‘Lagom’ – the New Scandi Lifestyle Trend Everyone’s Talking About
This time last year and ‘hygge’ was about to hit the bigtime. A lifestyle blogger’s dream, the Danish custom encouraged ‘staying-in’, piling on the knits, and surrounding yourself with more vanilla-scented candles than the entire Ikea homeware section put together. And though there’s apparently no true english-translation of the word, ‘netflix & chill’ came pretty close (even if it doesn’t sound nearly so worldly). But fogo-ers beware – there’s a new Scandi movement in town, and your nights on the sofa, watching episode-after-episode of Pretty Little Liars, and still feeling semi-cultural… are numbered.
Introducing ‘Lagom’, which, unlike its pyromaniac cousin above, is not only Swedish, but pronounced exactly as it looks (literally lar-gom). We like it more already.
So, what’s lagom?
Hygge refers to a relatively specific (albeit cosy) event and so isn’t exactly a form of lifestyle. I mean, it’s not like you can sit at your desk at work, cocooned by multiple blankets while enjoying a communal pot of cheese fondue (oh, you can? *posts CV*). Lagom, on the other hand, is all about ‘balance’. Or, as Kathleen Bryson – a PhD student of evolutionary anthropology – described it, it’s a state of having ‘not too much of one-or-the-other, but more a Goldilocks ‘just right’.’ It’s about finding an equilibrium.
But how can lagom help me?
First week of Jan, and no doubt your New Year’s resolution is already slipping faster than Jennifer Lawrence at an awards ceremony. But that’s probably because you bit off more than you could chew, right? No more alcohol. Gym every night. A short, sharp, definitive ‘yes’ to any social occasion that presents itself. It’s no wonder you’re struggling. Enter lagom.
Go out, stay in, drink, work, see your friends, keep fit, book that holiday, eat that burger. Basically, nothing’s off limits. But the key is moderation. Unlike the Brit’s mantra, ‘work hard, play hard’ – which almost certainly leads to a permanent state of exhaustion (amiright!?), the Swedes would suggest more of a ‘work moderately, play moderately’ approach. And they’re absolutely right. In fact, to draw again on Ikea, the Swedish company pretty much encapsulates the entire lagom sentiment. It’s functional, but attractive. Minimal, but with just enough detail. Built well, but economically manufactured. And as a result, not only only does everyone love it, but everyone can afford it, too, which is just about as lagom as it gets. Notice any parallels? ; )
So now that you’re entirely convinced about lagom, let’s talk about your new season wardrobe (and no, NOT the sort from Ikea), cos according to the Swedish custom, ‘a little of what you fancy, does you good.’ But with frill front shirts, floral slip dresses and super-breezy chiffon smock tops all on the agenda, finding that balance might be harder than you thought!
Non-brand images sourced from Pinterest and Tumblr