I was surprised when I realised we hadn’t ever featured Oliver Dannefalk in our ‘How to dress like’ series, given I’ve admired his style for years, particularly since he launched Rubato with Carl Pers.
I assume it’s because what he wears has effectively been featured in the various times we’ve covered Rubato itself. As with many small brands, his style is intrinsically bound up with the ‘easy elegance’ the brand espouses.
That aesthetic is actually quite narrow compared to the range of clothing Oliver wears though. One of the most inspiring things I find in his style is the way he mixes casual and formal, such as canvas sneakers with an overcoat, or tassel loafers with old jeans. And the way vintage clothing is mixed in there too.
So in this instalment of ‘How to dress like’, I specifically asked Oliver about those types of combinations, while also presenting a range of outfits, from fairly smart to pretty casual. The rest of the series, interviewing 16 other men I admire, can of course be seen here.
Outfit 1: Tailoring with white socks
Black raglan coat: Vintage
Black knit tie: Vintage
Brown herringbone jacket: Saman Amel
White shirt: Rubato sample
Grey cavalry twill trousers: Bespoke from a Swedish tailor, now retired
I’ve found it hard in the past to incorporate black into any outfit, except for a pair of shoes or a tie once in a while. But when my friend found this vintage coat for me, the colour started to make more sense, with its inherent drama and elegance.
Here I wore it with a knit tie, crisp shirt, jacket and grey trousers – and white socks to take a little bit of edge off. I don’t want to come off as too serious and dark.
I love a knit tie. This was the first tie I bought for myself, around 15 years ago. My first ever tie, though, my father bought me for graduation. I wonder if I still have it somewhere.
Outfit 2: Overcoat with sneakers
Bespoke coat in British Warm cloth by Fox Brothers: BnTailor
Brown cavalry twill trousers: BnTailor
Brown V-neck: Rubato
White shirt: Rubato
Off-white canvas sneakers: Doek oxford
I’d probably say my favourite colour is brown because of its warmth, richness and versatility. Plus a friend’s mother once told me to always wear brown because it compliments my eyes. I took that to heart.
This outfit is a deliberate clash between casual and more dressed-up clothing. You have the pleated trousers, but the sneakers instead of loafers; you have the double-breasted heavy coat, but also the V-neck knit instead of jacket and tie.
Frankly this is just a very comfortable look and one I keep coming back to because it works for almost every occasion. The casual and the dressed are kept in balance, and tied together by the fact the colours are all from the same family. That’s what makes it interesting in my opinion.
Outfit 3: Milsurp and knitwear
V-neck in sage green: Rubato
White polo shirt: Rubato
White army chinos: Vintage
Green Swedish army jacket: Vintage
Black velvet slippers: Bowhill & Elliott
Proportionate volume is key for me – both width and length – especially since I’m 190cm tall. I’ve always had trouble finding garments that fit me: mostly things are too short, too tight and don’t fit my body proportions.
Vintage garments tend to work though. Made to be really worn, they usually have a simple make and a comfortable fit. Here I’m wearing a take on the look above, but with a green Swedish army parka, white vintage army chinos and black velvet slippers.
The oversized parka is lovely as it lends a dash of drama to an otherwise quite straightforward look. I must say the slippers turn some heads though.
Outfit 4: T-shirt under tailoring
Linen jacket: Vintage Ralph Lauren
White Levi’s: Vintage
White T-shirt: Uniqlo
Beige suede belt: Rubato
Loafers: Marphy model from Rubinacci
I used to always wear a collar. From the time I graduated in 2006 I had this fixed idea that I should always wear a collar, whether it was a shirt or a polo. It made me feel more dressed, and for some reason that was how I wanted to feel.
As I grew older though I rediscovered my love of T-shirts, and of late I’ve started wearing them more and more with tailoring. It takes away all the frills and extras, and just creates clean outfit where that lack of frills is part of what makes it look good.
The jacket in this shot is a vintage Ralph Lauren linen jacket (part of a suit) – another of those amazing vintage finds. Made in the nineties, it’s a 52 Long(!) and works perfectly for me. It’s nothing special, no crazy lapels or insane shoulder line, just a damn good jacket.
Outfit 5: Loafers and jeans
Cotton jacket: Vintage Baracuta
Jeans: Vintage Levi’s orange-tab
Cordovan tassel loafers: Alden
For me, this look is all about the tassel loafers.
You have this mod-ish look with the wrecked jeans and Baracuta jacket, and it would’ve made perfect sense to wear more casual shoes. But mixing in the loafers, as with the sneakers and overcoat above, balances out the extremes.
