Swedish style covers a lot of ground: the nation favors hardwearing, built-to-last, high-quality garments, so it should come as no surprise that denim reigns supreme in Sweden.
The Scandinavian nation has been in love with denim since Gul & Blå opened in Stockholm in 1966, selling the best jeans available to buy for Swedish teens and denim-heads alike. Since then, brands like Acne have picked up the mantel in continuing to create some of the best denim coming out of Sweden – but the list doesn’t end there.
Here are some of the best Swedish jeans to buy now:
This Gothenburg-based brand has made a name for itself among denim-heads worldwide. Given their commitment to sustainability, use of raw denim, and indigo dyes, it’s easy to see why. Their free repair services make them an easy win full stop.
Acne started life as a denim brand, after cofounder Jonny Johansson created 100 pairs of raw denim jeans with red stitching and gave them away to friends and family in 1997. Nowadays, they have a wide selection of classic fits with fashion-forward details, like recrafted patchwork denim, plus their signature skinny leg.
18-year-old founder, Ingrid Berg, was just 16 when she first launched IGGYJEANS, starting out from a Weekday store and progressing to Vogue in just a few short months. She creates artisanal denim by reworking vintage Levis and painting designs on top by hand, often worn by achingly cool creatives around the world (they’ve been spotted in Milan, New York, and London to name a few). They’re a bit punk, a sustainable way to buy denim, and incredibly cool.
Known for applying custom-developed fabrics to signature shapes, Stockholm-based OUR LEGACY has amassed a devoted following over the years establishing the role of a cult brand. All their jeans are made using Italian denim and feature modern details like twisted side seams and layered split hems.
Home of the infamous Zeitgeist t-shirt, a weekly print project that creates a design reflecting pop culture and sold with limited availability, but also an extensive jeans range created to honor its street style heritage. Silhouettes range from tapered to wide, with references to almost ever decade visible across the collection. Almost everything is made with organic or recycled cotton, with Weekday pledging to bring the rest up to scratch as part of their commitment to sustainability.
Australian-based Neuw was started by three friends from Melbourne and Stockholm, which is a testament to the far-reaching appeal of Swedish denim. The brand is inspired by the rich variety of denim, from patinas to alterations, so all styles feature details like “repair stitches” or “revision darts”.
Don’t let the “family-owned” element of Dr Denim fool you – this brand is anything but quaint. Founded by brothers Alexander and Johannes, who inherited their obsession from their denim-tastemaker father, the brand has been on “a personal quest to be the global cure for half-baked denim” since 2004.
COS designs pieces made to last beyond the season, focusing on essentials for the modern wardrobe. This approach to design results in elevated classics that blend minimalist, simple silhouettes with fashion-forward details. Relaxed fits, statement turn-ups, and selvage edges all feature prominently at COS. Their denim range is also 100% organic cotton and sustainably sourced.
ARKET offers contemporary and quality basics and essential products, plus trend-driven pieces that can fit in a capsule wardrobe. There is an emphasis on recycling (in production but also through an in-store incentive to return old clothes) and transparency, as ARKET lists its suppliers openly onsite. A large proportion of their denim collection is made with organic cotton, and the range covers a variety of leg shapes – including the oh-so-cool but oh-so-comfortable barrel.
Aiming to slow down consumption with their “meaningful essentials”, ASKET creates beautiful basics designed to last. They’re fully transparent and offer a traceability percentage for each garment, working towards full traceability. Their denim is available in washed or raw, with the latter being the best option for those looking to buy sustainable design guaranteed to last. It takes some time to break them in but they’ll see you through the next decade in return.
As fast-fashion brands go, Monki is doing a lot to increase genuine diversity and reduce their environmental impact. With three strands – Cares, Thinks, Loves – to their sustainability approach, they cover a lot of ground. From providing textile recycling at every store to using organic cotton, using renewable energy for all their stores and offices to promoting diversity through their own digital magazine. When it comes to jeans, Monki knows the most sustainable pair is the pair you wear for 15 years. That’s why they started Jeanious Hacks, so you can customize, care for, and keep wearing your favorite Monki fit.
Filippa K denim provides flattering and comfortable options for every style, from slim stretch jeans to wide cropped silhouettes. Hardly surprising, given that Filippa K was inspired by founder Filippa Knutsson’s own needs for a brand that recognized the real lives and challenges of modern women and men. These are capsule-wardrobe approved items, made using high-quality materials.
House of Dagmar strives to create timeless clothes, made from long-lasting materials, with the ambition to offer garments with a longer lifespan than the average clothing item. Their jeans are crafted in organic cotton, are non-stretch, and have a beautiful hand-feel. Silhouettes are rooted in denim’s rich history, with wide legs, kick flares, and easy straights all present, but are elevated and modernized with muted color pallets and clean lines.
Rodebjer is a Swedish clothing brand with timeless and versatile fashion for modern women. Their jeans follow suit, as classic leg shapes are updated for a modern take, while staying minimal to ensure a wardrobe hero that will last for decades. Wide legs and archetypal straights come in a range of blues – true to denim’s love of indigo – washed blacks, and even a coral pink. Some stretch is added to the slimmer fits, but the wide legs stick to 100% cotton.
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