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Spring spells birds, bees…and all things bridal! It’s the season couples spend big on bubbly, bouquets and bridesmaids. Small wonder that there’s little cash left for THE DRESS. YLC checked out a vintage wedding fair to get the lowdown on how not to spend an arm and a leg…

While being a cheapskate on your wedding day is not recommended, tight budgets are forcing couples to get creative. From hand made invites, upcycled decor and roping in the family to do the catering – there’s an endless way to make your nuptials affordable.

But what about the dress you ask?! New ones cost a few thousands of crowns. If you’re lucky. If you’re not, best start selling a kidney or two to finance the thing. The whole shebang is enough to turn a girl into bridezilla in a flash of lace and beading.

dresses2So is there a solution? In the name of science, I swallowed my fear of excessive tulle and went to Beyond Retro’s Vintage Wedding Dress Fair to find out. For over a year, vintage experts scoured the length and breadth of North America to dig out the choicest bridal gowns across the Atlantic. Meticulously hand picked for their historical AND trend factor, 300 of these babies went on display at their Zinkensdamm store last week.

Theres definitely nothing Corpse Bride about the collection. The 300 gowns ranged from exquisite lacy offerings straight out of the silent film era to fun, flirty affairs that end above the knee. The cheapest cost no more than 400 crowns.

Turns out, you can look a million dollars without having to spend a million!

“April is the traditional month for trying on wedding dresses,” Anna Svensson, PR Manager, told YLC.

Despite sambo status being the norm, marriages are making a comeback in Sweden. According to Svensson, wedding dresses are even bigger here than in England where Beyond Retro’s flagship store opened. The idea is to attract the growing number of couples getting hitched.

Kicking off the 3-day-fair with a suitably girly evening of champagne and chocolate, over 200 brides-to-be crammed the store with their entourage of mums, girlfriends and even a supportive male or two.

“It was so inspiring to see strong, independent women looking at the dresses with their fiancées, who cares if the dress is not expensive,” said Kiara who works at the store.

Think one of a kind pieces, channeling old Hollywood glamour, flapper suave and gothic chic. There’s romance and style a plenty. Luckily, not a shred of crushed velvet in sight (told you they were experts). If you’re game, you can even buy their oldest piece from the 30’s and wear a bit of history down the aisle.

With vintage, there’s always an element of luck. Is it too long? Was it owned by dead royalty? Why were people so THIN back then (the answer is usually ‘war’)? But when you DO find your dress, you can be assured that it’s a one off.

dresses3While the fair is over for this year, you can still buy other bridal must haves. Lace brollies, gloves, flower garlands, embellished headdresses, vintage lingerie (still not sure about second hand underwear factor), feathers, faux fur, sequins and shoes. Its not all about the ladies either. Guys can suit up with their impressive bow tie selection, waistcoats and head gear. Whether you go vintage, retro or throwback you’ll impress the socks off the congregation. All that extra cash you save means more money for the wedding liquor fund! Who says we don’t look out for our readers?

Beyond Retro, Zinkensdamm
Brännkyrkagatan 82
For other vintage gems, check out our guide to Stockholm’s second hand shops! There’s also a Vintage Fair going on in the city this weekend!



Art nouveau meets gangster grunge? Swedish fashion studio Acne pulls it off in their new collaborative collection with Liberty London. It’s funky fashion fusion that works.


Modern Swedish fashion brand Acne is known for their simple, classy pieces (as well as the iconic pink shopping bags which have become a status symbol about town). Liberty London, on the other hand, is established and old. The best of London and the best of Sweden take a dose of Japanese inspiration and create something totally unique – the Acne x Liberty capsule collection, previewing from February 14th.

The collection includes leather jackets, scarves, bags, skirts, denim overalls, and more. Baseball caps have never looked so classy.  Jonny Johansson, creative director at Acne, hand-picked three iconic Liberty prints to use int he collection. Eva is an 1880s Japanese-influenced pattern, Jonny is classic paisley, and Alma’s Bird is an oriental art nouveau hybrid. We love them all.


