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.
Photography: Milad Abedi, Jamie Ferguson, @the.kyu and Rubato