Interview: Atte of DressLikeA

Tumblr/the internet is full of #menswear inspiration. There are certain individuals who really set the bar when it comes to their tastes and overall “aesthetics”. Atte is one of those guys. His ability to make “business-casual” seem elegant, while making a full suit look more comfortable then your favorite pair of sweats, is a wonderful thing to see. From jeans and sneakers to suits and ties, Atte is one of the best dressed guys on the internet (and in life) around the clock. Beyond that, he holds a wealth of knowledge about this hobby of his, and you can just tell he’s passionate about this world of menswear.

I was able to get some more insight from Atte about what it takes to DressLikeA:

Your blog, DressLikeA, is full of inspiration and quality menswear material – How did you get started on the blog?
That’s kindly to say so thanks for that at first. And well, it’s now been almost three years since I started DLA which in the first place happened after many of the people I knew had told me I should start posting. That I think was because during that time there were only a couple of blogs concentrated on menswear and men’s “classic style” in Finland. Despite this the main reason for starting to post however was to use the blog as an inspirational board for myself.

This is a very broad question, but what inspires you most when it comes to the content of your posts?
In general I think that as everyone I try to gather inspiration from wherever I am and whatever I see but basically where I personally happen to find most of my inspiration is people walking on the streets, guys at Pitti Uomo or at NY or Milan fashion week, people I have around me, places I travel and very much the colors I see around. In addition I read a lot of other blogs and magazines which are a big source of inspiration for me as well – not only in terms of my personal style but also for the blog.

Secondly, in terms of the content I post there are as well many sources of ideas and inspiration. First of all I get a lot of feedback, questions and inquiries from my readers (which I’m really grateful) so those often inspire me write about products or how to wear or acquire some specific pieces for example. Secondly the content of the blog is of course a lot inspired by my own style choices. Many times if I’m looking to buy something or have bought something I may find it useful to write about that to help my readers in case their going through a similar case. And thirdly there are obviously seasonal changes and trends that are interesting and inspiring to write about.

One thing that’s important to remember however when talking about being inspired by the others is this: when it comes to developing your own style (or the style of your own blog in that matter) you need to separate finding inspiration and copying one’s style; you must always investigate, you must learn, you must understand and then you must select. If you’ve done your due diligence and appreciate the process then you’ll never let “popular opinion” dictate your success.

What is your earliest memory of your interest in menswear/fashion?
I can’t really name one particular thing but at this point I need to give credit for my big brother. I think it was during junior high school when I really started to pay attention on the way I was dressed and at that time I highly admired the style of my brother. On 8th grade I got an “award” of being the “best dressed guy ” in my school so maybe that’s one of the earliest indications of my interest in terms of menswear.

There is an obvious passion for beautiful fabrics, balanced aesthetics and the small details that bring together a look that inspires many (if not all) of us taking part in this whole #menswear world. What part of the whole ordeal are you most passionate about?
On the blog I’ve said it’s all about “fit, quality and aesthetics” and of those for me the most important or to answer your question the one I’m most passionate about is probably aesthetics. Actually in a way I like to think that it includes the two others; if the garment does not fit you well or the product is made poorly, it probably doesn’t please you aesthetically either. On the hand, the aesthetics many times crystallizes in those small details.

No matter whether it’s clothes, food, drinks or traveling for example – I admire beautiful things that makes me feel good. And that’s what I try to do with my blog as well – give people good feelings and inspiration through things I personally am passionate about.

“Fashion” is an ever changing subject that is almost impossible to keep up with and differs from around the world. You living in Finland, what about the Finnish scene, in terms of fashion, do you think is different from other parts of the world that you have observed?
Maybe the most important thing to keep in mind in terms of what differs Finland (as well as other Nordic countries) from many other parts of the world is that what we have here is a calendar with pretty clearly different four seasons and during the winter for example it can get really cold and snowy. So first of all one need to learn how to dress according the weather (and make it look good) and that brings in own kind of challenges and prerequisites in terms of what kind of garments one can even use, compared for example to Italy or some other countries situated in warmer climate.