“When we started exploring Liberty’s extensive heritage for this project, it almost felt like an overwhelming voyage,” Johansson said of the collection. “We realized we had to come up with a strong contrast in order to make sense of it, so the team and I picked one favorite print each and integrated them with some of our classic leather pieces.”

Does this mean the Stockholm fashion sea of black will be transformed into a plethora of paisley this spring? Doubtful – but we wouldn’t mind. And we might go grab some of those shoes when the collection goes on sale in March.





The time of sinister spirits and ghostly ghouls is upon us! At YLC we have a trick (and a treat) up our sleeve for costume-shopping Stockholm style!


Whether you’re planning on joining the Shockholm parade, heading to Skansen for a flicker of Folklore and Magic or just popping out with the kiddiewinks for a spot of trick or treating, you’ll need a killer costume.

There are a handful of options if you’re planning a Halloween costume for you or your children. Buy brand new, customise or start from scratch. Here’s the YLC pick of the bunch, starting with the original and arguably still the best, Buttericks on Drottningatan.



This brilliant fancy dress and party shop opened in 1903 and has been providing crazy costumes and party decorations for every conceivable festivity ever since; it’s a veritable treasure trove of dressing-up goodies, party must-haves and ghoulish delights.

With complete costumes including kids zombie (299 SEK), zombie bride for teens (249 SEK), men’s Robin Hood (from 499 SEK) and women’s pirate captain (399 SEK) as well as Halloween favourites witches, wizards and ghosts for earthly spirits of all ages; Buttericks has it all.

Need a stylish Halloween alternative? Buttericks sells Lady Gaga favourite, Violent Lips Lip tattoos, available for 49 SEK. Perfect for little girls and women alike, these temporary tattoos provide an easy way to make-up your face in a variety of dazzling patterns and colours.

With affordable accessories such as bloody hand gloves for 49 SEK, black, glittery roses for only 20 SEK (a perfect accessory for a make-shift zombie bride) and eye-popping wigs on display, a trip to Buttericks is an experience as much as a shopping expedition.

Where: Drottninggatan 57 


Beyond Retro

If pre-packaged costumes aren’t your thing and you fancy something more unique, head to one of the city’s many second-hand stores. One of the best, Beyond Retro, has stores on Drottninggatan, Brännkyrkagatan and Åsögatan and is a perfect go-to for upbeat, eclectic fancy dress for every occasion.

Unleash your inner drama-queen and let your imagination run wild amongst a dizzying array of sequinned and bejewelled eighties cocktail dresses. Mix theatrical gowns with scary masks or rip apart second-hand sheets and adorn yourself with long-gloves, crazy make-up and fantastical wigs.

Boys are catered for here too. Dress up your partner in a country-gent tweed suit, bow-tie and crazy hair for a frenzied professor look.

Beyond also has in stock military-style jackets for the men or vintage, lace wedding dresses that are just screaming out for a jot of Halloween customisation. Make tears, splash on some paint or glue on beads to a boudoir bodice or dotty dress for a ravishingly dark and mysterious outfit.

Stuck for ideas? Beyond Retro has its very own Halloween costume inspiration folder.



Kids will love choosing their own ready-made costume in Sweden’s favourite toy store. There are four BR shops in the capital so with one probably just around the corner, Halloween costume shopping doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

Little girls will love the cute witches and Skeleton bride costumes (199 SEK); while boys will howl with delight at the thought of wearing the BR fiery skeleton (199 SEK), Frankenstein’s monster (229 SEK) or werewolf (299 SEK) for All Hallow’s Eve.

For younger kids, BR also stocks toddler-friendly pumpkins and rather cosy-looking spider web costumes; and a small selection of costumes for grown-ups too.

Top tip – look out for BR’s light-up and glow-in-the-dark ranges, including nail varnish, vampire teeth, masks and even a top-to-toe glowing skeleton outfit (249 SEK or 186 SEK with a BR membership card).

Where: Gallerian, Hamngatan 37 or PUB, Drottningatan 63


A few more devilishly easy tips and ideas:

For adults: Buttericks has a fantastic selection of masquerade masks – either choose one or make your own from cardboard and get crafty with beads, glitter, glue and feathers – and match with a second-hand gown for an original, grown-up Halloween outfit.

