First, apologies for the long-ish absence. I’ve opened my laptop countless times only to stare at a blank screen, typing a few words and erasing them because it.just.doesn’t.flow. But here I am. A while back I wrote this post about where to eat in Stockholm – and got very positive feedback. Thus I decided that now is the turn of Stockholm shopping tips!
As is probably known, we Finns in particular tend to travel to our Western neighbor’s capital rather often. I could even make a bold statement by claiming that every single Finn in my 799 facebook friends (bragger, lol) has taken a cruise to Stockholm at some point of their lives. The “usual” tourist shopping destinations Drottninggatan, Åhlens city, Gallerian, and Nordiska Kompaniet, are widely known and visited. But if one has grown tired of the basics, or simply wants to plan a more targeted shopping tour without the need to wander through various shopping malls, where to head? Here are my personal Stockholm shopping favorites for the ladies.
Skin Deep, Humlegårdsgatan 5
I decided to present a personal favorite as the nr.1 on the list. Located near Östermalmstorg, Skin Deep as a cosy concept store gathers together nearly all of my favorite brands. Here you’ll find the best of No21, Iro, Rag & Bone, Theory, Yves Salomon, MIH Jeans, as well as the gem Chinti & Parker, whose pajama I praised here last month. As they’re a small-ish one room boutique, they might perhaps not have the largest selection of pieces from the brands’ collections . But heck what a good job they do choosing the pieces on display! I often find that even though stores might resale a great brand, they somehow manage to solely select the not-so-desirable pieces from otherwise strong collections. Not in here. And to add, Skin Deep also holds occasional 70% sales; hand in heart, ladies, this is where the sales finds of your life are made!
Boho Chich. Those are the two words that describe Mathildé the best! On the surface, the store looks very bohemian and laid back. But as you enter and give it a closer look, you’ll find that every detail is planned; from the countless miss-matching chandeliers to the rusty dressing room doors. What I perhaps most enjoy about their concept is the seamless ability to combine well known designers with yet to be discovered ones, as well as affordable brands with high end ones. Mention worthy is also the warm and professional customer service which has yet to leave me disappointed. As it has unfortunately turned out, in Stockholm that’s not something one can always presume. I very much appreciate the fact that they’re very season-adaptable: in the wintertime the store is filled with a large selection of fur hooded parkas, as in the summertime countless colorful bikinis steal the show.
A brand tip: Line of Oslo. The comfiest yet fashionable loungewear I’ve encountered so far.
APLACE, Norrlandsgatan 11
Scandinavian style in a nutshell. APLACE gathers the finest and brightest of Scandinavian minimalistic fashion under one roof, and does a quite decent job while doing so. They have multiple stores located in the districts of inner Stockholm, one of which is placed in Norrlandsgatan (A stone’s throw away from NK). Here you’ll find clothes from Filippa K, House of Dagmar, Ganni, Rodebjer and Whyred, to name a few. Critically speaking, there’s one small deficiency: the collections from the above said are at times a bit limited in comparison with the brands’ other stores. But, if one’s short on time, APLACE will give an excellent overview of the Scandibrands’ current state.
Sandro Paris & NK internationalla designers, Nordiska Kompaniet
Overall, I find department stores quite aversive in their nature. I rarely go into one unless I know exactly what I’m looking for, making an “in an out” game plan as entering the madness of plentitude. Yet, there’s an exception to every rule. In Nordiska Kompaniet, there are two departments in which I would gladly spend ages; Sandro, and the section of International Designers.
What comes to the former one, some of you might’ve noticed that pieces from Sandro are included in roughly half of all my outfits. Their department in NK is well supplied, and so far every salesperson I’ve encountered has provided me with pleasant service. NK International Designers on the other hand gathers together brands like Kenzo, Alica + Olivia, Paul & Joe, Iro, Self Portrait and Frame. What’s not to love?
Zadig & Voltaire, Birger Jarlsgatan 8
Aside from being the Scandinavian style’s mecca, Stockholm offers a good selection of international brands’ flagship stores. At least in comparison to, ehem, Helsinki. The French relaxed luxury brand Zadic & Voltaire, founded in 1997 (my birth year, yay), is no exception. Located in the high end fashion district of Birger Jarlsgatan, their combination of rock & romance is something fairly unique and worth observing. I also need to raise my hat for their clothing’s quality. Far too often have I found myself investing in a pricey piece only to find that it’s falling apart from the seams a week later. But! Every Zadic piece I’ve ever owned has survived intact through washing machines, dry cleaners, traveling and whatnot. Me likey!
