My Style: Niels Holdorf

Portrait of Niels Holdorf

Portrait: Robin Håkansson

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Worse than clashing items of clothing is the clashing of clothes and one’s personality.

Please describe your style in three words.

Classic, modern, shibui.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Not feeling at ease with one’s dress.

Do you believe in role models?

To an extent; I’d be more comfortable with “inspiration”.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I love winter fabrics like flannel and lightweight, Italian tweed; in summer, you have a lot less options for great fabrics.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

From what I’ve seen so far, Milan. The general level is quite high.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I’m definitely not boldly dressed, but I don’t like the term conservative either. I prefer classically restrained.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Stick as close to ‘the rules’ as possible, deviate as much from them as necessary.

Celebrities and style...

Is not something that interests me.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Ties, of course.

A man should always look like…

The way he wants to look.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I’ve been fortunate to come into contact with many very well dressed people in the industry and also among my friends; I love talking about style and hearing people’s perspectives.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Usually, I don’t; I do it the evening before, since I’m far too stupid for important decisions like this in the morning.

What is your biggest regret?

Sartorially? I don’t know; of course, there are a few, but I’m not sure I would be where I am without making those mistakes. So I’ll say I’m fine with where I am.

The three essential things a man should know about style are…

Dress in what makes you confident and comfortable. Don’t be afraid to dress up. Buy the highest quality you can afford. I know everybody says that — but there’s a good reason for this.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

The kind of “shopping” I enjoy most is ordering something bespoke and I love the whole process. From the conception of the idea and the selection of the cloth to measuring, fitting, having lunch or dinner with the tailor, learning more about their house style and craftsmanship… it’s fascinating.

We will never see you wearing…

Never say never. I like stealing my girlfriend’s sweatpants.

The most stylish person you have ever seen…

I can’t name any of my friends for fear of angering the other ones, but there is one encounter that stuck in my mind. It was on the train; an older gentleman, with a nice, checkered tweed jacket, raglan sleeve beige raincoat, and grey flannels. But what got me were the shoes and his portfolio: both obviously of very high quality, beautifully shaped and with a gorgeous patina. He wore it with such ease… that really struck me.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

There is no single thing; it’s the overall impression. I love to see well-dressed people of any style, not only classic menswear. For example, there are some great dressers in Berlin, but only a few of them wear ties.

The one image that defined your approach to style…

I like the contrast between what many people see as stiff and formal clothing and a relaxed, friendly attitude.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I don’t know much about designers, I’m afraid.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is…

There is no single item, in my opinion. But maybe a single thought: if you dress well, that will make you and others happy. So why not give it a try?

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

This constantly changes. Right now, I’m really into double-breasted suits and my first bespoke suit ever was double-breasted; so I wear that one a lot these days.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

The wrong kind of comfort — yes. But there is also the comfort that comes from being well dressed.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

That was actually on diet and clothing, and I think Boyer wrote it: the only dietary advice you will ever need is to buy well-fitting, very expensive clothing.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

My friend George Wang from Brio Beijing, stylish in every aspect of the word.

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