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Cool on the outside, warm on the inside

Greetings and welcome to a new semester at Örebro University. For some this is a continuation of what they have already started the previous semester, but for those of you who are new to this wonderful land of Sweden note this simple truth, it gets really cold here.

Sweden is a wonderful country filled with warm affectionate people, great food and a rich culture that welcomes just about everyone to the table for fika. Fika is the Swedish tradition of having coffee and a pastry with friends. Seeing as we are still in the grips of the winter season however, there are some negatives to living here, as in negative degrees.

The winters in Sweden can be long, dark, and very cold. For people who are used to this type of weather it is not an issue. For those of you who have grown up in the parts of the world that rarely, if ever, see snow however, this can be quite problematic. It also takes more than a heavy coat to keep warm on those really frosty days. Here is a quick guide to help those of you who are new to the winter wonderland of Sweden to keep warm.

  1. Undergarments

The first rule of dressing for a Swedish winter is layering and normal underwear just won’t cut it when it’s really cold and windy out. You will need something with a bit more protection. Thermal underclothes are specially crafted to lock in your bodies heat while staying hidden under your more stylish clothes. You can buy them at just about any clothing store in Örebro, and you don’t need to spend a lot to get the desired effect.

  1. Trousers

Several good pairs of trousers are a must in winter, as they offer protection all the way up your leg. Ladies, you can get away with wearing a skirt or dress with leggings, but it isn’t recommend as these articles allow a lot more air around your limbs. More air equals, colder. A sturdy pair of blue jeans works great as you can match them with just about anything and they can provide decent protection when paired with leggings. Another option, for when it is unbearably cold, is snow pants. These are trousers you wear over your normal clothing that are specially reinforced against the cold and are virtually impervious to the damp. They are not the most attractive things to wear so it is recommended to wear them, only when it is really cold out or you have to walk through a lot of snow.

  1. Shirts

Again layering is important. A thermal undershirt paired with a nicer over shirt works wonders.  This could be a nice button up, a stylish long sleeve t-shirt, a casual sweater, or some combination thereof. Experiment, see what looks good on you and don’t forget to be adventurous.

  1. Outerwear

Light jackets, such as a blazer or cardigan, can give you a very professional appearance while keeping you warm.

  1. Coats

The core of your body is where most of your heat is stored; a heavy jacket helps prevent the loss of body heat. There are many different styles of coats out there to fit your needs but a winter coat should fit these criteria. Preferably water-resistant, if not waterproof, wind resistant and thick. Bigger is better in a lot of ways, the more your coat covers the warmer you’ll be.

  1. For your feet

Thick heavy wool socks paired with sturdy waterproof shoes are your best bet for keeping your feet warm. There are many styles of high and low top boots that offer protection and style all in one. Make sure your shoes have a good tread on them so that you don’t slip on the ice.

  1. Accessories

Don’t forget your scarf, gloves and hats. These will allow you to throw in a bit more of your personal style with colours and patterns that you enjoy.

/ Robert Brewster och Amanda Ankarhem Skribent och fotograf

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