During a true Swedish winter it can be what I like to call in Swedish, “As Kallt,” or dead cold. Your face hurts the air is so cold. I am talking temperatures around 8 F (-14 C). It is beyond any cold I have ever felt in my life, growing up in southeast Texas and then spending a decade or so in sunny California. You have to have the right kind of clothing. As my husband says, “There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.” Truer words could not be spoken.
The first year we lived here I had my arctic duffel coat, which was very warm but maybe a little overkill even for Sweden. The second year I decided it was time to get a good coat. One that was well insulated but also not so warm that I would roast the minute I walked into a store from the outside. I found one that I thought would be at least a start in the right direction. It was a US brand so I ordered it online in the US to save money and when we went to Texas for Christmas I brought it back with me.
We are now going into our third year here. This winter started out so mild that it really seemed more like an extended fall or early spring. However, the past week has changed all of that and the memory of how cold it was during our first two years has quickly come back to slap me in the face. Cold becomes defined by a string of four-letter words. I look at the first “winter” coat I bought for my first winter trip to Sweden, pre-artic duffel, and I laugh. It is definitely stylish and feminine but not at all practical and not very warm either. My new coat from last year is awesome. It is the perfect blend of style and warmth, though it could use a few small improvements. And although I am already starting to pick out my next coat, narrowing it down to the smallest details of perfection, this coat, right now, makes me happy. Living in Sweden one needs at least one good winter coat, possible two, so I am keeping my eyes and my options open.