The other thing is that our culture in terms of men dressing well and paying attention on clothing is relatively small and still in its infancy if one could say so. Compared to many other countries we do not have any brands (or people even) of our own that we could be “proud of” and that would help to build the “identity” of “Finnish menswear and fashion”. The selection of shops is also pretty small-scaled but it’s developing. So we are moving into the right direction and I hope I can personally be a part of that change.

Third thing that could be said to reflect Finnish menswear scene at the moment is that we do have a lot of guys who are interested and doing a really good job in the “street wear and denim” category. That of course might partly be the result of the first point above as dressing yourself with good quality casual clothing such as jeans and good knitwear for example is a lot easier way to go in Finnish climate than the “Italian peacocking”.

I have seen photos of you in Pitti. Are you involved in the menswear world beyond your blog – or is it all just part of the love?
Yes, the upcoming fair in January will be the fourth time for me to visit Pitti Uomo. So far it’s just part of the love as you said and I consider it to be a part of this “hobby” and interest, a great opportunity to meet new people, gain new friends & contacts and of course as well see what’s coming up in terms of collection for the next seasons. And well, you never know what happens in the future.

We have talked about your profession a little (me, pursuing a career in the same field), how does that affect your everyday look and your overall time that you are able to spend following the menswear world?
Yes, as you know I work in the legal business, being a lawyer by profession and well obviously it affects the way I dress quite a lot. Also I think that the interest I’ve “always” had in becoming a lawyer has also in a way headed my interest into more classical style of dressing. At the moment I happen to work in a field and in office where the dress code is not so strict but still most of the days I do wear a jacket and a tie. I still try to make my everyday look to reflect my own sense of style and personality within the limits and frame I’m working with.

And regarding the other part of the question, naturally I need to put my work in the first place cause that’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what brings the food on the table. On the other hand, Pitti Uomo for example is when I take my vacation from work so for me it’s a thing I really want to invest the time and effort as I really enjoy all the parts it involves. The rest of time I’m not spending at work I pretty much spend with menswear; reading blogs, reading and writing on forums, contributing on my own blog etc. At the moment we are also on the process of launching a new “blog” or “web journal” with a couple of like-minded friends which will be maintained in Finnish and that is also taking a part of my time at the moment.

2 Words to describe your personal style…
With 2 words it’s not easy but let’s say simple and adaptable.

I have been asked this question a few different times and there is never really an answer, but just for fun – what would be your ideal outfit?
Depends of the context of course but in the end I really like just simple things. My ideal outfit for fall and winter season would probably involve a navy blue, unstructured lightweight wool blazer with (2) patch pockets, off-white cashmere roll neck sweater. light colored denim jeans and snuff suede chukka boots. For the summer season replace the roll neck with a light blue button-up and chukka boots with suede loafers.

Your daily posts consist of you in some of the finest garments that one can get their hands on – explain a little bit of your insight on finding a quality product and what is important to you…
To put it shortly I think there are certain general standards that defines quality products. Depending whether it’s about shoes, tailored clothing or accessories for example you first take a look at the materials used, after that you check the quality of the work and finally the finishing and details.

However nowadays I personally more and more base my acquisitions on this what I like to call a “feel good factor” which simply means that the most important thing you get of whatever purchase for example is the experience and feeling it gives you. One can speak about the amount of handwork, country of origin or different parts of the manufacturing process that all do matter but I think that in the end, after you go over certain premises in terms of quality, this is the thing that really matters, the feeling and aesthetics.

Your home has been taken over by monkeys (?) and you can only grab one item. What is it?
I guess I’d grab my laptop.

What makes A suavebynature?
Dressing according the situation and environment, simplicity and adaptability as mentioned above but most of all, personality and good manners.