Finally, a lifestyle trend we can get on board with
Päntsdrunk is the anglicised word for the Finnish kalsarikänni, a term that literally means “drinking at home, alone, in your underwear”. And yes, in Finland this is a fully fledged, nationally celebrated pastime (not the sign of a minor emotional breakdown).
In fact, päntsdrunk is such an established part of Finnish culture that the country’s ministry of foreign affairs even talks about it in its guide to the country.
(Tbf if your winters consisted of -15 degree temperatures and very little daylight, you’d probably spend a fair amount of time at home in your pants as well.)
And now, päntsdrunk is set to become a thing here in the UK thanks to a new book by Finnish writer Miska Rantanen, called Päntsdrunk: The Finnish Art of Drinking at Home. Alone. In Your Underwear.
In the book, Miska explains how Finns started drinking in their underwear as a way of coping with the country’s long, dark winters (see above) – when no one could be bothered to wear multiple layers to trek out and meet their friends.
So they decided to stay at home – in one layer – and drink in the warmth instead.
As you can imagine, people are totally on board with the concept.
In case you missed it, hygge was the trend of 2016, originating in Denmark, but making its way all over the world.
We all wanted to be hygge, in theory. It was supposed to be the answer to our modern anxieties, getting us to drown our worries in hot chocolate, or burn them in a roaring fireplace, or wilfully ignore them in a secluded log cabin (all while wearing cosy socks). It was the kind of ‘me time’ you could share on Instagram.
But when it came down to it, the pressure to perform the perfect Instagram Christmas all year round turned out to be weirdly stressful and competitive.
Then there was lagom, which came into our lives in 2017. Lagom was a Swedish term for having just the right amount of something – not too much, not too little. Think minimalist clothing and delicately sipping medium-quality wine.
Päntsdrunk is what those other Scandinavian lifestyle trends promised but never delivered: chill and enjoyable.
Snacks are highly recommended, the pants can be your worst pair, and no-one is allowed to judge your choice of TV (päntsdrunk is an inclusive space).
Yes, it may not be as Instagrammable as hygge – unless you’re into posting photos of yourself lolling about in your knickers, no judgement here – but it sounds a lot more fun.
It’s obviously worth pointing out that celebrating this new craze – even the name päntsdrunk is joyous – is not about turning to alcohol to cope with life’s hurdles. It just means that every so often you’re allowed to put your to-do list to one side, strip down to your pants, crack open a gin tin, and watch whatever you want on TV.
Seriously, no surprises that Finland was just named the happiest place on Earth.