How to Beat the Elements in Norway? Shop.


Surrounded by mountains and fjords on Norway’s west coast, Bergen is amongst the rainiest cities in Europe. But locals will let you know that what’s worse than the rain is the wind.

“It’s the umbrella’s graveyard,” mentioned Karine Trellevik Lunde, a dressmaker who moved to Bergen 12 years in the past from Norway’s east coast, the place the local weather is colder however much less windy.

Dressing fashionably in the gusting rain can show difficult, Ms. Lunde mentioned, so she ultimately teamed up with Ros-Mari Tobiassen Gaundal, a fellow Bergen transplant with a enterprise background, to begin the outerwear model BRGN.

“We both were struggling to find clothes that could protect us from the Bergen weather without looking very sporty,” she mentioned.

The first BRGN assortment was prepared in 2016, and it was rapidly picked up by unbiased outlets throughout Norway. Ms. Lunde mentioned their thought was to create rainwear that doesn’t appear to be rainwear, like a belted poncho or trench coat that occurs to be each waterproof and windproof with a hidden hood zipped in the collar.

“In Bergen, it rains approximately 260 days a year,” she mentioned. “And when it rains three out of four days, three out of four coats in your closet should be waterproof.”

Last November, a BRGN idea store opened in Bergen’s central prepare station with an on-site cafe catering to vacationers in want, whether or not meaning a sandwich for the journey forward or a raincoat for an surprising downpour.

The store joined an array of unbiased shops round the metropolis that immediately inventory a variety of clothes suited to the native local weather, from chunky wool sweaters and tailor-made jackets for style-conscious metropolis dwellers to insulated coveralls for surviving an arctic evening beneath the northern lights.

At Aksdal i Muren, the mission is basically the identical, although the family-owned store has been round loads longer: outerwear has been its focus since 1883 when it began promoting gear to native sailors, farmers and fishermen. Still situated in its unique location, this Bergen landmark stays a go-to for rainwear, oilskins, boots and equipment to hold you dry, whether or not it’s a pair of windproof pants from the Norwegian model Blaest (2,200 Norwegian kroner, about $260) to put on on a hike in the mountains, or a puffy parka from the Swedish activewear model Didriksons (2,700 kroner) to keep heat on the wettest winter days.

For a greater diversity of clothes, look to newer multi-brand outlets like Lot333, a clothes retailer for women and men stocked with Scandinavian and worldwide labels. (The store’s uncommon title is a tribute to the public sale lot variety of the art work that funded its opening: an early work by Banksy.)

“Living and selling clothing in a city like Bergen, where it rains a lot, we stock a collection based a lot on the practicality of the clothing,” mentioned Marcus Smith Hvidsten, a co-owner and native Bergenite who opened Lot333 along with his accomplice in 2008.

A former D.J., Mr. Hvidsten mentioned he had noticed Banksy’s work in London round the yr 2000 whereas searching for information to play at nightclubs, and invited the then-unknown road artist to create some artwork for a brand new hip-hop membership in Bergen. Just a few years later, Banksy had turn out to be internationally well-known and people artworks had grown in worth significantly, so Mr. Hvidsten determined to promote one in hopes of financing his personal store.

“I had already decided that if we get enough money, we would name the store after the auction number,” he mentioned.

Now in a bigger location in the metropolis heart, Lot333 is the place to discover layering necessities, from merino-wool turtleneck sweaters from the Danish model Andersen-Andersen (3,150 kroner) to Norse Projects’ Gore-Tex trousers (2,200 kroner).

“It’s always about the weather, in a way, when you dress here,” Mr. Hvidsten mentioned. And this time of yr, meaning wool base layers in addition to all kinds of waterproof outerwear.

“When it rains in this town, it really rains, and it rains sideways,” he mentioned. “So if you’re just wearing a waterproof jacket and your pants are not water-repellent or waterproof, you will get drenched.”

Nearby, Bergen-appropriate clothes can be discovered at Regn (“rain” in Norwegian), a ladies’s put on boutique that shares winter parkas from the Swedish model Elvine (from 3,499 kroner) and waterproof rucksacks from the Danish label Rains (from 699 kroner).

But for these prepared to make investments in tailored rainwear, the title to know is T-Michael, a distinguished designer and bespoke tailor with Ghanaian roots who moved to Bergen over 30 years in the past.

“You get to know the rain very well, you understand how the rain works,” he mentioned. “And the best way to beat the rain is not to wait for it, but to get prepared before the rain comes in.”

Impeccably dressed, with thick horn-rimmed glasses and tailor-made jackets of his personal design, T-Michael (born Michael Tetteh Nartey) is the inventive catalyst behind a number of initiatives, together with his personal males’s put on label and the raincoat model Norwegian Rain.

Norwegian Rain now has shops in Oslo and Tokyo, in addition to a brand-new, three-level area in Paris. But you’re nonetheless most certainly to discover T-Michael at his flagship store in central Bergen, which doubles as a design studio the place purchasers can attempt on Norwegian Rain’s varied types, select materials and have a made-to-order coat delivered inside just a few weeks.

“They don’t look like raincoats but you have all the protection that you need when it starts to pour,” he mentioned. “It’s all elegant and stylish, so when the rain comes, you button up and you’re protected.”

The unisex Raincho type, for instance, is an up to date poncho in a technical material that’s each windproof and waterproof but breathable, with rigorously thought of particulars, like a cashmere-lined collar (7,300 kroner); the males’s Moscow coat, with a wool shearling lining and removable hood and storm flap, is designed to defend the wearer towards each winter rain and arctic chilly (10,900 kroner).

“You don’t wait for the weather to dictate,” he mentioned. “You sort of take charge of it.”

When requested how to strategy on a regular basis dressing in Bergen this time of yr, the eminently fashionable designer had seasoned recommendation.

“You need to have your wool,” he mentioned. “Wool will always keep you temperate, whether it’s cold or hot, and obviously you have to get a Norwegian Rain coat.”

“Most importantly,” he added, “don’t underrate the weather.”