“What does the Totême woman want to wear in the evening?” This was the question mused by Elin Kling and Karl Lindman – the founders of this supremely elegant label – when conjuring an eveningwear capsule befitting of their distinctly minimalist DNA. They answered it with a suitably well-edited, 12-piece collection of mix-and-match pieces that are as thoughtfully tailored as we’ve come to expect from the Stockholm-based brand. If you’ve ever wondered how the innately chic do after-dark dressing, this is it.
A sharp blazer and matching tailored pants made from lustrous wool and silk have office-to-out written all over them; ultra-versatile strapless tops come with coordinating midi skirts but will look just as good over jeans – as will the wear-anywhere long-sleeve tops in luxe satin. For elegant finishing touches, there are vintage-feel evening clutches in croc-embossed leather and subtly sexy over-the-knee, kitten-heel satin boots. In a sophisticated blend of black, red, pearl and pink, the collection should slip seamlessly into your existing closet, but give it enough oomph to get you excited about dressing up for the season ahead, and beyond.
I am the kind of person who can swap my outfit five minutes before leaving the house… To me, it’s very important to feel confident and comfortable in what I wear”
As partners in life as well as business, and with two young children, Kling and Lindman are big fans of the festive season. “We have a deadline of the first of December, which is also Karl’s birthday – [he] doesn’t allow me to put on Christmas music before then, but that morning it’s all on,” explains Kling over a video call with the duo from their Swedish HQ. As one of Stockholm’s most stylish couples, they personify their brand ethos. The ultimate desire being to create a capsule closet of sophisticated, trans-seasonal and classic pieces with a few “seasonal flavors”; a philosophy that style-conscious busy women can get on board with.
It’s obvious they are incredibly hard-working, too. A month after launching Totême back in May 2014, they got married. “It was a short honeymoon,” Lindman jokes, explaining how they essentially got straight back to work, meticulously building their brand of elevated essentials. “It’s not just clothes, it’s a lifestyle,” asserts Kling, who can no doubt relate to the delicate (and at times demanding) balance of juggling work, family and a social life.
With the festive season right around the corner, we enlisted Kling to share her sartorial tips to navigating eveningwear in style.
Simply elevate your everyday look
“My evening look is an interpretation of my everyday look, but with something a little extra. It could be a bolder silhouette, an eccentric detail or vintage jewelry. I love to add a vintage necklace or pair of earrings, such as my favorite diamond-drop pair from Stockholm jewelry auction house Kaplans.”
Choose versatile pieces
“At Totême, we are obsessed with transitional pieces that take you from one situation to the next. This could be a desk-to-dinner solution that is easy to throw on when it’s Thursday and someone says, ‘dinner?’. I’m quite pragmatic in the way I think and dress. We’ve been working for a very long time to design the perfect cigarette pants, as they’re something you can dress down with a T-shirt for the office. In the same way, we’ve put a lot of thought into the actual shape of the long-sleeved blouse – it can be easily combined with the cigarette trousers to have a full evening look, but you can also wear it with a pair of jeans and slingbacks for the perfect dinner aesthetic. Similarly, the wool-silk skirt in gin pink is easily dressed down with a light cable knit, and the matching strapless top can be worn with denim.”
At Totême, we are obsessed with transitional pieces that take you from one situation to the next. This could be a desk-to-dinner solution that is easy to throw on when it’s Thursday and someone says, ‘dinner?’”
My evening look is an interpretation of my everyday look, but with something a little extra. It could be a bolder silhouette, an eccentric detail or vintage jewelry”
Comfort equals confidence
“I am 100 percent the kind of person who can swap my outfit five minutes before leaving the house. Let’s say I’m on my way to an event and I’m wearing a dress, but I just want to put on a white shirt with a pair of trousers and mix in a big necklace – I know that’s the look I’ll feel comfortable in. To me, it’s very important to feel confident and comfortable in what I wear.”
Find fail-safe pieces for eventful days and impromptu occasions
“On busy days, to take me from the office to an event or party, I rely on an evening jacket or cape.”