Simply Bollocks, Artillerigatan 16
Velvet furniture, a fabulous every woman’s dream closet, a home-like fashion showroom/store? The dreamy Simply Bollocks at Artillerigatan, Östermalm, is all that. This is a concept which one rarely encounters, not even when exploring the traditional fashion cities of London and Paris. As the showroom is not on ground level but two stairs up, and a visit requires calling the buzzer, the shopping experience suddenly gets an exciting, personalized vibe. The brands are various and interesting, clearly carefully selected to suit the store’s distinct image. They include some familiar ones such as FRAME, Carven and Meotine, combined with intriguing smaller names. The earlier mentioned personalization seems to be in a central role in their customer relations, as the store can even be requested a visit outside of the opening hours.
ABCD, Jakobsbergsgatan 3
Located between Stureplan and Biblioteksgatan, you’ll find the ABCD concept store. Due to it’s modest appearance, the store might seem like something quite easy to walk past. But this place definitely has a couple of ace’s up it’s sleeve! In spite of the simple street view, the brands represented inside are nothing but. Balenciaga, Balmain, Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy… not to mention the huge selection of Moncler items (Fun fact, Moncler is opening up their own store across the street in the near future). As the fashion collections shift from SS to AW or the pre seasons in between, ABCD holds at times generous sales in order to get their prevailing supply on the move. And now we’re discussing “everything in the store -70%” sales.
Other enjoyable stores
If one has much time and energy to spend on a shopping tour, the brands’ own, independent stores naturally offer the best selection of their collections. In my experience, especially the following have proved themselves pleasant and worthy of paying a visit:
Acne Studios (Norrmalmstorg, Norrmalm),
Malene Birger (Biblioteksgatan, Norrmalm),
Soft Goat Cashmere (Tegnérgatan, Vasastan),
Céline (Mäster Samuelsgatan, Norrmalm),
Filippa K (Grev Turegatan, Östermalm),
Whyred, House of Dagmar & Casall (Sturegallerian, Östermalm)
Byredo (Mäster Samuelsgatan, Norrmalm)
Not exactly sure of what you’re looking for? No worries. A good rule of thumb is that the majority of shops is located on the streets below. A good way to get inspired is by exploring!
Gucci, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Chanel… For those who enjoy high-end experiences, Birger Jarlsgatan is the place to be. Starting from the beginnin of Strandvägen, this street is home to the finest of fashion houses, accompanied by some of Stockholm’s trendiest restaurants. Here is also located the infamous luxury store Natalie Schuterman, which gathers and presents all the current IT-goodies from top designers. My personal shopping experience from this store was due to inconsiderate customer service a one visit thing. But in the name of fairness, I have also heard opposite stories of Schutermann as well. So if you’re into the flashy end of the style-scale, I suggest you give it a go!
Parallel to Birger Jarlsgatan, Biblioteksgatan offers a larger variety in it’s range of stores. This shopping district’s street level view is being dominated by brands such as Filippa K, COS, Sephora, Sand, Peak Performance, Ralph Lauren, &Other Stories and Samsoe & Samsoe. In between the clothes shops lies also a very sufficient selection of various cafés and restaurants.
Need I explain? Drottninggatan, with all it’s tourists, beggars, teenagers (And not just merely those teens we consider regular, but also those less fortunate ones who live in these streets), different fundraising organizations, is simply a common knowledge phenomenon. BIKBOK, H&M flagship store + H&M home, Lindex, Zara & Zara Home, River Island, Åhlens, Nilsson – in Drottninggatan, fast fashion flourishes.
And last but not least, we have Götgatan at Södermalm. Also hosting many fast fashion brands from Gina Tricot to Monki, Götgatan differs from Drottninggatan by providing a more relaxed, laid back shopping atmosphere. Was it then due to the hipster reputation of Söder or has someone put something in the drinking water, I don’t know, but the difference is easy to experience. Both Götgatan as well as Drottninggatan are usually flooded by tourists. Thus, as a local, they have rather become places to avoid than attractive shopping alternatives.
Wishing everyone a nice Sunday!