Picture above: VisitFinland.fi
The newest craze in treating yourself? The Finnish Kalsarikännit is here!
It must be that Hygge is gradually starting to feel stale – it’s been on everybody’s lips for so long now. Scratch that, the newest thing noted by Vogue et al is Kalsarikännit! It’s an honest and very Finnish phenomenon – basically it means ‘getting drunk in your underwear’. However, embracing kalsarikännit first and foremost means embracing time spent in solitude, allowing yourself to relax and sit with your thoughts – all the while sipping your favorite beverage. What’s not to love?
Hygge, the Danish-born concept describes the feeling borne out of doing something without schedules, slowly and enjoying every minute. What most people don’t know is that Finns have their own form of the same phenomenon. It’s called “kalsarikännit”. Directly translated, it’s “getting drunk in your underwear”.
Yes, you read that right. You’re free to look it up, if you don’t believe us. It’s been noted in some publications already – for instance, Vogue covered it recently, albeit by spinning the phenomenon towards females in their undergarments.
The actual Kalsarikännit is pretty close to Hygge in that it’s about not being in a hurry, being extremely comfortable. The main difference is that you’re supposed to enjoy solitude. This is about affording time for yourself. Some Finns might send a text or the odd Facebook message to share the joy of their Kalsarikännit to others, but the main event is to be enjoyed alone. To that end, we gathered a few items that will make the experience even more enjoyable.Picture by Svala.
The logical place to start would probably be the underwear. Svala offer a pair of classic, clean-lined black boxers made of Merino wool – they wick moisture and heat and feature flat seams and a healthy amount of flex for maximum comfort on the couch. They also come in the long john variety, which is nice, because there’s a long-standing controversy concerning kalsarikännit – whether the underwear should be long or not for the uniform to be perfect.
No matter which style of underwear you choose, a nice pair for the underwear is the Ilmo linen shirt by Frenn. This classic t-shirt design is light to wear and breathable. Frenn is based in Helsinki and focus on clean designs and Nordic simplicity. They also function responsibly with regards to things like manufacturing: Their wares are manufactured by hand in Northern Europe.
For your beverage, Iittala offer Aarne whisky glasses. The glass is balanced so that the ergonomics of the drinking act work with you. You can drop in a couple of Hukka ice stones – a soapstone equivalent to ice cubes. Just put them in the freezer overnight, and they’ll cool your whisky to a nice, cold temperature. Just remember to take breaks in between drinks – the Leaf underlay by Think Today is a stylish option for keeping your tabletop free of moisture.
One of the factors that have undoubtedly led to the birth of Kalsarikännit is the Finnish weather. The long, dark winters are often what keeps us indoors. Thanks to modern technology, there’s a way to fight the winter gloom: Innolux offer a variety of bright light devices, that effectively compensate for the lack of natural light – they keep you awake and cheerful, which is important for any kalsarikänni event.
The key concept to understand about Kalsarikännit is this: it’s very descriptive of the Finnish state of mind. The word is used seemingly without humor, but it’s never without it. The mental image of getting drunk in your underwear is used as a carriage in which lurks a positive message: That of being merciful. You don’t always have to look your best, or even to go out and socialize. It’s fine to spend some valuable ‘me’ time, and forget about the rest of the world. Or grooming. But only for one night at a time.