Just last week, as I was casually browsing through Helmut Newton photos on Pinterest for a moodboard I was working on, I stumbled across a strange looking word. Kalsarikännit. My tongue hurt at the prospect of trying to pronounce it — uncertain of what to do with that many consonants strung together. And don't get me started on the umlaut— the two dots over the a, to indicate a short "eh" sound. "Lots to unpack with this word" I thought to myself. Let's look it up.
Kalsarikännit, which I came to learn is pronounced like cal-sar-y-cuhn-eet, is the Finnish concept of drinking at home, alone, usually in as little clothes as possible, typically your underwear. Ah, this makes sense this word popped up with a Helmut Newton photo now— a beautiful black and white film shot of a woman, perhaps getting ready for an evening or maybe unwinding afterward, clad in just in black, slightly opaque tights, bra and jewelry. A bottle of wine sits next to her as she gazes at her reflection in the mirror.
And, I guess when I really think about it, we've all been that Helmut Newton woman this year to a certain extent. Sure, we may not be able to fully take advantage of our wardrobes for events, parties and big dinners, but, and perhaps this is the homebody in me talking here, sometimes the getting ready part, is the best part. The anticipation of an evening out sometimes feels sweeter than the actual evening itself.
What could a Kalsarikännit evening look like? I'd start by throwing on a great evocative playlist, pouring a cocktail or two and strutting around your apartment like you know you're going to charm the hell out of your date that evening, even if you're not seeing another living soul aside from your dog or cat. Throw on a movie, wrap yourself up in a silk robe or perhaps velvet. Read poetry in bed. Write a letter to an ex-lover, that you never intend to send. Light candles. Eat decadent takeout in bed — oysters, steak, caviar. Or if you're feeling adventurous, cook a meal in said underwear— just be aware of prying neighbor eyes!
Don't get me wrong, I also love lounging at home in my most comfortable clothes while sipping red wine, but I think the feeling of slinking around your own home in something that makes you feel undeniably sexy is quite appealing. Whether it's just you or your now pleasantly surprised partner, I think it helps reclaim some of that "I'm going out tonight magic" without ever having to step a foot outside the door.
Now tell me, do you ever partake in Kalsarikännit?
Sleeping with Jacques velvet nightgown (gifted) // Vintage pearl earrings that look like grapes (similar style here) // Samsung TV with a beloved Degas ballerina painting (gifted)
Photography by yours truly