Reclaiming Hygge

By now, you’ll have heard of hygge. You’ll even have learned how to pronounce it (hug-gah, more or less). You’ll even have a vague grasp on what it is, but will have been scratching your head wondering why this is being sold to us (in beautiful, expensive books by beautiful, expensive-looking blondes) as a lovely Danish construct, when we here in Ireland (and particularly the West) have been hygge-ing along quite nicely all by ourselves for years and years now, thank you very much.

Galway, for one, is made for the cosy, candle-lit, coffee-drinking, craft-beer-swilling, long-walk-taking, queen-cakes-making approach to life that hygge has claimed all for itself. Who hasn’t strung a set of fairy lights over their mantle piece, poured a warm cup of tae, and dived into a snug pair of PJs after a long day at work or college, to cosy up contentedly in front of the television/fire/book/radiator? It’s the nicest thing to do on a casual weekday evening, and the selection of pyjamas in your usual high-street outlets grows and grows with demand, not to mention blankets, slankets, sleeping socks, hot-water bottles – they’ve got it all! And the Irish have got it nailed.

You can’t go too wrong in this slouchy lounge suit – €20 from Dunnes

How about happening upon a friend and popping into one of the myriad pubs for a sociable day drink, where you put your phone well away and settle down for a lively conversation that has the potential to last hours. Look around you and you’ll see not only comfortingly mis-matched decor – a mixture of ye olde framed Arts Festival posters and beer tankards with witty, inclusive pop culture references for example – but any number of sensibly ankle boot clod feet keeping the damp from the stockinged feet enclosed, along with chunky jumpers and skinny jeans. The hygge uniform if ever there was one.

It’s me! All of this outfit was sourced second hand (apart from the boots, which are from Penney’s, thanks)

Hands up if you have owned at least one fur-lined-hooded jacket in the last ten years. Even if it’s not Baltic out the fur lends a very nice addition to the look, and feels so softly ticklish on your cheek. It’ll go over everything and will last years, and is as no-nonsense stylish and comfortable as they come. There’s only one coat you (actually, really) need, and this is it.

This one’s from Topshop!

If you need any more convincing, I’ve even discovered a word as Gaeilge that perfectly describes hygge – because it itself means cosy, cushy, warm, snug and… er… well-off. It’s seascair (or go seascair), and it’s what we should all say we’re doing when relaxing with a hot chocolate, out for a long walk on The Long Walk or enjoying a coffee or hearty lunch in a cute little cafe with friends. You heard it here first; hygge is dead, long live seascair.