“The best way to describe it would be what the Italians describe as Stile Inglese. I have and will always have my roots in the classic british style. But when it comes to tailoring I consider the britisk style to stiff and classic. Instead I dress the way Italians do when they want to look English, stile inglese, a british look through the eyes of an Italian. “
– Olof Nithenius
Tell us about yourself, Who are you?
I am a 35 years old Swedish banker who has been working with retail banking, investment banking and wealth management for 12 years. The last 4 years I have also been freelancing as a style editor because of my huge interest in style and menswear.
How would you describe your own style?
The best way to describe it would be what the Italians describe as Stile Inglese. I have and will always have my roots in the classic british style. But when it comes to tailoring I consider the britisk style to stiff and classic. Instead I dress the way Italians do when they want to look English, stile inglese, a british look through the eyes of an Italian.
I normally only wear fabrics from british mills since I prefer them and most of my shoes and accessories are also british but the tailors they are Italian.
I prefer some tweed sport coats, flannel trousers, suede or cordovan shoes and ties and pocket squares that’s less formal.
What is your earliest memory related to menswear and style?
I have always since I was a kid had a huge interest in fashion and style. As a youngster it was pretty much about wearing the coolest denims and trainers. When I was 14 or 15 years old I had the book Gentleman by Bernhard Roetzel and pretty much ever since I have been more or less faithful to a classic and timeless look.
How did you start your career in menswear and how did you first enter into the world of tailoring and bespoke?
The first time I actually worked with menswear was in the early 20s when I went to the university and had a part time job at Ralph Lauren and a haberdasher. Ten years later, a few years ago a friend of mine who was the editor for Manolo.se, one of the biggest menswear sites in Scandinavia, who knew my passion for style asked me if I wanted to contribute once a week with a text about style and menswear.
The rest is history. Beside my job as a banker I do some freelance writing for magazines and online publications, done some modelling and created a small capsule collection of goods.
Everything has happened very fast and I have been seen in magazines and publications such as Financial Times – How To Spend It, The Rake, Vouge, GQ in interviews or streetstyle photos.
What inspires you / How do you find inspiration?
People with a genuine style and great personality. I admire the few gentlemen I have met that both dresses sharp and are kind and gentle men. There are not many left of them nowadays.
Instagram is a fantastic and never ending source for inspirations. When it comes to persons who’s style I truly admire I have to mention Bruce G. Boyer, Luciano Barbera, Michael Hill and my dear friend Andreas Weinås.
If you had to name one person that has had the most influence on your style, who would that be?
My wife, hahaha. But for inspiration Bruce G. Boyer
How would you describe the Scandinavian menswear scene?
Fantastic! And it has happened very fast. 8-10years ago it was not even close. We have a long tradition of fashion rather than style. But now we have a large amount of haberdashers with a good selection and people whos style makes them great ambassadors for a classic style. If I should generalise the Scandinavian take on menswear is more influenced by the Italian style rather than the british.
How do you evaluate the Swedish market in terms of sartorial menswear? Are there any trends?
There are trends all the time. I find this both normal and a bit strange. Since the part of menswear I try to cover is timeless and classic the trends shouldn’t be that many, but there are. Since I started to work with this for real 4-5 years ago I have seen many trends coming and go even though the wearer claims that he prefer a classic style that doesn’t change much over time. And for common people these trends are probably barely visible. Five years ago the jackets and trousers were short and snug. The width of the foot was slimmer and the shirt collars smaller.
Now we see longer jackets with more drape at the chest and trousers with higher rise that sits properly at the waist. Much better proportions now if you ask me. The gorge is lower and the shirt collars more generous. When it comes to trends its, sadly if you ask me, common with a polo collar over the jacket lapels, smart trainers to a suit and lots of earth tone colors.
Next season its something else…
Tell us a bit about your work on Manolo.se. How is the scene on Manolo and how do you find inspiration to your articles?
Whats unique with Manolo is that we have a very demanding group of followers. Many has a strong opinion and own thoughts. The comments are mostly constructive and good but sometimes a little to much. But that’s a part of the charm. We can never relax.
I have been frustrated a couple times when there are comments about our language and abilities to express ourselves. But when thinking twice its means that they have very high expectations. Its hard though, for me after more than four years and 250 posts to have new inspiration and content, but I will do my best. Since I have the freedom to write about whatever I want and the style that represents me its much easier.
As an avid enthusiast of bespoke, what are your suggestions and advice for someone looking to commission his first bespoke pieces?
I have a few advices. To start with, which style do you prefer? A classic British look or a softer sartorial Italian look? Look at photos and people that you admire when it comes to style, who has made their suits and jackets?
Start with the basics. But one very sharp navy suit. Add a grey suit. Flannel trousers, tweed jacket and a summer jacket. After this you can freak out and but solaro, linen, fresco, checks, stripes, cotton and everything else.
What is your number one suggestion to men that want to learn how to dress better?
Buy from those who are specialist and do it best.
Shoes from England
Tailoring from Italy
Colognes from France
Timepieces from Switzerland
Whisky from Scotland
And, dress to feel good and comfortable and not to impress others.
Can you mention any essentials in your wardrobe for fall/winter 2017?
A very heavy chocolate brown cotton twill suit from Zaremba bespoke, a raglan sleeve wool coat from Private White VC, a suitcase from Globe-Trotter and brogues from Stefano Bemer.
And lots and lots of merino wool socks from Palatino Rome.
What was it about Viola Milano that initially caught your attention?
First it was the early take on the Italian sartorial style. I noticed how early Viola Milano was with this. And I had a lot of pleasure following the content in social medias. The brand was very early with the bracelet trend that was (is) huge. Later on I got impressed by how professional the business is.
Which construction in terms of ties is your favorite?
As mentioned I prefer the more casual ones and with an untipped end. Wool, grenadine and shantung or a silk knit, that’s my cup of tea.
Which Viola Milano product is your favourite?
The ties! Such a lovely collection of ties. I have a few and use them on a regular basis.