Remember that costume you spent hours making for your kid’s dance show? Recycle old hand-made costumes with a spot of bloody-red paint and new shriek-making accessories for a cheaper alternative.

Kids will need a hefty-sized bag to carry all their trick-or-treat godis  in. Take a regular sturdy paper-bag bought from any supermarket, spray or paint black and add some scary details such as a big spider-web in white paint or a big laughing pumpkin in bright orange.

Don’t miss the YLC guide to Höstlov and Halloween in the city here including a list of other costume boutiques in Stockholm and where to go for a fun and spooky time for all the family.

Happy Halloween!


Victoria Hussey

A self-confessed country-girl, Victoria swapped English village life for city-living in Stockholm in April 2013. She has spent the last five months swotting up on Swedish fashion and grappling with an increasingly Stockholm-influenced (namely black) wardrobe. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.

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Follow Victoria and Your Living City on Twitter!

With winter creeping close, YLC’s Victoria Hussey has been foraging in the forest of fashion to bring you the top three must-do trends to get you through the dark Swedish winter months ahead.


There is light at the end of the tunnel. It may not yet be winter and the thought of dark, winter months may send shivers to your very core, but I bring you glad tidings fashion fans for this autumn/winter. There’s glamour afoot.

Nature is out. The city with her moodily lit streets and opulent catwalk-ready pavements is in. If, like me, you find yourself wrapping your coat around you in dramatic, femme fatale fashion when battling Stockholm’s city winds, prepare yourself for more of the same.

Dreams of romantic rendezvous, steam engines and the glamour of old Hollywood come together this season for Sweden’s top three fashion trends for autumn/winter 2013. Next stop, Glamourville.


1940s mannish overcoats

Let me paint you a picture; tissues at the ready. An unremittingly romantic gentleman places his overcoat upon his lady’s shoulders in a beautiful, sweeping gesture of love; they fear to say goodbye, but they must. Teary-eyed and heart-poundingly beautiful, she (let’s call her Daisy) catches a glimpse of herself in the rain-speckled glass of the shiny, green steam-engine. Hang on a minute; she thinks to herself, I look top drawer amazing; he sees it too. She keeps the coat. And the man.

Got it? Winter coats this season are long, elegant, forties-inspired and boxy. Think Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca.

Tiger’s long coats are certainly reminiscent of a bygone era of steam trains and romance so too are uniform-inspired coats, caps and capes at House of Dagmar. Pair with cut-off leather driving gloves, a borrowed boyish cap, and riding boots (as seen at H&M). Or wear nonchalantly over Dagmar’s thigh-split dresses for a trés ladylike silhouette.

At Stockholm design house, Whyred, mannish overcoats in khaki fitted impeccably with tailored pant-suits, simple black tailoring layered with ankle-skimming dresses. At Acne; oversized, masculine aviator coats were the winter-warming covering of choice.

Another alternative? The cape is big news this season. Seen at Tiger, House of Dagmar and J. Lindeberg, capes usher in notions of Victorian gentlemen, brawny and important yet on a woman, a cape signifies care-free elegance; perfect for this winter.



Remember the light at the end of the tunnel I mentioned earlier? Dressing in all things shiny is already looking big on the international fashion scene for spring/summer 2014 but Sweden’s top designers have decided to get in early with this one. Luckily for us.

Tiger, Acne and Whyred all weaved flashes of silver and dappled metallics shades into their winter collections. Plum, aubergine and midnight blue did the trick in cute A-line dresses and  on type, Acne’s metallics in electric blue and silver were punchy against swamping silk dresses and blazers in dove grey, almond and soft apricot.


Furry things

Whatever your opinion of fur, fluffy-shaped and shaggy is de rigeur this autumn/winter. Without wandering into the depths of a murky fur debate – just go for synthetic to get this look – House of Dagmar, H&M’s Autumn Collection and Carin Wester took inspiration from nature’s furry creatures for a very Scandinavian play on texture.