I must admit though that these jeans are probably beyond saving, and I did not make friends with the dog. It was more excited about something further up the street – probably someone wearing jeans without holes in them.
If I have a conclusion, I think I’d my style consists in balancing casual and more dressed garments, new and vintage, bespoke and ready to wear. Dressing for the occasion but trying too not be too obvious. I also value comfort above anything else, there’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable throughout the day.
Nothing is perfect, so one’s style cannot be perfect – something has to be off, and that’s where character comes in.
Read Oliver’s thoughts on buying vintage clothing, featured so heavily here, in this previous PS article. He also wrote a piece on the arts and aesthetics that influence him generally, here.
Photography: Milad Abedi, Jamie Ferguson, @the.kyu and Rubato
Absolutely wonderful dresser. I also used to wear a collar every single day, and over the past year I’ve also come to appreciate the simplicity of going collarless (T-shirt or sweater) under jackets.
I’ve been going the other way if anything. I have a relatively long neck and it’s very hard to find t-shirts that have a relatively small opening and a higher collar at the back. (Looking forward to the PS restock)
I use t-shirts mostly at home and under knitwear.
I find Sunspel t-shirts to have a small opening.
Thanks for this very interesting piece, which has some excellent insights – I especially liked the point on character. A lot of it isn’t for me, partly personal taste and a different build but also just practical reasons. They look great in photos, but in real life the black velvet slippers wouldn’t just turn heads (especially in the office, where I’d look like I’m trying far too hard), but they’d also be ruined within a couple of days of wandering around, even in summer in Stockholm. I can’t imagine anyone (outside of fashion shoots or people who run a fashion business) seriously thinking that’s a good idea. Some of the outfits also look quite aging to me – a little bit fuddy-duddy, or an older guy trying to be young and hip even though Oliver’s only in his thirties.
But that all sounds much too negative. The photos are a pleasure to look at, and thought-provoking, and I love some of the individual pieces – especially the green army jacket and the Baracuta. It has definitely made me think about looking more at buying vintage.
Definitely agree with this comment; I thought the same about the Angel Ramos article, which I love but can’y apply to my own wardrobe.
Definitely going to look for vintag clothing this weekend !
Thanks Jeremy – I love comments that politely point out ways people differ. There are so many different ways to dress.
On the velvet slippers, I don’t think anyone would advocate wearing them in the office, and often they’re just for occasions rather than walking around all day outside. Actually, one anecdote I thought was nice was a friend in Norway, saying that everyone had to wear big boots much of the year, but would carry a pair of slippers to an event or dinner, in order to swap to something smarter indoors.
Hi Simon. Talk of slippers reminds me of my visit to Paris in 1988 when my dad treated me to a shirt, tie and silk pocket square from Sulka on the rue de rivoli. They had the most sumptious dressing gowns and gorgeous velvet slippers. A truly wonderful shop and I still remember the gentleman who served us. I chose the (striped) shirt and asked for help with a tie and pocket square. Without hesitation he produced a tie and pocket square – both of which also had a pattern – but it all worked together beautifully. The shirt and tie are long gone but I still have, and treasure the pocket square.
Ha! Great. I do in fact do something like that, albeit not with velvet slippers but boots I don’t want to get ruined in the slush and the pebbles.
Hi, on a sort of similar note; before I retired, on my ‘office days’ I would sometimes wear a pair mahabis slippers – especially in winter – as did others (or something similar).
Yeah I respectfully disagree with Jeremy. This is one of my favorite “How to Dress Like” features in part because I think these outfits are interesting yet wearable. These outfits would not make you stick out like a sore thumb. They’d subtly make you look interesting and tasteful, which is I think what most PS readers aspire toward. Thanks Simon, and thanks to Oliver and Rubato, which is a brand I’ve really come to admire.
Fairly common here in the nordics. If I’m invited to a dinner party at someones house I wouldn’t wear the shoes I’ve walked there with inside, nor would I remove my shoes and just wear socks. I guess its different cultures as we don’t wear shoes inside here (as opposed to the UK), so that is the best common courtesy option. Would love to hear your take on this.
Always enjoyed Olivers’ style, great article. Cheers!
Thanks John, I kind of thought it might be. You don’t want socks or snowy boots I can imagine!
I love the idea, and I can see how it could encourage guys to wear different types and styles of shoe. Is that what happens in practice?
I agree, I do not wear my shoes indoors having walked the streets, I therefore consider it discourteous to do so in someone else’s home. This concept exists in the UK too if you were brought up in a respectful way of others.
