In the first of our How to Dress Like a Gentleman Series, we speak to the very dapper Linus Norrbom, getting his insights into what he looks for in his clothing choices, and how he pairs his outfits. You can find Linus on Instagram here: Instagram.com/linus.norrbom
How would you describe your own personal style?
I would probably describe my style as somewhat traditional menswear, but with a contemporary and casual touch – not too formal really. I have a preference for natural/soft shoulders and very lightly constructed jackets, and enjoy being playful in terms of patterns and colours.
If I try to put a label on it, I would like to say “casual elegance”, but that would be up to the eye of the beholder to judge.
Are there any brands you particularly think fit with your style?
I like to think I focus on clothes that I like regardless of brand. To me, the garments as such are important, not the brand. However, there are certain brands that I tend to end up with since they fit my style and preferences really well.
A common denominator is probably great value for the money. For instance, for Ready-to-Wear suits, jackets and shirts, my wardrobe consists of a lot of Suit Supply garments. As someone that likes clothes a bit too much for being content with just a few pieces, I find that their offering fits me well. Nice aesthetics and fit, with good quality fabrics at a great value. For Made-to-Measure, I have been pleased with the fairly new Swedish brand Blugiallo, for the same reasons.
In terms of accessories, there is a number of high-quality specialist brands that I like and use. As is probably evident to anyone who follows me on Instagram, Rampley & Co. is one of my absolute favourites, but I also appreciate and use products from makers like Berg & Berg, Granqvist, Cordone, urbanites, and GENTL SUPPLY.
When you choose your outfit for the day, what is the item that you choose first?
I typically have a mental vision in my head of the whole ensemble and a feeling, but the thought process often starts with the suit or sports coat I want to wear. However, this ties quite closely the choice of pocket square and tie that is key to achieve that feeling of the look I’m after. Shirt, trousers and shoes follow, and lastly any other accessories.
Do you have any particular favourite patterns or colours?
For jackets/suits, I very much enjoy subtle and fairly classic patterns, like herringbone, houndstooth or a nice glen check or gun club check. In accessories, also dots, stripes and paisley come into play.
In terms of colours, I like to mix the classic blues and greys with other colours, in accessories such as ties, pocket squares and socks but also in sport coats and sometimes even a casual suit. You will typically see me wearing a lot of green (bottle, olive, forest,…), orange (burnt orange, rust, …), brown and burgundy.
How do you then choose the accessories you wear?
The accessories are not just a detail I add to an outfit, I find them vital to the ensemble. I like to keep an ensemble well balanced and often bring out some complementing colours, but also some secondary colours that are present elsewhere in the outfit to ground the ensemble.
I often go with a fairly simplistic tie, and let the pocket square do the talking – for instance, a solid grenadine tie and a pocket square with a more complex pattern and colour mix.
What do you generally look for when choosing your pocket square?
Quality, pattern, colours, size. If you look at the pocket squares from Rampley & Co., they are pretty much ideal. A very high standard in terms of quality (fabric, print, sewing), a good size, and beautiful motifs with a colour palette that allow for many different impressions depending on how you fold them. I find them extremely versatile and easy to pair.
Also, I always like when products of brands have a history or a story to tell. Rampley’s different art collections for pocket squares is a perfect example of such as product. In addition to the pocket squares being really beautiful, it gives me pleasure to carry a true piece of art in my pocket that is mostly hidden to others.
For your tie do you like a particular width or length?
Currently, my preference is 8,5 or 9 cm width with a standard length of around 150 cm. I want the width of the blade to harmonize with the lapel width and shirt collar size.
With your socks do you go for classic patterns and colours that blend with your shoes and trousers, or do you prefer more vibrant colours?
I tend to go for quite classic socks choices, either in a solid colour or with a subtle herringbone or houndstooth pattern. Colour-wise, I often choose to pick up a secondary colour from elsewhere in the ensemble.
Frequent colours, apart from navy and grey, are typically burgundy, dark green. Occasionally you will see some brown, purple or burnt orange.
How much thought do you put into your shoe style, and colour?
I have a preference for using brown shoes, you rarely see me in black (unless formality demands it). As I like to keep a casual touch to my way of dressing, I wear loafers (mostly suede, both tassels and penny) and double monks quite a bit.
Naturally, you will see me wearing cap-toe oxfords as well. Dark to mid-brown shades mostly. Living in Sweden, wintertime boots are unavoidable.
Do you wear a watch or different watches? If so, what style of watch do you wear most often?
I’m not a watch aficionado in any way, but have a few basic pieces I enjoy wearing. Design-wise, I like a minimalistic approach.
Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, The Fall of Phaeton, c.1604/5 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This pocket square features the ancient Greek...
Jacopo Tintoretto, about 1518-1594 Saint George and the Dragon about 1555 © The National Gallery, London 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm Saint George is...
Canaletto 1697 - 1768, The River Thames with St. Paul's Cathedral on Lord Mayor's Day, c.1747-8 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This pocket square is...
This Midnight Blue Star Repeat Wool Tie is handmade in England and made from the finest quality wool. It provides a subtle addition to an outfit and can be used in both casual...