At Carin Wester, models wore Davy Crockett Hats on the catwalk in January with boyish loose-fit trousers in sumptuous silks. Tiger of Sweden came over all cute and purry this season with fluffy dresses in plum and murky teal with purrfectly soft and sumptuous knitwear; and Whyred’s inky blue fur hats and jackets are less wild-animal, more pampered pooch.

If fur – man-made or otherwise – isn’t your thing, go big for texture in oversized chunky knits perfect to keep out the winter chill. Carin Wester’s cashmere and silk combinations are the perfect antidote to boring warm and practical dressing.

H&M’s Autumn Collection certainly had me all in a flap with enough old-school glitz and glamour in covetable pieces that would not have been out of place at a Jean Paul Gaultier catwalk or on the delightful Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby for that matter.

Be it the Roaring Twenties or Fabulous Forties, with Sweden’s new romance with old-fashioned glamour, the coming dark winter months need not be a problem. With this season’s glitzy trends, you’ll be shining all the way through to next spring.

So, “Here’s looking at you kid.”




Victoria Hussey

A self-confessed country-girl, Victoria swapped English village life for city-living in Stockholm in April 2013. She has spent the last five months swotting up on Swedish fashion and grappling with an increasingly Stockholm-influenced (namely black) wardrobe. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.

Follow Victoria and Your Living City on Twitter!

If you live in Stockholm, chances are you’ve stumbled into a large room with minimal furniture, dim lighting and somberly dressed mannequins. YLC’s Victoria Hussey explains why these concept stores do so much more than sell clothes.

TC 4Photo: The Casbah

A new breed of store has been stealthily making its mark on Stockholm in recent years. Concept stores, taking their lead from their acclaimed counterparts in Milan, London and Paris, are as much about offering an entirely new shopping experience as they are about the items they sell.

The idea isn’t a new one; concept stores originated in the seventies and eighties. Every last fleck of paint was considered and reconsidered when Ralph Lauren launched his flagship store in New York in 1984. Curator, Carla Sozzani, designed 10 Corso Como in the early nineties and began cross-selling art, fashion, music, design and cuisine in hidden spaces that includes a café, gallery and minute hotel (consisting of a mere three rooms); transforming it into much more than just a store that sells clothes.

Until recently, Stockholm was devoid of its own high-end, high-concept boutiques. Hoping to replicate the idea of the alternative shopping experience is hip fashion go-to, The Casbah. With four stores in the city already, The Casbah focuses on showcasing new design talent in a calm, breathable and intriguing space.

“We sell a lot of different, small designers so it feels almost like a market-place.” Sales assistant, Elvis, tells YLC.

He’s right. It’s possible to walk around The Casbah – free of walls or departments and with its avenues of black rails and monochromatic interior  - without knowing which designer’s work you’re admiring; much like you would at a market. This notion of the exotic is echoed in the luxurious, long, velvet curtains with traditional tie-backs that cover the fitting rooms adjacent to comfy leather chairs. Books sit half-read on a coffee table; there’s no need to feel rushed at The Casbah.

Elsewhere, items are not so much displayed but curated. There is a  feel of a fashion exhibition about the store; as if each garment were a work of art. There are places to perch and contemplate, much like in a gallery or a museum. In another part of the store, thick, shiny white steps and a big, cartoonish sign reading The Casbah provide a display vitrine for a globe, a sweater, a single shoe, a magazine. Everything has been thought out, conceptualised.

In fact, The Casbah has three concepts: Edge, Liberty and Core, all with individual values and aesthetics evident in the store layout and design. At its heart is the choice of young, fresh design.

“We’re all about new designers. Most are Scandinavian; we have Turnover from The Netherlands, which is like the Dutch Acne, and Karen by Simonsen. We want these new brands, we’re different.” he added.

In fact, The Casbah is the place that gets to sell the covetable collection of The Swedish Fashion Council’s yearly Rookies winner. This year’s winner, Mes Dames, designed by Lisa Wikander may not yet be in stores just yet, but 2012’s Lobra is.