I think it depends mostly on the household Steve. As with any event, the important thing is being appropriate to the environment. And the household you’re visiting might wear outdoor shoes, indoor ones or just socks. It’s up to them
Yes the guideline is the householder, but I would ask them rather than guess should they be embarrassed to ask guests to remove shoes indoors.
True. Consideration on both sides is good
I agree. As a host, if I invite people over for a more formal event, I wouldn’t find it discourteous if they wear outdoor shoes indoors. I would fully expect to clean either way (note, I am John above), and especially if it is a larger gathering, I wouldn’t bat an eye. However, its just a great gesture, and shows that you’ve thought about the hosts’ situation. For me personally, I wouldn’t want to be the person who scratches the hosts wood floor with a rock stuck in the sole, or put a dirt mark on someones carpet etc.
As for different styles of shoes, I would say yes and no. I have specific “indoor shoes” (mainly “softer” loafer style shoes in black/shoes brown suede), but thats mainly because I also wear them at the office on weekdays. I don’t think my situation is applicable to most other people. My mother actually once remarked that it seemed a bit wasteful, but as they’re never exposed to the elements they last forever (or, rather, until I start wearing them outside).
If the event is more formal, I would just clean up a pair of oxfords (etc) and bring them with me. However, there definitely adds more flexibility to the outfit, as the external factors (weather, distance etc) doesn’t impact your choice of footwear. Certain shoes just doesn’t look very flattering in indoor settings to my eyes.
A thought provoking and inspiring dresser.
My biggest recent influence, due to PS, is wearing white and cream and self confidence when wearing it. Saying that, black coat and shoes is still a favourite of mine. It’s very dramatic.
I really enjoy the change of pace in these types of articles. Specifically on Oliver’s look I like the mix of styles and is to a lesser extent what I try to do with the exception of not so much vintage (just a personal preference) and great to see new ideas. Seeing this piece I feel my time has come!
Simon, a non related question, if you can remember, what size did you buy in your King and Tuckfield cardigan (the slightly retro looking one)? I am thinking of buying similar in the new collection and having met you I think we are similar size although I am slightly smaller.
Thanks and all the best. Have good weekend.
No worries – I took a small, though I was between sizes and I now wish I’d taken a medium.
To be honest, this is how many men dress in Sweden now, in lieu of a suit and tie. Although that may very well has to do with Oliver and his peers, since they set the tone for Stockholm, which then spills over to the rest of the country to some extent. Oliver does have an interesting way of combining shoes though, making styles work that normally should not. I take it that comes from his having worked in a renowned shoe store and had the possibility to try different combinations out.
I would personally have a hard time using t-shirts with sport coats, although I love the look when seeing it done in the Stoffa lookbooks. I guess it would require a fully-fashioned t-shirt in a knitted or at least heavy fabric. But still, I dont know, the lack of a collar is difficult to get past.
And yes, Rubato is a fantastic brand that I hope will continue to bring forth new styles and pieces. Especially love their high-end stuff.
Can see the conversation has already gone in the direction of the slippers, but I thought I’d share my perspective on them too as I have found myself often mystified at pictures of men wearing them, then bemused, then irritated, then something resembling actual anger and finally going full circle just now back to mystification. Why?!
In my opinion they add a kind of preposterous Hugh Hefner affect to basically any outfit. They land squarely in the category of ‘flashy’ for me. As though making some kind of point about having the audacity to wear lounge-wear in other settings, despite simultaneously seeming unimaginative and conventional, so much have they become a trope of sartorial menswear culture. You know someones a menswear guy if he is wearing glowing white socks with shiny shoes like a Michael Jackson impersonator, a baseball cap with a sports jacket, a shirt collar sticking up over a roll-neck or a pair of smug crest embroidered slippers. For what it’s worth, I do 3 of those things myself but slippers in public! I should say no.
For the sake of balance, the rest of his clothing to me looks bloody brilliant.
A brief note just to endorse the products that Rubato sell.
I have purchased a number of their high end knitwear garments and the quality is beyond reproach. So too was the wonderful assistance from Oliver. His taste, character and authenticity come as no surprise.
I quite like Olivers style (except for the torn jeans – the dog made the right choice there), but I do think these images feel a bit #menswear. That’s not a bad thing though: I sometimes think we get a bit too neurotic about keeping things subtle and wearable for everyone. We do need some outliers who wear odd things for some inspiration: velvet slippers outside of the house probably isn’t for me, but it might inspire me to experiment a bit with more unusual footwear. I think most of the interesting people in both the “how to dress like…” and “meet the readers” series have styles I really haven’t considered, and in most cases wouldn’t wear myself. My comfort zone is a nice place to visit, after all, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
Good morning…..this man enjoys the casual look….GO FOR IT AND ENJOY !!!!!!peace to all around the world…..
