My Style: Ralph Vaessen

Portrait of Ralph Vaessen

Portrait: Courtesy of Ralph Vaessen

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

Never let the clothes do the ‘talking’ for you, dress for the occasion, and less is more.

Please describe your style in three words.

I need only two: subdued distinctive.

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

Choosing clothes that make you overdressed or underdressed for the occasion.

Do you believe in role models?

No, not really.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Wool and cotton...I prefer natural fabrics in general.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Anything that it is too contemporary or excessive.

Which city has the best-dressed men?


Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservative with a distinctive twist.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I always wear knee socks, try to match the colours between the items I wear, and never go for more than one print. Of course, I always dress for the occasion.

Celebrities and style...

Is like money (nouveau riche) and style, it almost never goes well.

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

Shoes... or coats, or is it shirts?

A man should always look like...

As if he just had his shoes polished.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My parents.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Actually, I select them the night before.

What is your biggest regret?

Fashion-wise? Spending too much money on clothing and buying too many items. I now try to buy less and only go for timeless items that I can wear for several seasons. This is my approach regarding sustainability in fashion. It's not necessarily about the way the clothes were produced but it's about the longevity they can have.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

No, and I do not like shopping. I always know exactly what I want and I’m just looking for it, nowadays mostly online...

We will never see you wearing...

Short socks, t-shirts, jeans, shorts, or sneakers.

The most stylish person you have ever seen?

I'd like to mention someone not that obvious and who is outside of the fashion world: Josep Guardiola.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His shoes and his hairstyle.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

I really have no idea...

Which new designers do you follow?

J.W. Anderson, Kunihiko Morinaga, and Conny Groenewegen.

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

His shoes.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A vintage Kenzo coat, a Vivienne Westwood coat, a Norwegian Rain cape and my two pairs of Alden boots.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not at all. If clothes are properly designed then comfort and style go together.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Oh, there are a few: from very classic brands such as Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga to J.W. Anderson, Kunihiko Morinaga (Anrealage) and Tom Notte & Bart Vandebosch (Les Hommes).

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Lucas Ossendrijver.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Don't buy it, you don’t need it.

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