“We’re changing all of our stores in Stockholm this month – we’re moving to a more rustic, messy look. It will look quite damp, natural,” Head of Visual Merchandising for The Casbah, Johan Vedin Bergman told YLC. “September is an important month for all retailers and it’s important everything looks just right.”

Even now, as the stores are going through a seasonal redecoration and are littered with dust sheets, sand paper and ladders – the kind of décor that wouldn’t be out of place in a concept store. Scruffy, old furniture and out-of-place materials are perfect to provide that most covetable of products: customer experience.

“It gets a reaction, people think, “wow” I want to shop here. It’s fun,” Urban Outfitters sales assistant, Juliet Vergara told YLC.

Urban Outfitters in Biblioteksgatan is the only one of its kind in Sweden. The store took over the Röda Kvarn (Moulin Rouge or red windmill) in 2006.  The converted cinema provided the all-American brand with a super-sized shell in which to house a multitude of trendy, young brands underneath dramatically tall ceilings and mesmeric, elephant-sized chandeliers.

“The people that choose where to open the next Urban Outfitters are really picky, they go out looking for places they know will have an impact,” Urban Outfitters representative, Carolina Dolata explained. “Things are more expensive here but it’s a little bit of luxury on the high-street. We sell smaller Swedish designers and you can get the whole outfit here – shoes, necklace, earrings – in one trip,” she added.

Mood, in the centre of the city, has taken the concept experience and moved it onto three floors. Exclusive fashion, home and accessory brands mingle with plush eateries under atmospheric lighting. The individual wide open shop doors and relaxed seating areas sporadically placed throughout the building as well as the accompanying birdsong in the background portray an outdoor space, while quirky features, such as wrought iron sign-posts, add to the traditional meets modern theme.

You see a concept store is just that: a concept. They don’t just sell clothes, they exhibit an entire mood. So the next time you stroll into one of these gems, look around and appreciate the lengths the designers have gone to to make you feel a certain way. I bet shopping has never been so thought-provoking, huh?


Victoria Hussey

A self-confessed country-girl, Victoria studied English literature and fashion writing in the UK and Milan and then swapped English village life for city living in Stockholm in April 2013. She has spent the last five months swotting up on Swedish fashion and exploring her favourite part of Sweden; its national parks. Victoria enjoys travelling to far-off lands, alternative music and wishes someone would invent some kind of socially-acceptable breakfast ice-cream.

Follow Victoria and Your Living City on Twitter!


Here is a list of online shops that deliver clothing (and other goods) to Sweden, sometimes with free shipping!


If you’d like to support Your Living City, you can do so simply by purchasing through our links below; it’s no cost to you, but makes a great difference to our community site.

Amazon Clothing Store

(Free Delivery on certain items: Delivery within 5-7 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing.


John Lewis

(£7.50: Delivery within 5-7 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing. Toys. Selected Home Furnishing and Beauty Items.


Marks and Spencer

(£7.50: Delivery within 7-10 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing. Toys. Selected Home Furnishing and Beauty Items.

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(£7: Delivery within 5-6 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing. Toys. Selected Home Furnishings, Beauty and Electrical items.


Lands’ End

(£6.95: Delivery 2-15 working days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing.



(£6: Delivery within 14 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing.



(£3.95 (free on orders over £75: Delivery within 4-7 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing.


New Look

(£5: Delivery within 5-7 days)

Men, Women and Teen Clothing.



(free shipping: Delivery within 3-5 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing, accessories and home furnishings


Banana Republic

(£4: Delivery within 2-6 days)

Men and Women’s Clothing. Accessories.


Gap Clothing

(reduced for the moment from £10 to £4: Delivery within 2-6 days)

Men, Women and Children’s Clothing.



(from £15 (dependent on weight): Delivery approx 1 week)

Designer shoes, including Fitflops

 Buy designer shoes at Shoetique. We stock designer shoes from brands such as FitFlop, Rieker, Birke


Not on the High Street

(Shipping cost dependent on weight: Delivery within 5-10 days)

Beautiful clothing, home furnishings and children’s items



Featured Image:  Calotype46