I love the photo of Oliver and, I presume, his business partner in identical outfits. Was that planned or a coincidence?
I like the t-shirt under tailoring look. I need some new t-shirts and the Uniqlo one Oliver is wearing looks appealing.
In the photo he looks like he is about to pull the post out of the ground and smash the window with it. The window display must be an $8,000 Gucci graphic t-shirt he absolutely must have!
Planned I believe.
I think Oliver has a great sense of dressing in all dimensions: color, shape etc. It is in some way very RL. The camel coat is also just perfect. And there is something about the height, sunglasses, beard and power coats that makes him resemble Suge Knight.
I also love that these outfits are low key dandy. Although the shapes resemble workwear, they make most sense for going to cafés, museums, hotel bars, shoe shopping and photoshoots. Almost everything is pristine and made out of delicate materials, fit meticulously, and there are lots of white bottoms. And there is nothing corporate or office-like about them, either.
This is not the dress of the middle class. We are busy scrambling to the bus, picking up kids at daycare, carrying bags and making dinner. One can always dream.
Mic Drop! Suge Knight for the win!
An excellent balance of discreet, graceful, muted tones in accordance with the surrounding nature.
Interesting. Great pieces and colour combinations and he clearly enjoys what he is doing, which is what counts, but every single outfit shown here has at least one element that pushes it over the edge for me. A bit too studied or affected, not wanting to just dress really well but wanting a little bit of attention from others for it. That’s how it looks to me anyway. Still a great dresser and excellent article so thank you for that
Well I’m on board with everything Oliver wears but possibly the White Socks, that’s a big ask for me.
Whilst not being quite as tall I am always conscious when purchasing things that I go for a block, simplistic look much like Oliver. He wears his clothes extremely well and they are typically Swedish and understated whilst at the same time very well curated.
I’m slowly discovering the versatility of Brown having been pretty much a navy blue person most of my life and the versatility it brings is most pleasing.
Bravo and hope to see you both at the pop up
Cheers Mike, see you there
Speaking of taller men, especially tall (let’s say 185cm+) handsome men who comport themselves well in general – I believe they have a distinct advantage with artfully mixing styles in an outfit. Of course this is true with women. Height is a wonderful advantage in fashion.
So encouraged to see someone my size featured! I am the same height, and wear a 52 Long in ready to wear. Good article. As always, it’s the process and analysis of the selections that provide value to me.
Good to hear, thanks Tom
The roll of the collar over the tie in the second photo is a thing of beauty.
I also love the almost camel-coloured overcoat – it’s sumptuous and beautifully cut.
Some great inspiration here.
It’s not something that would have ever occured to me, but the green coat on the green v-neck is a great look, set off nicely by the white chinos and polo.
Do you think this “leaves” green color on Oliver’s coat would be more versatile than military green or dark olive? What kind of color would it match well for trousers? Thanks for your reply in advance.
Well, it is a military jacket so kind of military green! But I know what you mean. Personally I think the more normal, faded US army green is more versatile, but this would still be good with a range of trouser colours, including white or cream as here, charcoal, dark brown, beige, denim etc
Interesting piece. I prefer to think of the rules as guidelines. They are too confusing otherwise. For the most part, I think Oliver is in the right track. I quite like his style, anyway.
Getting the balance right is always difficult but I think he is definitely getting close.
All contrived styles to me, the type that would only ever be worn by men working in menswear.
I like much of the look, combinations & colours, but personally I don’t like baseball hats, white trainers, white sock, no socks ( unless hot), wide bottom to trouser legs & trousers that show so much sock. And fringed jeans. I find it contrived & a fashion statement rather than being stylish or permanent. With the above adjustments I’d be pleased to wear all the rest
Great read (and visuals)! Outfit 4 and the final photo with the off-white overshirt (would love to know the brand) speak to me probably due to me living in a warmer climate. The casual elegance, but interesting enough to notice the intent in dressing are what I have grown to aspire to. Another great feature Simon!
Wonderful article and some great looks. I too found a time that I had to bring T-shirts back into my wardrobe, after a stretch of only wearing collared shirts. Thank you for your perspective, Oliver!
Cheers! Dress well in good health!
In outfit two, do you happen to know the brand of the jacket worn by Rubato’s friend?
It’s above in the comments Shannon – it’s a vintage Ralph fireman jacket