Fiacha Harrington continues his Personal Style series, this time talking clothes and ideas with My O My The Men store manager, Tuomas Vuorensola.
Tuomas Vuorensola, 42, is the manager of My O My The Men’s Store – which is more commonly known as ‘The Men’. I sat down with him to discuss his personal style and as a man working in the fashion business in Helsinki to see what he likes and what influences him.
Fiacha Harrington: What are you wearing today?
Tuomas Vuorensola: I am wearing a pair of black/grey Levi jeans from the Made and Crafted collection – a really old pair, maybe four or five years old. I wear Hanes for Supreme underwear head to toe. I have on a pair of Nike Lunar LDV Trail Mid sneakers, these are trail running shoes, from about three years ago. I have on a Hansen raglan white long sleeve tee, which is one of my favorite buys in years. And of course I am wearing a Supreme eight ball beanie.
FH: Are these the kind of clothes that you normally wear?
TV: Yes, pretty much so, especially on weekdays when I go to work – I try to keep it as normal and as casual as possible. At the weekend I might go a little wilder, depending on what the occasion is. I might wear a long woolen jacket or coat and a nice pair of pants and nicer shoes, depending on what the occasion that I’m dressing for is. At the moment I’m really into a brand called Harris Wharf London which is a British company and then Barena from Italy. I really like how both of them do classic clothing with their own modern twist, the way they cut and sew the clothes really brings out the finer details and it will set you apart from the rest of the guys even if they are wearing blazers and coats.
FH: Working in a clothes store you probably wear a lot of clothes found in the store, but what are your go to personal favorites?
TV: It’s hard to say which ones. I’ve been trying to cut down on my clothes buying, rather than just consuming and following certain brands. My latest big purchase was a kimono jacket from Visvim as well as some Nike sneakers and some vintage Levi’s jeans. I was given a pair of dead stock Levi’s recently from the guy who used to be the head seller for Levi’s in Finland. He had found an old pair lying around and he gave them to me. I had to wash them in hot water to get them to shrink to my normal size.
FH: What does personal style mean to you?
TV: For me personally style is everything. I think personal style tells a lot about the person and character that you are. And I think it acts as a sign to other people that you show how you carry yourself and try to be as smart and proper as you can and not be just bumming around. If you have a personal style you can wear whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be a cool brand or something expensive, it depends more on how you combine different elements and how you carry them off, that completes the circle.
For me personally style is everything. I think personal style tells a lot about the person and character that you are.
FH: Where do you get your influences from?
TV: I think my single biggest influence is my father. He used to travel a lot in the seventies and eighties and he used to buy quality stuff, really nice clothes for himself but also for me. So I grew up under his influence and his love for style and details. He could be quite judgmental in the way he might criticize others for the way they dressed. My father may have bought less but he bought quality, so he is the root cause for my love of personal style and quality clothing. I try not to follow too many external influences, I try to avoid fashion blogs and prefer to read some quality publications like iD as well as following some fashion photographers on Instagram. I pick up one thing here and there, if I see something that impresses me – I then get the urge that I must have it. Normally I have some kind of vision as to what clothes I need or what I’m looking for and often those specific things aren’t on the market at that particular time, so I might look for it on eBay or wait until someone produces it in the seasons to come – that’s what normally happens. I think that just about everything has been done many times before, so that’s why you have to look inwards and get influences from yourself. I imagine certain products and then I just have to spend the time and wait to find it.
I think that just about everything has been done many times before, so that’s why you have to look inwards and get influences from yourself.
FH: What is your own general perception of men’s clothing at the moment?
TV: I don’t know, I feel that I’ve seen it all before. Saying that I think that there is a good mix of styles. I really like how the high fashion brands are not quite stealing but taking back from street brands and the way in which everything is merging and mixing together. I am really waiting to see the day that someone rocks a hoodie at the presidential independence day reception – we are not to far away from something like that happening. Overall it is an interesting time to be working in fashion, good things are happening, but the downside is that there is so much copying going on. It seems to be really hard to be original these days. Men in Helsinki are getting there – as they are now more open to fashion and are learning to look for quality products and the back story that goes with certain quality clothing. But label wise they are not as aware as men in other big cities. While the younger generation want to instantly have everything that they see on social media, it is the younger guys that are stepping up the game and going really crazy with different styles. There is a consumer group of men in their 30s, 40s and 50s that still don’t seem to really care about what they wear, but we are starting to see changes and they are getting there.