewood_sverige on Instragram
As with many other Swedish outdoor brand, Tierra’s main philosophies are sustainability and innovation.
This essentially means their clothes are made with environmentally friendly fabrics and processes while innovative features enable handling the Scandinavian climate with ease.
Photo: @tierrasweden on Instagram
No-nonsense merino wool clothing to stay warm and dry with layered clothing in the harshest of Nordic climates.
They produce sustainable and responsible clothing with regards to people, animals, and nature.
Woolpower offers warm clothes for the entire family, and merino wool works well with the layered clothing principle.
Photo: Moralis, CC BY-SA 4.0
The Best Swedish Clothing Brands: Everyday Fashion
Nudie Jeans Co was founded in Gothenburg back in 2000, and the iconic backpocket swirl can be seen all over Sweden and the rest of the world at this point.
Nudie has been my own preferred denim brand pretty much since they launched, because of their fits and denim colors, but also because it feels good supporting local businesses!
With male and female jeans models ranging from slim fit to looser fit, Nudie offers plenty of denim options for everyone.
Photo: Chippycheeky on flickr
During the early 2000s denim in Sweden went through an extremely popular period, but not many of them were actually affordable.
That’s where Örjan Andersson and Cheap Monday came into the picture, as Örjan launched a line of high-quality jeans that were also affordable.
They are perhaps best known for having created the tightest jean model ever in 2004, which they fittingly called ‘TIGHT’.
Cheap Monday has a strong focus on modern styles and in shaping popular culture, which shines through their entire brand, not the least with iconic their skeleton skull logo.
Photo: Lions! Tigers! Bears! on flicker
Monki is known for their sparkling collections and modern Nordic style, and is surprisingly affordable for the level of fashion and quality.
This is no doubt partly due to being a part of the H&M family, which enables lower production costs and considerable resources.
Monki clothes are inspired by music, illustrations, and lifestyle, which makes for both modern and interesting designs.
As far away from boring as you can come, basically!
Photo: Henk Binnendijk on flickr
WeSC stands for We Are the Superlative Conspiracy, and was started by 5 Stockholm-based skate- and snowboarders in 2000.
They make urban clothes inspired by the worlds of street art, sports, Hawaii shirts, and biker gangs. In other words, modern clothes for the modern streets.
Photo: Stefan Leijon on flicker
Frank Dandy blew up on the Swedish underwear scene in the early 2000s, and became immensely popular with their bold branding and high boxer cuts
Today they offer a variety of clothes including sweaters, shorts, and socks.
Still, it’s the undies they are known for, and it’s the undies that are at the core of their business.
The style can best be described as colorful avant grade.
Photo: @frankdandy on Instagram
No list of Swedish clothing brands would be complete without the by far largest of them; Hennes & Mauritz, a.k.a. H&M.
As an early adapter of the fast fashion trend, H&M offers extremely affordable clothes in classic Scandinavian design. However, the quality on the lower-priced brands is often questionable, so I’d recommend going for H&M’s more high-end and fashionable brands such as Weekday, COS, Monki, & Other Stories, Arket, and Afound.
With colorful and fun socks in countless varieties, Happy Socks took Sweden by storm in 2008.
In short, Happy Socks enables you to express yourself with your choice of socks, with a huge selection of socks in every color and pattern you can think of.
I personally think the quality could be a tiny bit better, as they often tear a bit faster than I’d like. But they sure are expressive!
Boomerang was founded in Stockholm in the 70s and has since made colorful and natural clothes for all members of the family.
They aim to create “timeless clothes for multiple generations”, and in my experience they actually deliver on this for the most part, while still staying within a reasonable price range.
Photo: @boomerang1976 on Instagram
Family-owned since 2004, Dr. Denim is the joint effort by brothers Alexander and Johannes, who have both inherited their dads obsession with making denim (he was a denim maker as well).
They want to be the global antidote against half-baked denim, and are for sure pushing some boundaries with regards to quality and design.
On top of jeans, they also make shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, hats, and various other accessories.
Photo: @drdenim on Instagram
DRKN is a Stockholm-based streetwear brand founded in 2015, positioning themselves as being on a mission to promote digital culture through clothes and fashion.
Their clothes are inspired by and created for gamers, coders, electronic musicians, digital artists, and geeky fashion-minded people in general, and range from cringy esports brand bonanzas to really interesting designs.
Photo: @drkn_official on Instagram
Björn Borg is a sports fashion brand with roots in underwear but expansions into most types of clothing, including shoes, glasses, and home decor.
I can personally recommend their men’s boxers in terms of durability, design and comfort, and has been my go-to brand for most of my life.
