Copenhagen. Stockholm. Götenborg. Ask any effortlessly chic young woman on the streets of these Northern cities where she got her duds, and she’s likely to exclaim, Monki! (Or, if the store’s in the midst of a huge sale like they are right now, the graphic shopping bags will give them away, as they are on the wrists of every street style fashionista.) The very best ideas of Scandinavian architecture, art and design meet Japanese cartoon style with these artsy, budget-friendly designs, and you’ll see new stores popping up all over the globe. See why you need to be watching out for your own local boutique!
I’m not even going to lie about what drew me in to this store. Monki’s cute mascot, who sometimes is a bat, a squid, or any other adorable creature, illuminated the first store I saw in Copenhagen, Denmark. But the completely wearable clothes are what kept me in the store long after the novelty wore off. (Who am I kidding, the novelty never wears off.)
If you’ve ever seen a hip girl on the street rocking high tops, a bomber jacket, and drop-crotch silk pants, you are going to completely get it. As you may know, this look, when done right, is so comfy casual cool that I can’t stand its awesome. When done wrong, you look like you’re walking around in a saggy diaper. How is it so easy to mess up a casual look?
I quickly found that Monki takes all the guess-work out of effortless street style, making it actually effortless! (Imagine that, fashion world!) All their pieces are comfortable and interchangeable with each other in terms of matching. Even if the items technically “clash,” the colors, fabrics, vibe, or something about it unifies the look for you. So you can throw on a psychedelic metallic toned top with the Monki mascot on it to spice up your jeans and a t-shirt look, or pair the top with those aforementioned drop-crotch pants (I got the ones to the right!) for a European update.
The prices, even with European conversion rates, rival your favorite budget fashion shop — they give Forever 21 and H&M a run with outstanding quality. Each Monki shop has a unique flair to its design, but they all give off a fun club atmosphere. Not with the pounding music and trashy girls of other places. Just a fun kind of shop that you want to stick around in.
Scandinavian Monki shops are opening up in major cities around the world– like Hong Kong, Berlin, and London — so be sure to check it out on your travels or find out if there’s one near you.