Amsterdam Street Style

Photo by Kaitlin Wright

While many European cities like Milan and Paris are known for the stylish natural of their patrons, Amsterdam usually flies under the radar. But, if you’ve been here before, you know that Dutch men have a unique sense of style.

Mixing trends and taking chances, Dutch men are known for things like bright trousers and tailored overcoats. On the street, you’ll notice that Dutch men are just as fashionable as their female counterparts. Practical and stylish, they simply know how to dress.

And, in a country where rain and clouds are an almost daily occurrence, Dutch men are innovative with their use of layers and fabrics. After all, getting caught in the rain is almost always a certainty but in Amsterdam, you shed your layers once sun pokes through the clouds.

In addition to rain adaptability, these outfits are extremely cycle-friendly. Don’t worry about riding uncomfortably or catching a breeze on your bike, because Dutch men have mastered the art of dressing for the bicycle.

In the first of a European street style series, I’ve taken my camera to every corner of Amsterdam searching for the trendiest men with the most enviable looks. So, take a peak at three Amsterdam styles and how to get them.

Photo by Kaitlin Wright

I spotted Matt on a rare sunny day, just outside of a cafe in Amsterdam Centrum. Matt’s look is so eclectic, I couldn’t resist asking for a photo.

His varsity jacket includes one of my favorite trends of the season: leather sleeves. Since this look is so desirable at the moment, you can find varsity jackets of all shapes, sizes and styles at almost any fashion-forward shop, affordable or high-end.

Mix your varsity jacket with a bright pair of trousers to steal some of Matt’s Dutch influence and to hit another of the season’s hottest trends. H&M and Zara have a good selection. You can also check out Dockers as a fabulous go-to for a pair of trousers that will last.

Matt’s old-school sneakers are vintage and he’s been wearing them for years. You can go any route for the sneakers, just be sure to forgo anything too sporty looking. A classic pair of Vans would finish this look nicely.

As for hair and accessories, Matt has a hairstyle you’ll see throughout Amsterdam. Popular in Europe at the moment, this look is relaxed and easy to maintain, rain or shine. Part your hair to one side, then take a small amount of product in the palm of your hand. With product in-hand, sweep your hair up and away from your forehead, away from the part. Make sure to style your hair when damp, rather than soaking wet.

Matt’s clear, bulky-frames polish this look off nicely. If you don’t need a prescription, throw on a pair of WayFarers in any colour.

Photo by Kim Elliott

I spotted Carsten outside of his flat near Amsterdam RAI station. I couldn’t help but notice his denim-on-denim ensemble, so reminiscent of the “Canadian tuxedo”.

Carsten’s mix of accessories and washes sets this outfit apart from the standard denim-on-denim look. By choosing a faded pair jeans and a powder blue button-up, he’s tailored a light look, perfect for spring.

To add contrast to his light basics, Carsten accessorized with a dark washed denim jacket,a multi-toned neutral scarf and a pair of black desert boots. Choose shoes that are dark and suede to keep this look casual.

I love this look because it isn’t overstated. His style sense is sleek, comfortable and trendy all at once. To get this look, you’ll need basics like a light button-up and jeans. You’ll also need to invest in trendy but easily mixed-and-matched pieces like a dark denim jacket and a pair of desert shoes.

Style your hair as described in the first look, and throw on those Wayfarers.

Photo by Kaitlin Wright

Max was shopping in De Negen Straatjes when I stopped him for a photo. I noticed his scarf during a particularly windy moment as rain began to pour. He was nice enough to step out from the awning under which he was taking refuge so that I could snap this photo. Thanks, Max.

I like this look because it’s versatile. Max can wear this to school and then out to dinner and, if he trades his light trousers for dark denim, easily carry this look into fall and winter. His canvas coat had great silver metal detailing, just right for dressing up or down.

His light trousers and desert shoes make this look great for spring. Keeping it light on the bottom, you can contrast with dark jacket and patterned scarf just as Max has done. Have fun with your pattern but don’t go overboard. While stripes or paisley would suit this look, tie-dye would not.

Max has on some of those basics that Carsten was wearing, like a blue button-up and desert shoes. In 2012, these items are great investments pieces. You’ll want to keep your button-up light but can switch your shoes and pants to darker shades during colder seasons or more formal events.

A structured, dark canvas jacket is a trendy piece that can easily be re-styled as seasons change. It’s another of those versatile wonders that can go from a day in the park to a night out.

Try these looks yourself and stay tuned for our next European style inspiration: Barcelona.



Jim at 16 Jun 2012

This guy looks AWESOME. Bugger him I would.

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