Photo: One Trick Pony on flicker
Vagabond makes shoes known for their distinct character and style.
They produce the shoes in a sustainable way with minimal impact on the environment, while upholding a high level of comfort and style.
I’ve owned several pairs of Vagabond’s and they are certainly comfortable and I’ve liked plenty of models (though they are quite varied!).
Photo: @vagabondshoemakers on Instagram
Lindex was founded in 1954 and make comfortable and stylish clothes for women in all ages.
They also work with women’s rights and environmentalism in general, and offer affordable and durable clothes that still look good.
My better half likes to shop here, and especially the kid stuff is very durable for the price.
Photo: Barbro Andersen on flickr
The Best Swedish Clothing Brands: High-end Fashion
Acne, a.k.a. Ambition to Create Novel Expressions, was founded in 1996 by Jonny Johansson in Stockholm.
Acnes Studios are known for their jeans and fashionable apparel, and is a creative hotspot uniting the founders passion for photography, art, architecture, and modern culture.
Today Acne makes a wide range of products including clothes, publishes magazines and books, designs furniture, and organizes exhibitions.
Filippa K was founded in 1993 and has almost become synonymous with Swedish fashion internationally speaking.
With timeless, yet undeniably modern and minimalistic design, Filippa K can best be described as classic Swedish fashion in the best possible sense.
Filippa K’s clothes are also especially known for their versatility and top-class design, and is meant to cover the entire range of clothes one might need.
And of course, they are great at work, on the bike home from work, and finally at home.
Carin Wester designs classic and relaxed fashion, with playful styles in subtle colors.
Asket wants to slow down consumption by making meaningful, essential, and long-lasting clothes.
Transparency is at the company’s core principles, and you can trace each and every pice of clothing to a source and a sustainable process.
A Day’s March
House of Dagmar
Founded in 2005 by the three sisters Karin Söderlind, Kristina, Tjäder, and Sofia Wallenstam, in honor of their deceased grandmother Dagmar.
The brand is inspired by their mormor‘s confidence and timeless style, and the sisters have created quite a significant catalogue at this point.
Hope is popular in Sweden but has yet to make a big splash abroad (despite certainly deserving to).
The clothes are designed in Scandinavian unisex models, aimed towards minimalistic and androgynos design lovers.
Jumperfabriken was founded in 2007 and focuses on sustainable and stylish clothes in classic Scandinavian style, with an especially big focus on — you guessed it — jumpers.
The designs are especially inspired by the elegance, patters, shapes and colors of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
Founded in 1999 by Carin Rodebjer and is a timeless brand inspired by equal rights and the worlds of cinema, art, and litterature.
Arket is part of the H&M family, and offers modern, trendy and sustainable clothing products. The main focus of Arket is sustainability and transparency, so you’ll always be able to return old clothes to the stores and learn where the clothes come from, for example.
Stockholm-based Eytys is a mix-match of 90s nostalgia and cyberpunk, evident in their bold snakers, loafers, and boots that packs plenty of attitude.
The products are high quality and most of all really cool.
Tiger of Sweden
A no-nonsense Gothenburg brand that makes really cool clothes for guys and gals alike.
A modern, minimalistic and artful brand with a philosophy that includes “buy less, dress more”, aiming to stay in your wardrobe for years to come.
The J Lindeberg founders are an active bunch, and on top of the fashionable line of clothes, the company also makes clothes for winter sports, golf, and active outdoor activites.
A fashion brand from Stockholm that makes “beautiful, sexy clothes for women that don’t wear especially serious outfits”.
From outside Uppsala, Sweden, and can be described as classic, exclusive, and feminine fashion for a wide range of ages.
Stockholm-based DIANA ORVING Collections has been active in fashion shows since they started in 2007.
Male fashion brand from Stockholm, with a large group of fans within the preppy and ‘successful’ circles. Smart, practical, and multifunctional clothes.
Raver fashion meets zoomers in the clothing line from this exciting maker of creative male fashion.
What Clothing Brands Are Most Popular in Sweden?
The Most In-Demand Swedish Clothing Brands in Second-hand Online Shopping
I analyzed the most popular auctions on Tradera (Swedish second-hand online market owned by Ebay), and compiled a list of the most bid-on clothing brands (sorted by number of total bids):
- Peak Performance
- Odd Molly
- Mini Rodini
- Filippa K
- Gudrun Sjöden
- H&M Trend or Premium
Source: Tradera February 2022
The Clothing Brands Swedes Actually Wear
Source: Tradera 2022 + Winners of Evimetrix Swedish Brand Award
Smaller Swedish Indie Clothing Brands
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